PORTSMOUTH — When Steve Sturgill, executive director of Scioto County Community Action received an invitation to be interviewed by CNN Money, on Tuesday he accepted. From the inception to the end, Sturgill chose to focus on the positive characteristics of the local area.
Sturgill whose office is located in the CAO building in downtown Portsmouth, said he received a request from Tammy Lubey, of CNN Money to be interviewed.
“I was in the office here and I got a phone call from Tammy Lubey, she is a senior writer for CNN in that particular category. She wanted to come to Portsmouth to talk about income and equality, and the loss of manufacturing, and those who have been left behind in Portsmouth’s economy,” Sturgill said. “So basically, what she was here for was to cover those topics with me and other people. She wanted folks that she could talk to, that I thought might fit that category. Basically, what she was looking for was young people who have never had the opportunity to establish a career and why that was the case. She wanted to talk about people who had been dislocated from their jobs and their opportunities of getting new jobs with comparable wages.”
He said Lubey desired to talk with Scioto Community Action and their contributions to the local community.
“And she wanted to discuss with me the agency, and what the agency has done and our contributions to making Scioto County a better place to live, specifically in regards to employment training and how we do with all of these issues in light of shrinking budgets and financial assistance from the government,” he said.
Other suggestions were given to Lubey, directing her to others to talk with in the area.
“I told her (Lubey) that there were other people in the community that she needed talk to, and touch base with,” he said. “I spent about 45 minutes here with them out front, on the corner talking about all of the issues. I think that her goal was to spend a little more time on income and equality. I ducked as much as I could the debate over the politics of the situation. I told her I would be more than happy to walk her through our situation as to what we are trying to do from a community standpoint, to do the right thing and to continue to make this a better place to live.”
Discussing hope for the local area was at the top of Sturgill’s agenda.
“I talked about hope for this community. I’m glad there wasn’t any conversation about drugs and the impact on our community, although I told her that we have very similar issues to most other small communities throughout the country,” he said. “And I told her how difficult it was for us to overcome some of these issues, but we have done it, and will continue to do that.
He said local survival is contingent upon the situations are addressed.
“Our survival will depend on our local responsibility, and our abilities to address these situations,” he said. “Although it is nice that the Federal Government provides money on a preferred basis, there is not enough money to go around to every community who is looking for an opportunity for the Government, whether that be State or Federal, or local for that matter.”
During the course of the entire interview, Sturgill said he was determined to maintain a positive outlook for the Portsmouth area’s future.
“I would not venture away from a conversation of hope and success, and the possibility of potential in this community. I believe in it. I believe that most of the boards and commissions and people that I work with on a daily basis here believe in it, and I just happen to believe that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.