Changing Our Future
October 13, 2022
The Greater Sandusky Partnership’s (GSP) inaugural educational symposium was intended to only be a first session, on the road to a regular series (but not streaming yet!). However, the audience clearly resonated with the format and the information and ideas generated at the session and provided feedback as to what they would like to see in future sessions.
A combination of nationally known speakers, like Edward Hill from Ohio State University and Joe Cimperman, from Global Cleveland brought new ideas about economic development and immigration that could be embraced locally. These growth ideas were widely received because the opening census analysis by Russ Mills of BGSU, clearly shared some sobering news about our population losses and declining industry performance while also offering some great insights around commuting patterns and other peer cities efforts.
Local presenters from the public sector spoke about how the enhanced new US Route 6 and Sandusky Pathway could create new opportunities for development and green space were met with enthusiastic interest. County Commissioner Pat Shenigo, and City Managers Eric Wobser and Matt Lasko from Sandusky and Huron all talked about how important collaboration was to secure new federal money to make this new infrastructure improvement real.
A local panel of professional observers from the non-profit community added their perspectives on the messages and opportunities from the day’s programming. Beth Maiden, Executive Director of the Erie County Community Foundation, Anita Kromer, Executive Director from Care and Share, and Abbey Bemis from the Erie County Economic Development Corporation all added how they thought the community could act on several ideas.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted provided strong closing remarks about how important it was for a city to have a vision and then go after it. He provided great evidence about how Ohio has changed its future by actively pursuing new mega projects in the state like Intel and Honda. He urged the local audience to embrace a future objective and then to make it happen and the message was powerful.
GSP leadership pledged to make all the data from the conference available widely so that all individuals and organizations in the region could use the information in their own planning efforts. A future spring conference is likely to focus on two policy topics where intervention could help to grow our region – the ultimate goal of GSP. Housing and possibly immigration were widely suggested by the audience as topics to focus on in the future.
Any questions about the symposium can be directed to Joe Roman, at GSP (216-337-0732) or by email at Jroman@eriecountychamber.com.