At a meeting held on Wednesday, the Clinton County Board of Commissioners acknowledged the contributions of the Clinton County Port Authority with a proclamation. From left to right are: Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed, Port Authority Economic Development Director Josh Roth, Port Authority Executive Director T. Alex Beres, and Mike McCarty are pictured from left to right

Serena Hammond | News Journal photos

WILMINGTON — On Wednesday, the Clinton County Board of Commissioners acknowledged the Clinton County Port Authority’s efforts with a proclamation. The executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority, T. Alex Beres, and the economic development director, Josh Roth, met with the commissioners to discuss economic development updates.

This week is National Economic Development Week, which highlights local efforts to create a more economically-vibrant and livable community. Beres and Roth provided the commissioners with updates on their work and how it aligns with the goals of this week. Beres emphasized that every day is economic development week for them.

During the meeting held at the Clinton County Administrative Campus on Davids Drive, Beres thanked the commissioners for being a lead partner in the economic developer collaborative and for “appointing such an active and extremely knowledgeable, helpful board to the port authority. The Port Authority board is absolutely incredible and it’s crucial to have a strong board, so thank you guys for that as well,” said Beres.

They also spoke about the job fair that was held for the community on May 3, which had a great turnout. Thirty-nine employers participated, and Beres noted that the actual turnout of people seeking employment was incredible for them because these functions can serve multiple purposes.

“It’s great for our residents for employment opportunities, but also incredible for us to go around and talk to people and meet with different businesses. It’s truly a marketplace of ideas as well,” said Beres.

Beres said that “one of the main goals is to bring new dollars into the community that otherwise wouldn’t be here. An example of this is Ferno-Washington, where 50% of their sales come from the export market from not just outside of the county, but outside of the state/country. Those are dollars that come in that otherwise wouldn’t be. And then that creates jobs and wealth here in Clinton County that otherwise wouldn’t exist.”

A big part of it is bringing new dollars into the county, stressed Beres.

Roth shared an update on the infrastructure front.

“We were able to lend some help to the City of Wilmington for the phase 2 of Davids Drive to go after Ohio 629 (roadwork development) funds. That’s just one of the extra resources that the port can offer to our local communities – come up with outside funding sources to stretch our local taxpayer dollars as far as possible,” he said.

Additionally, they spoke briefly on employee news. Ruth Brindle, workforce & data specialist at the Port Authority, is in Kansas City at the Mid-American Development Conference, which is the Midwest states’ economic development conference. Brindle won a scholarship to attend, and Beres noted that “it’s great to gain insights on best practices for the Port Authority and her role, as well as different software and tools that they are looking into.”

Also this month, Beth Huber, assistant executive director at the port, has been able to focus more on the aviation part of the Port Authority’s economic development mission and attended the Ohio Aviation Association, which according to Beres is vital for the air park’s success.