BELLAIRE - The Belmont County Energy Coalition recently heard Seth Alberts speak about the impact the gas industry has had on his hometown and business.
It was Vicki Falcone, guidance counselor of Martins Ferry High School, who heard Alberts speak in November in Guernsey County where Alberts plans to open another shop.
"(We) need to hear what's important, to know the facts," said Falcone. "Not for myself, but we need to prepare for what's coming. Prepare ourselves."
Alberts, who is the chief executive officer of Alberts Spray Solution, has conducted several talks over the last two years about the positive effects that the incoming gas industry has had on his community of Williamsport, Pa.
"It's been a blessing to our family, business and community," said Alberts.
A lot of the positives that have came into his community comes from the growing gas industry, he said. Among the biggest beneficiaries are the small businesses such as small stores, restaurants and even barbershops.
Alberts spoke of one store in his hometown where a woman, who does own a small shop that normally sold purses, started carrying western theme clothing and boots, which Alberts himself was sporting. She is now doing very well and expanding her business even more by picking up flame-retardant clothing.
A main thing Alberts touched on, was the negative hearsay that surrounds the gas industry, not only with the effects of the environment, but the incoming workers.
"Research, what you read isn't always the truth, because there is a negative vibe that surrounds the industry based on hearsay and rumor," said Alberts.
As far as crime rates and rental concerns, there has been no change in crime rates in his community. As far as rentals, there has been an influx in rental prices, "but (it's been) no different then a college/university town," said Alberts, who compared some of the damage to his own rental properties to the ones to his own college apartment.
Even Alberts himself, who knew nothing about the gas industry five or six years ago, has benefited from the gas industry. Alberts Spray Solutions is a leading producer of Polyurea Primary and Secondary Containment Liners described as more environmental friendly and causing less spillage.
Alberts' current company is a spinoff of a parent company, Ralph S. Alberts Co., which was started in his grandfather's basement in 1963. Alberts is the vice president of that company as well.
The best thing to do, Alberts said, as a community is to reach out to the industries and advertise your community, really take a risk.
"If you have a creative idea that may do well, take a risk and pursue it."
Van Dyne can be reached at email@example.com.