A Fresh Lens

March 4, 2013

Last week our team visited Washington, D.C. to meet with seven other metro areas from around the country at The Brookings Institution to further our work on the Metropolitan Export Initiative. A series of meetings were held that included debate and dialogue, the sharing of best practices, and learning about shared interests around job creation, investment and the building of middle class jobs.

Along with One Columbus, our region’s team consisted of leaders from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, Franklin County, the City of Columbus and the State of Ohio. We engaged in conversation with national experts and  colleagues from around the country about accelerating exports as a way to grow our regional economies. The Brookings team framed the issues, and we walked away enthusiastic about our mission and what we learned from others.

The fresh lens from which we held our discussion provided an opportunity to think about the many ways in which we still can grow our economy. Some of these growth opportunities are emerging as the world’s middle class grows, or rather, as the ability to spend disposable income on goods and services grows. Some other growth opportunities lie in our ability to unleash and reimagine existing opportunities by doing things differently.

The morning papers are filled with economic and political news that makes it seem we are always left to choose the lesser of two evils. However, in terms of the U.S. and the practice of economic development, we still have greater options than anyone else – more options that we can currently imagine. The different approaches offered by colleagues from the other metro regions was a sharp reminder of that fact.  We can prepare our communities better, we can surface opportunities worldwide that will connect our companies to global markets, and we can create dynamic local markets that diversify and strengthen our communities and our economic base.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • A huge thank you to Verizon Wireless for their continued investment in the Columbus Region. This commitment of resources to our region and to their existing workforce is a testament that one of the world’s largest companies thinks our region is a great bet.
  • Our team traveled to New Orleans for the Site Selectors Guild, where the discussion was about trends and best practices in the business of locating operations. It was a firm reminder of the competition for jobs around the world and within the U.S., with dozens of metro regions and other states attending to listen and learn.
  • This week our team will be in Orlando meeting with real estate and site location professionals at the annual Jones Lang LaSalle Academy, and we’ll also spend time in the San Francisco and Seattle market areas meeting with companies and site location advisors.
  • One more week and our team will depart for Japan to meet with over a dozen companies considering expansion to the U.S.
  • The Columbus Region has been extensively profiled in the March issue of Delta Sky magazine. The magazine flies on board Delta’s domestic and international flights this month, read by more than 5 million travelers worldwide. Our thanks go to One Columbus investors and members of the Columbus Partnership for your advertising support, and to our partners at Experience Columbus for their collaboration in this effort.
  • We encourage you to check out the JobsOhio 2012 annual report and 2013 strategic plan. 2012 was a year of significant accomplishments for JobsOhio. Working together with them and our local partners, we are continuing to drive a positive economic future not only for the Columbus Region, but for the State of Ohio.