CALMC had its second breakfast membership meeting for 2012 last Wednesday. About 25 – 30 people attended the meeting to hear about the new economic development efforts in Ohio. The audience consisted of local government representatives, local area business people, public sector officials, neutrals who help labor and management with bargaining and other issues and union representatives. In other words, it was a good cross section of people who had an interest and concern in the economic initiatives for Ohio.
Many questions were asked of the presenters, Daryl Revoldt from JobsOhio and Karen Conrad from Ohio Department of Development, on how the new public-private relationship will work.
The one thing I took away from our meeting wasn’t necessarily the message from our speakers but the interest the audience had and the excellent questions they asked about this major change. It didn’t matter whether you were from a union, a business, the private sector or public sector you had an interest in Ohio’s economic development.
Our last membership meeting, Tim Burga, President of Ohio AFL-CIO, talked about economic development from the perspective of labor and management working together to assist with job preservation and economic growth. He also talked about how he was working with a newer industry to Ohio, the oil and gas fracking industry.
Economic development is a topic everyone has a mutual interest in. We may look at it from different perspectives but we all recognize the importance of it especially when it comes to our existence as a community. Everyone has ideas to share. Smaller community organizations need to be involved, too, not just big economic organizations. Home, in the broader perspective, has a special place in everyone’s heart and we all want that economic well-being and feeling of security.
My hope is those from JobsOhio and Department of Development will also recognize everyone has an interest in economic development and the importance of getting the information to the smaller communities and small community groups. Everyone should have an opportunity to speak out about Ohio’s economic future and have an opportunity to ask questions. As the politicians like to bring up, it’s taxpayers’ dollars at work. A road show around the state of the two organizations to tell their story to other smaller, community organizations would be a start.