OhioSE new engagement effort with JobsOhio


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Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) has announced a new engagement effort as part of a larger statewide initiative to increase knowledge and reach of economic development. JobsOhio, working side-by-side with its regional and local partners and communities, is an essential strategy to bringing economic development success to Southeast Ohio.

Each region of the state has unique strengths, making Ohio diverse with many opportunities for different companies to succeed. As the regional network partner for southern and eastern Ohio, OhioSE understands the economies, communities and workforce needs within the region it serves.

Recently, OhioSE expanded its team to include Destiny Bryson as its newest member. Bryson, for the director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and Highland County Visitors Bureau, serves as the manager of engagement and partnerships for 13 counties in the southern part of the region, which includes Adams, Athens, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties. Bryson’s combined career experience in both the private and public sectors has prepared her well to step into this role and continue to build relationships across the sectors to reach a common goal.

“Our region has its own unique set of circumstances and there is no blanket approach that will work across the diverse economic landscape that we have in southern Ohio,” Bryson said. “By engaging with our local communities to hear their needs, act as a resource and utilize the tools we have at OhioSE and JobsOhio, together we can create a path to move each of our communities forward in their own ways.”

Ed Looman is now the manager of engagement and partnerships in the eastern counties of the region including: Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Washington. Looman has been with OhioSE since its inception in 2012 and has established a large network of advocates across the region, making him a perfect fit for the new role.

Together, Looman and Bryson will work closely with local economic development organizations, elected officials and other partner organizations in each county, offering support through information, technical assistance, training, education, research and programs for funding that can support job creating projects throughout the entire region.

Shortly after being named the new president of JobsOhio last spring, J.P. Nauseef launched a listening tour across Ohio in the OhioSE region. Soon thereafter, JobsOhio began an engagement effort and an inclusive growth initiative to ensure economic growth in all parts of Ohio. The Inclusive Growth Initiative so far includes: (1) a grant program focused on small businesses in distressed areas or owned by disadvantaged populations, (2) a grant program for transformative place-making projects in distressed small and medium sized cities, and (3) a planning grant program to help these transformative projects. Looman and Bryson are equipped to provide more information on these programs.

Looman and Bryson will continue this great work within the Ohio Southeast region and are available for meetings, either face-to-face or virtual. You can learn more about OhioSE by visiting www.ohiose.com and about the Engagement initiative at https://ohiose.com/help/engagement/. Bryson can be reached at destiny@ohiose.com and Looman at ed@ohiose.com.

Submitted by Tom Crooks, Stonewall Group.

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