September 11, 2012
Shawnee State University hosted a conference on Thursday, Aug. 30 to facilitate discussion about opportunities for regional economic development through intermodal transportation, utilizing our region's rail, river and highway systems.
More than 115 local, state, and regional administrators and legislators, business leaders, transportation executives and community members participated in meaningful conversations about the possibilities of expanding intermodal shipping for our regional communities, and examining ways in which communities, the transportation industry, and regional governments can work together to maximize those opportunities.
"The conference brought together the expertise within our university and community and reflects the role of a regional university to engage in stewardship activities to the benefit of its community and region," Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President said.
The day ended with an action plan for next steps as participants work to advance the region. Some of these are already being undertaken. Dr. Terry Johnson, state representative, has begun working with ODNR Director Jim Zehringer to address questions raised during the conference about overlapping jurisdiction on the Ohio River.
Shawnee State University will be talking with its education partners about what workforce needs are not being met and who should address them.
Encouraging entrepreneurship, approaching economic development in more regional terms, and holding follow-up conference sessions were all action items identified. A report detailing steps taken and those that need to be taken will be released in the coming weeks.
The conference was recorded and is available at livestream for those who would like to view it.