Ohio Christian University's Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center

Breaking New Ground at Ohio Christian University

Federal, state, and local officials break ground on the Southern Gateway Center

Ohio Christian University will welcome local, state, and federal officials along with investment and development partners to celebrate the ground breaking of the Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center — a new job creation and workforce development center at Ohio Christian University’s Main Campus in Circleville, Ohio — on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 11 a.m.

OCU president Mark Smith knows the project will have a deeply felt impact on the community and region saying, “This center will create an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which in turn fosters industry, talent, and capital. It will leave a legacy for the community; OCU is investing in the community as it should be.”

The Southern Gateway Center will consist of a nearly $5 million, 24,000 square foot job creation facility and be located on Ohio Christian University’s main campus on Lancaster Pike in Circleville, Ohio. It will serve Pickaway, Ross, and Fayette counties.

“Ohio Christian University’s Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center will spur economic development and encourage the growth of small businesses throughout south central Ohio,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “Through the Center, Ohio Christian University will further contribute to Ohio’s vibrant agricultural and agribusiness sectors.”

Many local organizations, financial institutions, and government leaders played a role in developing this project. Partners in the project led by OCU include Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3), the City of Circleville, Berger Health Systems, the Savings Bank, Columbus 2020, Pickaway County Board of Commissioners, TechColumbus, the economic development offices of Pickaway, Ross, and Fayette counties, the EDA Regional office, and federal and state representatives: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator Rob Portman, state Senator Bob Peterson, U.S. Representative Steve Stivers and state Representative Gary Scherer.

“The purpose of this facility is to foster meaningful small business development and training in order to promote economic growth,” said state Representative Gary Scherer. “It’s an honor to be a part of the positive change coming to our region.”

State Senator Bob Peterson applauds the creation of the center saying, “Job creation and workforce development are what will help lift the standard of living for all Ohioans and their families, but particularly this region.”

The Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center is being developed as a public/private partnership to help attract new businesses and workforce opportunities to the tri-county region. It will link education in Pickaway, Ross, and Fayette counties, providing a seamless system of expertise and learning that will prepare the community for success in the local economy.

“I have been pleased to support the Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center,” Congressman Steve Stivers said. “The incubator will attract new businesses, establish innovative workforce opportunities, and provide access to training for developing businesses. This is a win for the entire region.”

As part of the groundbreaking, the participants also will celebrate the city of Circleville’s designation as a quarter finalist in the America’s Best Communities competition. The competition is a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities. This innovation center will serve as an important focal point in the city’s upcoming economic development initiatives. Ohio Christian University is part of Circleville’s America’s Best Communities competition planning team, along with many other local public and private partners including Berger Health System, the city of Circleville, Circleville Schools, Frontier, Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce, Pickaway H.E.L.P.S. and the Pickaway Progress Partnership.

As one of the nation’s fastest growing universities, Ohio Christian University has approximately 4,000 students enrolled in traditional residential, online, and adult programs. OCU prepares students to serve effectively in the church and society by providing a holistic, Christ-centered, biblically integrated education.

About OCU

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online students. Every program is designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.