Our opinion: Celebrating hard work

Most Americans have a day off today, a holiday that those in other countries may find curious, since a holiday called Labor Day entails very little labor beyond lighting charcoal.

In fact, the holiday was first proposed by unionists more than 130 years ago as a celebration not necessarily of organized labor, but a celebration of the hard work that built an economic powerhouse.

Organized labor in the new millennium has become a political match stick, and we’re not going to sully an editorial about the benefits of hard work by picking sides in that debate.

Instead, we’re going to talk about the ethic of work, a personal trait that ranges from none to obsession. You can look around any community and find examples at both ends of that scale. And often, who you identify in each group depends on your own work ethic.

Our little community might be thought of as a microcosm of the labor history of America as a whole. There was a time when manufacturing was king here, a place that churned out everything from cigars to steel bars, where there was more than one oil refinery and several small machine shops. The names remain as testimony to their influence: Struthers Wells, Allegheny Valve and others.

Manufacturing no longer has the presence it once had, but it remains vitally important to this community: Betts Industries, United Refining Co., Ellwood National Forge and Superior Tire and Rubber come quickly to mind, among others.

And, the entrepreneurial spirit remains alive and well as new business and industry fills gaps with emerging technology, like Craco Industrial Cryogenics, Targeted Pet Treats, and CNC Auto-Motion.

And, finally, the roots of Warren County’s economy are still prominent today with timbering and the rapidly expanding oil and gas business.

Make no mistake, Warren County is ready, willing and able to work. We’ve been doing it since the beginning, and we celebrate it today.