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Jefferson County chosen for OhioSE Prepared Communities Program

STEUBENVILLE — Officials with JobsOhio and Ohio South Eastern Economic Development announced Monday that Jefferson County was among five areas selected for its Prepared Communities Program.

According to a press release, the program is done through a partnership between OhioSE and Bricker and Eckler, LLP, a law firm based in Columbus.

Bricker and Eckler’s Barnesville office represents the Jefferson County Port Authority.

Other communities joining Jefferson County in the program are the Village of Greenfield, the Village of Chauncey, the Village of New Concord and Noble County.

“Often, communities, large and small, don’t have the resources to get started on an economic development strategy,” Vice President of OhioSE Katy Farber stated in the release. “The Prepared Communities Program is designed to be the catalyst for moving forward.”

“With a vision that becomes an actionable plan, you have direction,” said Farber. “We want to help counties and communities in this region create a vision and develop an actionable plan.”

According to the release, the program provides the selected areas with “free technical assistance from the professional team at Bricker and Eckler LLP and OhioSE that will provide the framework for developing a workable plan for future economic development strategy.”

Jefferson County Port Authority Executive Director Robert Naylor noted it is a good opportunity for the county during the economic recovery from COVID-19.

“As our area ventures into 2021 and beyond, many of our residents see opportunity, and possibly a paradigm shift, in how business will be conducted post COVID-19,” Naylor said. “From the promotion of sustainable industries to a redefining of what people want from the communities where they live, economic development must adapt and respond to these changes.

“Coupling the identification of these opportunities with the implementation of a workable plan will enable Jefferson County to define its own trajectory to renewed economic growth and prosperity.”

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