City more active in regional economic planWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Toledo intends to take a more active role in regional economic development and other business issues that affect the community according to Dean Monske, deputy mayor for external affairs.
“The City of Toledo is back at the table for collaboration on economic development,” Monske said. “Mayor (Mike) Bell and I are in 100 percent agreement on this.”
“The mayor understands that Toledo’s future is tied to Northwest Ohio’s future and vice versa. We plan to share and utilize the region’s resources working with the other great partners on that team,” Monske said.
Monske accepted the new position with Bell’s administration after being part of the collaborative effort in his previous position with the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP).
Monske was involved in RGP’s participation in the development of the original Meta-Plan with the Chamber of Commerce, Port Authority and UT. That plan has evolved into the Toledo Regional Economic Plan.
“We’re ecstatic about working with Dean Monske and the City of Toledo. We have received a 100-percent commitment from Mayor Bell for the city’s involvement in moving forward with the economic plan,” said Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, after meeting with Mayor Bell and Monske Jan. 22.
Steve Weathers, president and CEO of RGP, said that Monske’s move to the city “is a win-win for everybody. It was a loss for RGP but good for Toledo and regional economic development.”
“We’re delighted the city has expressed a new willingness to be a more active participant in that forum. We’ve got to speak in a unified voice as a region. Having the city be part of that voice will be very helpful,” said UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs.
He believes it’s necessary to have collaboration between academic sector, led by UT, private business, and the public sector including all government units to be successful in improving the region’s economy and quality of life.
“We’ve been a leader in developing the idea that a great university is a sustainer of the community in every way, providing education, research and outreach with its technical knowledge base to raise the quality of healthcare and life,” Jacobs said.
D’Naie Jacobs-Hart, associate director of economic development and engagement at UT, is involved in its activities with economic development agencies in making the university’s resources available to the community.
“The city would have a role
in every one of the key areas of the Toledo Regional Economic Plan,” Toth said.
Those five strategic areas include:
1. Brand Northwest Ohio as a mega-region for energy, manufacturing and transportation.
2. Pool resources in the region’s industry clusters to create a globally competitive market.
3. Retain local graduates and retrain the work force.
4. Invest in assets restoring prosperity to the core city development areas for business attraction and expansion.
5. Create resources for joint development of the region’s economic
The region has identified five cluster areas of strength for Northwest Ohio that include advanced and alternative energy, advanced manufacturing and materials, [bio-sciences], transportation and logistics and architecture, engineering and construction.