Hamilton County Reviews Economic Development Strategy

Hamilton County has spent time figuring out how the region is prospering and struggling economically, and officials are now ready to start diving in to address some of the targeted issues. Local agencies, residents and government officials weighed in on the results.

“It is a document that provides a plan for managing the county’s economic development strategy for the next five years,” said Harry Blanton, senior vice president and director of HCDC.

Liz Blume, director of the Community Building Institute at Xavier University, presented the overall economic development strategy to Hamilton County Commissioners at a staff meeting this week. She says some of the county’s strengths include a strong Fortune 500 company presence, market competitiveness, successful urban core revitalization and a “climate security zone.” She says this last issue is more recent to consider.

“We don’t have the same kind of climate issues as other communities, we certainly have our own heat and our own flooding. But in a lot of ways, I think companies are looking for places offshore (and) far away. fire zones, to do business expansion, and that’s us, ”she said.

She also said that the revitalization of the urban core was identified by the participants as a major economic victory.

“I think in a lot of ways this region seems to be a model for other Midwestern cities around core revitalization,” she said.

They said four public meetings and interviews with stakeholders helped inform the strategy. It is used by the county when applying for federal grants for the administration of employment and training.

Some of the drawbacks identified by the report, Blume said, included a “poor transportation system”; high property tax rates; high poverty rates and employment growth in low-wage jobs; low number of immigrants; uneven market performance; and economic liabilities around infrastructure, such as bridges.

“There are a lot of infrastructure needs that need to be met to make sure that we have a strong economy for the businesses that set up shop here,” she said.

There are a variety of solutions suggested in the report which have been divided into human, physical, business and regional developments. Retaining local talent is an issue Commissioner Alicia Reece has personally spoken about.

“One of the things that bothered me, and I heard a lot of people, voters, is that you come out of our education system – both middle school or kindergarten through 12 – but we can don’t go up. We always go out of town, “she said.” Always the first thing we do is say we need to do national research. And we come out of town and pass the talents that we have here. There is no upward mobility. And so many people say they have to go. “

Blume said it’s a balance to revitalize areas while keeping people in their communities.

“We understand that creating livable communities is part of an economic development strategy. It might have sounded like a bluff or icing on the cake to say that we want to focus on parks, open spaces and walking. But I think in order to attract talent, which our business sector tells us we need to do, we understand that it becomes a more important part of an economic development strategy, ”she said.

The completeness of the recommendations is broad, but includes improving public transport, working with current schools to expand local talent pools, and supporting small start-ups, especially by women, minorities and women. LGBTQ founders.

The full strategy is below:


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