Provide Federal Jobs Funds, Too

More than a century and a half of steelmaking appears to have ended at the former RG Steel Steubenville plant. Fortunately, it appears the 130-acre site has a future as a job provider.

River Rail Development, a subsidiary of Strauss Industries, has a $15 million plan to develop an industrial park at the site. Work for about 50 people will be available if the plan goes through.

For that to happen, some now-useless steelmaking equipment needs to go. And state government has stepped forward to be a partner in the process.

It was revealed this week the Ohio Office of Budget and Management Controlling Board is providing $1 million in Clean Ohio Assistance funds for demolition of some equipment and buildings, along with asbestos abatement, at the site.

State funding will provide an important supplement to private capital, help clean up what otherwise could have been an environmental problem and, most important, will help create new jobs. The state grant is an example of how government actually can do that.

Which takes us to Washington. President Barack Obama’s administration frequently touts job creation. Federal aid for the local project would be a way to make it actually happen – and should be provided.