Section focuses on business

April 18, 2004|by LINDA DUFFIELD

Do you know about Startzman's Hardware, the little store on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown with no parking lot but plenty of loyal customers?

Or the logging company in Fort Loudon, Pa., that sells packaged firewood under the Hotsticks label?

Were you aware there's a grocery store in Hagerstown that is open 365 days a year?

Had you heard about a school in Washington County that teaches prospective farriers how to shoe horses, and more?

Did you know about the range of skills taught at the International Masonry Institute at the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army Base in Cascade?

All that information and more can be found in this year's Focus edition, which is included in today's Herald-Mail.

The Focus edition, our annual look at businesses and industry in the Tri-State area, has six sections. This year, there are two Business sections and one each highlighting Transportation, Dining/Entertainment, Health and Learning.


A special project like Focus is a major undertaking. The planning this year started before Christmas and the work involved almost every department at the newspaper.

Stories were written, photos were taken, "Focus On..." graphics were created, ads were sold and the pages were paginated. The pages ran off the press during the past week.

The interesting thing about Focus isn't the amount of work that goes into it, but the information it contains.

As you might expect, there are stories about big businesses such as Mack Trucks and Citicorp, Quad/Graphics and JLG Industries in the business sections, but there also are stories about smaller businesses, some that perhaps not everyone knows are operating in the area.

There's Merkle Response Services, which has two offices in Washington County and processes as many as 80,000 pieces of mail a day.

Or Maccaferri Inc., a Williamsport plant that makes wire baskets, called gabions, used to retain structures and control erosion.

There are stories about car dealerships, colleges, airports and hospitals. There are stories about day-care centers, restaurants, a bicycle shop and an auto auction.

And even though this special edition just scratches the surface, Focus makes it clear that we've got a diverse business base in the Tri-State area. We've got traditional and non-traditional jobs, indoor and outdoor work, high-tech and back-to-basics careers.

Focus is a tribute to all those who run businesses and employ people in the region, and to all those who work in those businesses, helping them become and remain successful.

Linda Duffield is the managing editor of The Morning Herald.

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