10 Years ago Edit
probes from Mars sent back particles of various rocks and such that were found all over its surface. An element found within the particles was found to possess 5x the strength of titanium and weigh 7x less than aluminium; it was called "Durinium". The potential for this element has caused the mega-corporations to go into a frenzy to get to Mars. It will be the new cash cow once the mining operations are set up. The problem is that it would take ten years to not only come up with the means to get to the planet, design and build the mining operation and then send the refined minerals back to earth.
8 Years ago Edit
congress passes the Lawrence Act; preventing American corporations from outsourcing more than 20% of their workforce outside the continental US. This creates a huge boom for jobs in the US and its economy begins to build. The heavy demands for construction for this project and the infrastructure required the corporations to urbanize large portions of previously undeveloped. The Ohio River Valley with cities such as Huntington, Ashland, Portsmouth and Ironton were chosen due to the proliferation of a cheap workforce and massive amounts of undeveloped and generally unmonitored commercial and industrial zones.
7 Years ago Edit
the corporations finally got approval to begin building a large orbital platform that can accommodate the launches from Earth to Mars without having to escape our gravity. Also, incoming shuttles of the refined ore can be accepted by the platform and transfer it to the planet for construction. This platform was built by a joint effort from four mega corporations (whose names can be filled in later).
The four corporations that developed the Ashland / Huntington Metro area combining Huntington, West Virginia and Ashland, Kentucky into unified metropolitan area. It was announced that the corporation's "back to work" program for the area, promising jobs to any qualified individuals. The corporations create the Employee Screening Program (ESP) which administers tests for potential candidate and grades them upon their performance aptitude. Each candidate is given a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) and a rating from 1-5; the lower the number or the lower the letter - the less desirable job available to the candidate. Most students, upon graduating High School, will complete the ESP test. The test can be taken once each year and most students will take it again after their graduation from College as a 'ranking' for what job they -could- get if they wanted to go to work for one of the corporations.
Those candidates who score in the "F" classification are generally considered "Factory Fodder". As the race for space is now a driving force within the nation's economy, the factories work night and day with the offices keeping up with a global market round-the-clock.
4 Years agoEdit
the Metro rail is rebuilt to accommodate the growing transportation needs of the large community. It is tied to a similar rail system that connects Ironton to Portsmouth over a new bridge that was built to span the Ohio River. The bridge (name unspecified) has two statuesque figures as the central pillars (four figures total) with a large bowl of fire at the top.