Economic and Community Development
Road Reports - Bridging the Region
Road Reports – Part 3
I’ve been burning up the airports and highways over the past month visiting multiple ACCE member chambers across several states. I never fail to take away valuable tidbits and lessons from every visit. The third installment of this series is from Cincinnati.
Bridging the Region
Infrastructure is occupying the minds of corporate leaders in Cincinnati, specifically bridge building. I was in town in early May for a joint meeting of the boards of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber. That meeting, in a recently opened restaurant and brewery adjacent to the Red’s Stadium, kicked off an education and outreach campaign to rebuild an expanded interstate bridge over the Ohio River connecting Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati.
Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson was an apt featured speaker for the joint board meeting. As Mayor of Louisville, he worked closely with Greater Louisville, Inc., One Southern Indiana and other in the business community on a two bridge project over the same river with a similar price tag. His words to the crowd last week: “It can’t and it won’t be built unless everybody’s pulling in the same direction.”
Coordination and cooperation will be crucial as this bi-state region works on a compressed timeframe to put together a financing plan to cover this $2.5 billion project that will fly in both Columbus and Frankfort. The full spectrum of options is on the table from public bonds to tolling. There is a strong likelihood that at least some of the final funding equation includes public-private partnership. Check out their coalition website: www.buildournewbridgenow.com/
Regionalism in action in greater Cincinnati.
Read more at - Bridge Can't Wait.
Strive, a Model for Education Cooperation
Education and workforce work was a reoccuring theme at the Metro Council meetings this winter. That was no surprise, talent has been a top issue for chambers of commerce for decades and the business community has poured lots of time and resources into various initiatives all along the education pipeline.
What I’m learning, however, is that leading work on education and workforce issues increasingly comes from alliances between business, schools, universities, foundations and civic groups that adopt a holistic, cradle to career approach. One or two groups collaboring on a narrow set of issues just isn't moving the needle. This broader approach is essentially regional stewardship thinking applyied to the challenge of skilled workers.
The Strive idea is that once multiple players in a region come together, sharing information and insights, they can pull back and see how the education system functions as a whole — and then set targets ranging from early childhood education to college graduation.
It’s not an easy formula. It means active, ongoing engagement by mayors, city and county city governments, foundations, businesses, social service agencies and others — plus teachers, administrators, university faculty. It’s a call for no-excuses collaboration. It means groups performing the tough act of putting their personal educational theories to the side.
Read the full column here: Communities Setting Audacious ‘Cradle to Career’ Education Goals
Learn more about the Strive Partnership at: http://www.strivetogether.org/