Monday, October 12, 2009

Ohio Metro Success Stories

I have a more detailed post over at Burgh Diaspora discussing Midwestern/Rust Belt metros doing surprisingly well. These cities offer strong opportunities and hit well above their weight in the urban hierarchy. The good news in Ohio:

Now for a look at the rest of the Midwest. Site Selection asked [Richard Longworth] to name a city or two in each of the states he includes in his definition of the Midwest that he considers to be bright spots, leaders in their states' economic turnaround or, at the very least, worth site selectors' attention in 2009 and beyond. ...

... "Columbus is doing well and not losing population. Akron is interesting. It's taking its old base in rubber and is working hard on a new polymers industry. Wooster has a good local college, an ag branch of Ohio State and a beautiful downtown. It's a thriving town."

Wooster is a city that has been on my radar for a few years. Every so often, I read a story about innovative approaches to economic development going on there. I think Wooster would be a good model for Steel Valley cities to emulate.

As for Akron, I also find the city "interesting". I need another visit to get a better sense of the transformation going on there. Both Wooster and Akron are off the mental maps of outsiders. Figuring out how to better appeal to talent in other cities should be priority one for Tech Belt stakeholders.

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