HICKORY (KDKA) — A recent study shows that the Marcellus Shale created 38,000 jobs last year, but a little restaurant in Washington County shows that the economic impact is a whole lot deeper than that.
Two years ago, the Cherry Hill Grille was struggling to keep the lights on and employees had to cut back their hours.
These days, the restaurant is doing great, catering to shale gas workers who eat out all the time.
“We’re keeping our people working, giving them overtime and more money for them,” Coleen Pascuzzi with Cherry Hill Grille said.
Coleen’s husband is one of those who have benefited most from Marcellus Shale.
“Basically it saved my company from going under and my home from becoming a statistic,” Michael Pascuzzi, of New Dominion Construction, said.
His construction company is now thriving, preparing well sites for the shale gas industry.
Mary Pirih is getting royalty checks for leasing her land for drilling and has more shops and restaurants in which to spend them.
“I think it’s enlivened us again that there is a possibility that we don’t have to be a ghost town anymore,” she said.
There are 50 new energy and energy-related companies within a mile radius of Southpointe. Despite environmental concerns, Jeff Kotula, head of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, says people are embracing the change.
“I think the more that our population here will begin to understand it, understand the economic benefits of it, understand the job creation benefits of it as well, I think eventually it will become accepted here,” he said.