Our economic development system is beginning to close loopholes and cast a bigger net for opportunities. I am not talking about tax policy, no one needs that on a Monday morning, but rather the loopholes in our communications system. Our regional team is communicating everyday with our local and state allies, and more importantly each level of the system has a renewed focus on talking to its existing customers. Each week we are closing the communication loopholes that existed before and open transparent conversations are leading to solutions for those businesses seeking to grow or establish operations in the Columbus Region.
The Columbus Region continues to stay ahead of the curve. CSX’s recent announcement to invest $59 million into Columbus once again validates the Region’s importance to the logistics industry and the movement of global goods around the world. This investment deepens our roots as one of the most important inland ports in the world and will help to keep us ahead in the battle for the best infrastructure.
Finally, it is time to thank Honda once again. Honda has made a major investment in the Columbus Region and the State of Ohio. Honda directly employs thousands in Ohio, and indirectly several thousand. Not only will the investment make necessary improvements to its Ohio plants, but will also add world class technology that solidifies its commitment to the future.
This is a big week for our team. Wednesday morning we will host the inaugural Columbus2020! Regional Economic Development Dialogue, along with our public and private investors, allies, and key collaborators. The discussions are sure to be wide ranging, and at times, challenging. After a brief update by our team, Mark Kvamme and Christiane Schmenk will present the State of Ohio’s economic development strategy and roll-out JobsOhio to the attendees. We will have breakout sessions to hear about opportunities and challenges in the Region, and lunch will feature serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Henry Nothhaft. His recent book Great Again is driving a lot of “jobs” dialogue as is his letter to President Obama, just published this weekend. It is a lot to cover, but I hope all of you attending will stay the entire time. You can register to attend here if you haven’t already.
I believe that if we have these conversations each year we will be amazed by what we can accomplish in the next decade. Surely our Region and country will change a lot over that time, and your advice and counsel will help our team steer through the changes.
Chief Economic Officer