WILMINGTON — As the economic development organization for Clinton County, the Port Authority has started hosting “Economic Development (ED) 101” sessions so its partners — local governments and organizations — have a clear idea just how the Port goes about its work.
Clinton County Port Authority Executive Director Dan Evers said he’s encouraged by the level of participation of partners, and describes the sessions on economic development as being “from the ground up.”
So, like the name implies “Economic Development 101” goes over basics such as what Port staffers mean when they use the term economic development, as well as “how we’re going about it,” Evers said Wednesday.
The discussion also goes into what business consultants are looking for, and what prospective new companies are looking for, he said.
The whole idea for the sessions, then, is educational, and the resulting greater understanding is meant to be a foundation for further discussion on where do we go from here as collaborators in economic vitality, said the Port official.
An understanding of local assets and capacities will help all collaborators “recognize what’s viable, what’s aspirational, what’s somewhere in between” when it comes to “if we push ourselves, where can we go?” said Evers.
There are a number of reasons to hold these sessions now.
“It is something we wanted to do earlier. But we had 18 months where we couldn’t meet with anybody, and this isn’t the kind of discussion you have on a Zoom call with 30 people,” he said.
Accordingly Evers feels the sessions are overdue, but as it turns out, the timing is “a little serendipitous” because there now is a vacancy with Jennifer Klus leaving her post of Economic Development Director of the Clinton County Port Authority in April to become Director of Economic Development for the City of Dublin, Ohio.
The intent is to fill the position, said Evers, and that may or may not wait until the “Economic Development 101” sessions are wrapped up because there’s value in having that person take part in those discussions.
In 2019, the Port Authority was designated as the economic development organization for Clinton County, and all county development efforts are now concentrated through the Port Authority.
“Today, the Clinton County Port Authority is the first stop for businesses looking to expand into Clinton County and local businesses looking to grow,” states the Port Authority website.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.