Stimulate US: Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana infrastructure are shovel ready

Shovel ready.

These two words are the cornerstone of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and three states nestled in the heartland of America have taken this to heart.

The Dayton Business Journal reports that the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments has approved $39 million in federal stimulus money to go toward several transportation-related project in the tri-state area. While the bulk of the money, $30 million, will go to Ohio; other state and local governments will add to the federal money to facilitate more projects.

The council chose these projects based on the number of jobs they would create or retrain workers for, which is welcome news to the three states, whose unemployment rates are between 8 and 9%. Much the same way that Louisville will see a local boost due to housing and other upcoming projects, the diversity and sheer number of projects in the Regional Transportation Plan should bring many new employment opportunities to the tri-state area.

On top of improving infrastructure through manual labor, the program will stimulate spending in other sectors as well. The most notable being technology, with employee retraining and communication hardware upgrades making up a portion of the projects. By including projects which require varied skill sets, this plan has the potential to provide more stimulus than a purely pavement-based approach ever could. Kudos to the council for a well thought-out plan.

With warm temperatures already rolling across the state, it's only a matter of time before the tell-tale orange cones pop up on nearby roads and stimulus dollars start making their way into the coffers of local businesses.

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