Coatesville, a once thriving city nestled in Chester County has had its fair share of struggles. For many years, the city’s businesses and residents were largely dependent on Lukens Steel as an industry and as the primary employer in the city. The steel industry suffered a decline that began in the 1970s affecting the world, the nation, and Coatesville. As mills downsized, workers were laid off. Some mills shut down completely.
Although the steel industry in Coatesville doesn’t employ as many people as it used to, Tim Hennessey, State Representative for the 26th District where Coatesville is located, said, “There’s a positive spin to the fact that we still have an active, productive, and profitable steel industry here in the City of Coatesville.”
John C. Rafferty, Jr., State Senator of the 44th District, added, “There’s still that real neighborhood feel in Coatesville; there’s still longtime residents who live in Coatesville or longtime residents who have investments in Coatesville. For instance, the Huston family of Lukens Steel is still very much involved in the City of Coatesville. They are keeping the history alive of Lukens Steel and along down the road want to open a steel museum, which I think would be a nice draw for the city.”
It is community-minded individuals and organizations who understand the importance of meeting the needs of the residents of Coatesville, and it is they who will continue to push for the revitalization of the city. Hennessey concluded, “What is vital is the fact that we’ve got to realize that people live here and they’re going to stay. There’s going to be a core group of people that will always be in the population for the City of Coatesville and we need to serve their needs as well.”
Read the full article in April’s issue of Transactions Magazine. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.