Spearheaded by Renacci Center co-directors Derrick Wyman and Rachel Hosler, along with Walsh faculty, in collaboration with the James B. Renacci Center for Civic Engagement, Walsh University visited Portsmouth on Monday and held its second public discussion in its forum series titled Small Towns: Are We Being Left Behind? A Solutions Based Project.
Walsh University has organized this series of public forums across Ohio to collect information for a solutions-based evaluation of findings by spring 2020, with forums moderated by former Congressman James B. Renacci himself. “One of the initiatives that we are taking with the congressman is visiting small towns throughout the state to examine are they dying?” said Wyman. Wyman stated an article appeared in the New York Times recently that suggested those who did not live in a big city should move to one, due to the declining nature of many small towns. “For us we believe that small towns still have a vital role to play in our American economy and in the state of Ohio. So with Congressman Renacci we are able to examine the issues that our small towns are facing and finding how to produce a solution based response to the needs of the future of small towns and figure out how we can keep young professionals from relocating to bigger cities,” said Wyman.
Congressman Renacci stated a meeting held on Monday morning showed a lot of promise for the City of Portsmouth. Walsh recognized the strong grassroots effort to revitalize the area, and the strong leadership behind it and made note of events like the boat races, and community summit bringing people together and stepping in the right direction. Renacci stated he was pleased to learn that local business leaders were stepping up to create change and were not relying on political leaders. “They’re stepping up and they believe in the community,” said Renacci. “This is one city that I felt good about, although there are negatives we were presented with the positives and saw that Portsmouth is moving in a good direction.”
The representatives from Walsh University attended a focus group, tour and visit of Sole Choice, visited Portsmouth Public Library, and met with seniors of Notre Dame High School before the forum was held at 6 p.m. on Monday evening. “This is just another way for Walsh to engage and serve our local community while providing support in finding solutions to real issues facing our country,” said Wyman. “Our goal is to leverage the service mission of Walsh as a way to help working families find their voice in a growing global economy.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932