Action Plan Will Help County Economic Development

Jun 20, 2017 | News

Nathan Strum.
Grow Licking County.

GROW Licking County partners with the Ohio Manufacturing Institute and the Montrose Group to develop an Eonomic Development Action Plan for the county.  The proposed plan focuses on three main principals: (1) Improving county-wide workforce development strategies; (2) Improving transportation connectivity to enable future development opportunities; and (3) Identifying infrastructure improvements to facilitate future development – specifically, GROW is focusing on broadband and fiber optic improvements as well as a potential for a public Wi-Fi system.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

By trade, I am a planner. In my first job out of Muskingum University, I served as Zoning Administrator/Planner for the City of Zanesville and throughout my career, I have always focused on ensuring that a systematic community-centric plan is followed for any development opportunity.

That is why I am thrilled to announce that GROW Licking County is partnering with the Ohio Manufacturing Institute and the Montrose Group to begin an Economic Development Action Plan for Licking County.

But what does this mean for my fellow Licking County residents and the communities we live in?

For starters, the proposed plan focuses on three main principals: (1) Improving county-wide workforce development strategies; (2) Improving transportation connectivity to enable future development opportunities; and (3) Identifying infrastructure improvements to facilitate future development – specifically, GROW is focusing on broadband and fiber optic improvements as well as a potential for a public Wi-Fi system.

From here, our team plans on engaging interested individuals in various focus groups to identify gaps in their community or industry, as it relates to our targeted principals, as well as community town hall-type discussions to ensure that our proposed plan aligns with the objectives of our community partners.

So why is this important?

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) projects that Ohio will grow by over 11 million people by 2040. In Licking County alone, ODSA projects Licking County to have over 212,000 residents, or about 60,000 more residents since the 2010 census. This substantial growth requires a plan to ensure that our communities are prepared for a large influx of new residents, our school districts are ready for the next wave of student enrollments, and our workforce partners – both educational and industry – are prepared for the next generation of employment here in Licking County.

Beyond these end goals, ultimately – it is the goal of GROW Licking County to create an economic development action plan that will not only serve as a roadmap for future development initiatives county-wide but also serve as a foundation for future community-oriented land use or comprehensive plans.

In Memoriam – The Life of Dan Evers

I first met Dan in the fall of 2016.  I had moved to Central Ohio over the late holiday season in 2015 to begin serving as the new Director of GROW Licking County CIC, Dan’s former role.  I was immediately struck by many in the community who worried that I would “not be enough,” that the “shoes were too big,” and that “Dan was larger than life.”  And they were right. 

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OEDA 2022 Annual Excellence Awards – Call for Nominations

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.  Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized statewide!

A panel of judges will evaluate the nominations, determine finalists, and select a winner for each of the categories noted below.  Award winners will be announced in conjunction with the 2022 OEDA Annual Summit, being held October 3-6 at the Exchange at Bridge Park in Dublin, Ohio. 

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