1994, 2001

September 8, 2013

Two different events this week from decades past have me reflecting on how decisions and events have shaped our society and our economy.

For many of us, 9/11 will remain the most important historical event of our lifetimes. I spent three extra nights in a San Francisco hotel hoping to get home to my family after the 9/11 tragedy. I remember the fear that pervaded San Francisco, not knowing if the Golden Gate Bridge was the next target. I remember wondering when we would be able to safely travel home again, and knowing that somehow travel would never be the same. Twelve years after the event that attempted to threaten our resolve as a nation, I will fly back to the San Francisco Bay Area to join officials from The Ohio State University for meetings with a number of innovative companies that did not even exist in 2001 and gather with thousands to watch our Buckeyes.

In 1994, nearly 20 years ago now, the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement. The legislation was very controversial at the time and caused heated debates about the future of the American economy. Two decades later, according to NAFTANOW.org, U.S. trade has tripled with Canada and quadrupled with Mexico – and the collective size of the North American economy has doubled. This week in Columbus, the U.S. and Mexico will compete on the soccer field, a reminder of not only the complexity of the relationship between these two countries, but the importance of it and our shared values.

Many of the fears I had on 9/11 did not come true, and the United States is stronger today than it was in 2001. Likewise, our economy has moved forward, evolved and even been strengthened by the many challenges and policy changes the past two decades. When faced with uninvited challenges and difficult choices, the resilience of our people and our economy has responded and persevered.

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Central Ohio has a delegation in Japan this week and next, meeting with more than 50 companies and attending the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association annual meeting in Tokyo. We applaud the entire delegation for their hard work in preparation for the trip and wish them safe travels.
  • The One Columbus team will travel to California for company meetings and join officials from The Ohio State University for the OSU vs. California game.
  • Next week, the One Columbus team will travel to Atlanta for company meetings.
  • The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, one of four qualifying tournaments for the Web.com Tour, will take place at the Ohio State University Golf Club this Thursday through Sunday.
  • The JobsOhio Q2 2013 report is now available. Statewide, more than 36,000 jobs were created or retained.
  • The Columbus Region August 2013 Monthly Economic Update is available. The Columbus Region has started 161 projects year-to-date, with 17 started in August.