A Safe, Prosperous Place

February 27, 2012

This past weekend has seen yet more bloodshed in Afghanistan and the killing of two senior U.S. officials in what was supposed to be a very protected location. This is an abrupt reminder that the U.S. is still at war in Afghanistan and that we still have troops all over the world protecting and defending the United States of America.

Over $4 billion has been spent on the wars in the Middle East over the past 10 years, and the loss of life also continues to grow. Each loss is a tremendous consequence to military families and their communities and is nothing short of devastating. From an economic development perspective, the loss of motivated, young, skilled people is also damaging. The soldiers that have been lost and the many thousands of soldiers that have suffered physical and mental injuries have lost the flexibility to work in many jobs.

Remarkable programs and the resounding spirit of many of the soldiers have produced tremendous success stories, but too many of our returning military will not be able to reenter the workforce and be productive because of their injuries.

To me there is extra motivation to build a growing, healthy economy that those risking their lives to protect and defend our country can return to. President Obama recently announced a program to hire thousands of veterans as first responders, and a number of major corporations, including the Columbus Region’s largest employer – JPMorgan Chase. JP Morgan Chase has launched a program to hire thousands of transitioning service members. It is perhaps exponentially important that these brave men and women have a place to return to that is safe, prosperous, and competitive. It is part of what they are fighting for…

One Columbus Update
Congrats to Westerville on the announcement of 350 additional jobs from JP Morgan Chase this past week, and to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for a spirited annual meeting. Our team is returning from a very successful mission to create awareness of the Columbus Region in the Pacific Northwest. Our team is working with nearly 100 companies (both existing and new to our Region) as they consider expansion within the 11-county area. Let’s keep up the great work.

Do not hesitate to contact our team with any questions regarding our economy, our program, or if we can be of direct service to you or your company.

Kenny McDonald