In an effort to improve the business climate, employment rate and quality of life in the Appalachian region, leaders of various economic development programs in four southern Ohio counties have contributed a $126,000 grant to the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio (JEDISO). The new Chillicothe-based association will use the grant to promote economic development in the area.
“JEDISO came about as a natural progression of the meetings and communications among the four county economic developers during more than a year of working with consultants on a regional strategic plan,” says Christopher Manegold, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio
. “The Initiative is an unincorporated association of the principal economic development entities in Jackson, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties, governed by a two-and-a-half page partnership agreement.”
As for the $126,000 grant, the first priority for JEDISO is to update and validate detailed information on the region’s buildings and sites with infrastructure, environment and marketability data. The goal is to make this information readily available on a new website such that the region’s brokers, site selectors and other corporations interested in opening or relocating to southern Ohio may easily access it.
“For companies that are transportation sensitive, the region is framed by the Ohio River on the southern edge with the Inland Port at Rickenbacker to the north for air, rail and truck transportation,” notes Manegold. He also highlights the region’s growing market, citing a population growth that is twice as large as the statewide average. These are just some of the attributes Manegold and his colleagues hope to utilize in drawing new economic activity to the region.
“The strategic plan identifies a number of target industries that will be refined and pursued aggressively,” he says. “The ultimate goal is the attraction of high-quality, family-wage jobs to the region.”
Source: Christopher Manegold
Writer: Joe Baur