From an economic standpoint, things are looking optimistic for the area as the year 2012 approaches.
President of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, Tom Poorman, says there is a lot of work to do in economic development, but Ohio, and specifically Muskingum County, are both headed into the right direction as we enter 2012.
"I think these employers in this area are slightly optimistic. 2011 was a mixed bag; there was some bright spots. For example, unemployment went down as the year went on and over the last two years the trend is in the right direction but it's still too high," said Poorman.
Poorman says the upcoming exploration of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica Shales will produce a positive long-term effect for the local economy in 2012.
"The oil and gas drilling can only help. It's going to have a positive impact on our area. How much...it remains to be seen. We don't know to what degree yet. They are drilling test wells in our area now and in our county now," said Poorman.
Poorman says with the business sites Muskingum County has to offer, he predicts the area will continue to see companies in the oil and gas supply chain locate here.