I’m not a native of Meadville, but I am so glad to be living here during its revitalization. New businesses are emerging, empty spaces are being reclaimed, community gardens are springing up, and a spirit of innovative energy is present everywhere. Sure, the city has some structural budget issues to solve but there is nothing the local citizenry can’t solve once it determines to do so. Personally, I love working alongside others who see nothing but opportunities and solutions in-the-making.
Speaking of which, Meadville has two other things going for it; the college and the hospital. If you live in Crawford County, chances are you have benefited from their presence.
For starters, both Allegheny College and the Meadville Medical Center are major economic engines. They employ hundreds of local residents who, in turn, generate more economic activity. Both entities attract global talent and build international connections. The influx of diverse people into our community brings vitality and makes it more inclusive. Likewise, the relationships established with international partners often provides opportunities for the private sector to exploit new markets.
Furthermore, both institutions offer vital services to surrounding communities. The Meadville Medical Center creates greater access to health-care and contributes significantly to the health and well-being of the region’s populace. With an emphasis on civic engagement, Allegheny College faculty and students fan out across the county working for the betterment of local residents. Also, the college holds various cultural and sporting events that are both enriching and exciting.
Despite what some might tell you, we are better off having both institutions in our city. By the way, congratulations to both Andy Walker and Denise Johnson. Andy’s experience will benefit both the college and the city and Dr. Johnson is a rock star; her appointment is our loss but the commonwealth’s gain.
BRUCE E. HARLAN