There are glimmers of hope this week for Erie's economy, welcome news after the announcement that General Electric will soon eliminate nearly a thousand jobs here.
The biggest comes from another large employer, Erie Insurance. The company going public this week with plans to expand its downtown campus by renovating the former Achievement Center building for a Heritage Center and updating the old armory building for additional office space.
The plan will also build a new state-of-the-art training facility for agents complete with two story home inside and 14-bay garage.
The total investment over the next two years will approach 28 million dollars.
A smaller project is set for Erie's waterfront with word that a new touring vessel is being built for Presque Isle Bay. It will be pirate themed to capture the popularity of the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.
There will be mock pirate battles complete with water cannons for the kids and booze cruises at night for the adults.
The investment for that venture is about a half million dollars.
Two local architects have also announced plans to renovate the long vacant Rothrock Building downtown. The building is something of a monument to 1960's design and the hope is that by staying true to its roots the building will be a unique attraction. The owners intend to build to suit but you would expect that much of the building will be office space.
No, none of these projects is in manufacturing and I'm not trying to suggest that they mitigate what we will lose at General Electric.
What I am saying is that people don't invest unless they see opportunity. Despite concerns of the ripple effect GE will have across the spectrum of our economy, there are those who still see disposable dollars here and are working to position themselves to take advantage.
It's not all bad news.
We should try to remember that.