The Foundation

November 4, 2013

Last week was an incredible one for the Columbus Region. Hundreds of leaders joined us in Columbus on the campus of The Ohio State University at the National Center for the Middle Market ‘s Annual Summit. Great speakers, including former President George W. Bush and GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt, joined others in discussing leadership and issues facing our economy. Later in the week, we traveled to the first annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, where hundreds of companies from around the globe came to Washington, D.C. to learn more about setting up and growing their existing operations. The importance of the gathering was underscored by the attendance of both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke to the group about the great advantages of investment in the United States.

Two themes came across more than any other in both meetings. First, education and continuous workforce training have to be expanded and improved worldwide in order to meet the demands of the economy and a more global society. For companies large and small to innovate, grow and compete, they must have pools of talent to generate both the ideas and the products that will propel the economy. Education has been a core value of the United States from the beginning, but must take on even greater importance in the near future. A solid education lays the groundwork for step two – continuous workforce training – that is required to update skills over and over again to stay relevant.

Second, leadership matters. For middle market companies, a group that accounts for a third of all jobs and 70 percent of all new jobs in the past 5 years, leaders must navigate multiple competitive challenges to survive and advance. The leaders of these companies must exemplify the resiliency and agility that they want their companies to practice. In the U.S., leadership is critical for global growth. National leadership is necessary to forge trade partnerships, to develop international standards, and to provide peaceful pathways so that goods and people can move around the world safely.

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University for hosting a very successful National Middle Market Annual Summit.
  • Last week, in addition to meeting several companies at the SelectUSA summit, One Columbus traveled to the Toronto area for a business development mission that included meetings with Canadian manufacturers and service providers.
  • This week, our team will be in Germany and the U.K. meeting with growing companies. Here at home, we’ll be attending the BioOhio Annual Conference in Dublin and we’re also hosting companies that are evaluating the Columbus Region.
  • We invite you to join One Columbus, MORPC and MODE on Dec. 6 for the second annual Economic Development 411. Designed to give community and business leaders a greater understanding of economic development, ED411 will also feature two highly acclaimed speakers and educational breakout sessions. Capacity is limited and attendees should register early to ensure their space. Click here for details.