PDT Staff Writer
Officials with Shawnee State University (SSU) have made presentations to the Scioto County Commissioners and Portsmouth Mayor on the results and action items of the recent Intermodal Conference.
The conference was attended by an estimated 120 people that included local, state and regional officials.
“We are still working on our followup plan from the Intermodal Conference, we have a draft that’s being sent around to different people and we are hoping it will be out by the end of next week,” said John Carey, Assistant to the President for Governmental Relations and Initiatives. “Through this plan we want to make sure we are following up with some of the actions we had at the conference. One of the action items was meeting with the commissioners and the mayor about mapping industrial sites throughout the region.”
According to Carey the meeting with the commissioners and the mayor took place Thursday.
“Our discussion with both the mayor and the county commissioners was that Shawnee State was a willing partner in this process. The meetings were more of a discussion of how we can collaborate and figure out the best way to do things,” said Chris Shaffer, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning. “Which in this case is the mapping of industrial sites. We talked about how data could be collected, how it could be projected and how we could work with the economic development directors with the city and the county to help make sure that happens.”
Carey said one of the main lessons learned at the conference were, “there are opportunities for us to capitalize on with the Ohio River and with the Heartland Corridor and that we have work together to be able to take full advantage of those opportunities.”
He said an example of the work that needs to be done is mapping of industrial sites.
“We’re also looking at our workforce. President (Rita Rice) Morris is working with the provost to see what courses we need to offer take advantage of jobs and logistics,” Carey said. “Representative (Terry) Johnson, Representative (Joe) Uecker along with others were talking about forming a Ohio River Caucus, in the state legislature.”
Carey said there are a number of short term action items from the conference that he hopes will be completed within the next couple of months.
“We then hope to bring some people back from the conference, to get an update on how things are going, so we can keep moving forward,” Carey said.
Shaffer said after meeting with the commissioners and the mayor, he believes there is a clear path forward.
“That clear path includes, taking some of the things we’ve learned over the last year or so and helping to ensure we (SSU) are able to equip their (commissioners and mayor) teams have that same capability so that we (SSU) can serve as a resource for future collaboration,” Shaffer said. “The exciting thing about all of this is that as we continue to learn from each other, it strengthens our long term abilities.”
He said the long term goal of the intermodal conference is make sure the area can project why the area is a wonderful place for investment and future economic growth.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.