Morrow County Development Director Brandon Miller was the featured speaker at the September meeting of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce.
Miller spoke to the Chamber about the information and work the Development Office does in attracting new business to the county as well as working to expand, retain and develop existing businesses.
“We compete on a monthly and weekly basis with other regions for national and global business,” stated Miller.
The Development Office sometimes has to prepare an information packet within two or three days for a business that is inquiring about the economic environment in Morrow County.
Miller emphasized that infrastructure, labor work force, and development are vital for bringing in business. However, the advantages and benefits of our rural living style also have an appeal and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Not only is the cost of living an advantage for residents in the county, a safe community with good schools and less noise and pollution are attractive for businesses. Miller said we need to appreciate our “rural roots” while we continue our progress with partners such as Columbus 20/20, Consolidated Electric, and Small Business Monitoring Service-SCORE. Colleges and universities such as Marion Tech, OSU and Mt. Vernon Nazarene are valuable partners in raising the education and training level of the workforce of the county.
Work on infrastructure will continue with upgrades of the Interstate highway, roads and bridges. Getting rid of blighted properties will continue to be a priority. Collaboration with business, agencies and commercial realtors are vital. An example he gave is the condominium project with Howard Hannah Realtors. It is also in Miller’s plan to attend national and international business events.
Miller outlined future goals that include: creating 1,000 new jobs in the county by 2021; completing newly awarded critical infrastructure projects like the Public Sewer project at SR95 and I 71; expanding the airport through ODOT Aviation grants and military partnership; updating the development website and increasing staff and training for the development office.
Business entrepreneurial projects Miller noted include the 20th anniversary of Cardington Yutaka, LSI expansion at Morrow Meadows by SR 95 and I 71, and Middlefield Industrial Park (formerly HPM.)
Miller recently took over the leadership in development after Pat Davies began her term as Morrow County Auditor. Miller is an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University, ATI in Wooster, lecturing in the field of renewable energy. Miller teaches one course there in solar energy systems. Miller’s family includes six children.
At the conclusion of the program, Chamber of Commerce President, Andy Bower said his family recently moved from Delaware County to Candlewood Lake in Morrow County. He said they are really happy with their new home and happy to live in Morrow County. Bower spoke of talking with his young son on the way home one afternoon.
“I love small towns,” commented Bower’s son. “Everyone is so nice here.”
“It’s all about the people,” Bower concluded. “There are great people here in Morrow County.”
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at email@example.com.