‘Reimagining the Region’ in a Pandemic

Three-Day Look at How Ohio Valley Is Adapting Kicks Off Today

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Read the Manufacturing and Technology section by clicking here

WHEELING — COVID-19 has impacted every facet of life over the past year. We all know someone affected by the coronavirus, either through being diagnosed with the virus or seeing changes to their job. Our local businesses have suffered from lockdowns and reduced capacity. School-aged children and their parents have had to figure out some semblance of learning over the internet. Families have been unable to gather for fear of passing the virus to older family members.

All in all, 2020 was a year most of us would like to forget.

But there is hope on the horizon. Case numbers are going down. Governors in states such as West Virginia are easing restrictions. There is a brighter light now shining for us to see at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

We know our new “normal” will not be what it was at this time last year, when we just were starting to learn about the coronavirus.

But we soon will see normal again, and how the collective we reimagine that normal will help to chart how 2021 takes shape.

That’s why our annual progress edition — six special sections published over the course of three days — this year focuses on the theme of “Reimagining the Region.” In each section we take a closer look at many aspects of life in the Ohio Valley, aiming to provide you, our reader, with a better understanding of how businesses, industries and even your local school districts are preparing for the new normal not by going back to business as usual, but instead by taking the lessons learned over the past year to improve their offerings.

In today’s newspaper, we examine topics in the finance and manufacturing and technology sectors. Both topics continue to have a tremendous impact on our valley, as they have for many decades. Tuesday’s focus is on education and health care, while on Wednesday we examine our local business sector and our communities.

In education, for example, we learned that in school districts such as Ohio County, administrators are looking for remote learning to become part of the regular offerings to families. The learning continues to be refined, though, and likely will include teachers in the district who do remote learning only and no daily classroom work.

In health care, Wheeling Hospital continues to expand its offerings through its management agreement with WVU Medicine, as both facilities prepare for an April 1 switch to the hospital becoming a full WVU Medicine facility.

In the business community, many long-standing Ohio Valley staples are adjusting their business plans to meet the new business environment. In addition, entrepreneurs and other new arrivals are bringing exciting changes to the region.

And through it all, our communities remain places that we love to call home. They provide affordable housing and opportunities for seniors to socialize. They also offer entertainment venues and recreational facilities that are appropriate for people of all ages.

In all, it’s nearly 50 pages filled with information on how the local area is looking to reimagine the future.

“Each year, we take great pride in presenting the Ohio Valley with a comprehensive overview of the good things that are taking place in our area,” said John McCabe, editor of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. “This year, coming off the most challenging year in memory, we are extremely happy to be reporting on how local folks are reimagining their futures as we hopefully near the end of this COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the information we’ve gathered and presented here will help each of you to be better informed about all of the good things happening locally.”


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