On Thursday, November 17, 2016, Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3) awarded its 2016 Leadership in Economic Development Award to Ohio Christian University (OCU) President Mark A. Smith.
Ryan Scribner, Economic Development Director for P3 shared that in his first encounter with Dr. Smith, they spoke of dreaming big, being bold, and having urgency as they would seek to elevate the community. Mr. Scribner also highlighted Ohio Christian University’s impact in Pickaway County. The baccalaureate rate in Pickaway County has increased from 11.7% to 17.1% since 2006, and many community members are taking classes to better their lives.
Additionally, construction projects on OCU’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio, are approached with the community in mind. The new Performing Arts and Ministry Center will be a new community venue for musical, theatrical, and educational performances.
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.
The evening concluded with Mr. Scribner sharing the successes of Pickaway Progress Partnership. The economic impact of projects in Pickaway County includes approximately 1,700 new jobs, $60 million in payroll, and $2.1 billion in private investment.
“Pickaway Progress Partnership works tirelessly to bring jobs to our area and improve Pickaway County. Ohio Christian University is excited to contribute to the growth and elevation of our community,” said President Smith.