Pike County Commissioner Harry Rider says it takes all the counties in the southern region of the state working together to bring about economic development. Rider was in attendance this week when U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown convened an economic development roundtable with local business and community leaders at the Ohio State University’s South Centers.
“I thought it was real positive,” Rider told the Daily Times. “It gets people to talking and the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. They know what we’re pushing for and what we’re working on, some of the projects we’re trying to move forward on. A lot of times it hits Scioto County, Ross County or Adams or even Jackson, by surprise, but some of these monies go to the four-county area and for us to get anything done we have to work together.”
Pike County, like Scioto County, has been hit with a series of financial setbacks with the closing of several projects at the Piketon DOE campus, and the closing of several manufacturing facilities. That has brought about an economic downturn, and Brown was in town to listen to the needs of the communities.
“Local roundtables are an opportunity to learn about the needs of each of Ohio’s counties by talking to local leaders and community members,” Brown said. “Ongoing cleanup at the Piketon Plant is about the future of our economy. These conversations are about how we can attract investment, grow the local economy, and expand opportunities for our workforce in southern Ohio.”
OSU’s South Centers leadership, business owners from the Endeavor Center, Fluor B&W, the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative, and local union and community leaders participated in the roundtable. Brown has held more than 200 roundtable listening sessions across Ohio’s 88 counties with students, local leaders, business owners, educators, workers, and families to find ways to rebuild and strengthen our economy.
“It was just a roundtable discussion and everybody had a little something to say,” Rider said. “I was impressed with it. I’m sure if we get our ducks in a row and get programs started and take it to the proper channels, this is a start to getting something developed and you can let the rest of the district know what you want.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown convened an economic development roundtable this week in Piketon with local business and community leaders at the Ohio State University’s (OSU) South Centers.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.