By Wayne Allen
The Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) has launched a website aimed at highlighting the area and what it has to offer to potential employers. The SOPA website has been in development for a number of months by SOPA Board Members and Executive Director Jason Kester.
“SOPA did not have a website. Scioto County Economic Development had a website, but it needed updated and revised,” Kester said.
Kester said the site was paid for through various grants. SOPA received a $10,000 grant from the Scioto Foundation and a $25,000 from Fluor-BW Portsmouth. Kester said American Electric Power (AEP) did an initial review of marketing materials and the economic development website. He said after the review a $10,000 grant was made available to Scioto County for specific marketing materials. Kester said the AEP grant was spent on a marketing plan for Scioto County that works with website.
“A lack of an updated website, which listed the various key economic development metrics, was cited by the AEP Community Economic Development Academy review as the number one short-coming of our local economic development efforts,” Kester said.
SOPA hired Brand Acceleration, of Indianapolis, to create the website. Kester said this company has won several awards for economic development websites. Kester said Brand Acceleration was able to consolidate all economic development activities of Scioto County into one site.
Kester said some of the key points of the website include an economic development dashboard with a focus on workforce availability, education levels, cost of doing business and a number of other things. The site also lists available sites and buildings in Scioto County.
Scioto County is in the process of creating and maintaining a Geographic Information System (GIS), that would include information about every parcel of land in Scioto County. Once competed the GIS system will be linked with the SOPA site.
The SOPA website can be reached by visiting www.sohpa.org or www.whysouthernohio.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT