Economic development conference brings over a 100 professionals to downtown Springfield

More than a hundred economic development professionals from across the Midwest gathered in Springfield for a three day conference that will focus on recent developments in the area and the state as well as best practices and strategy.

The Mid America Economic Development Council 2022 Best Practices Conference features professionals from 13 states and a number of speakers who will highlight different types of development efforts.

The conference is being held at the Courtyard by Marriott and the Hollenbeck Bailey Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield, the first time that the event has been held in the area. It started on Wednesday and will last until Friday.

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“It gives us an opportunity to tell the rest of the Midwest what we are doing here in Ohio and specifically in Springfield. It is an opportunity to highlight the partnerships and the collaborations that are going on that makes things go,” said Horton Hobbs, the vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Partnership.

“It lets our partners see that all the hard work that they are doing is making a difference, is unique and can serve as a model for other people,” Hobbs added.

The conference features speakers such as businessman and author Quint Studer, who discussed on Wednesday how to build vibrant communities focused on attracting investment, good jobs and lively downtowns.

Representatives of organizations such as JobsOhio also spoke, talking about Ohio’s economy and what future economic development will look like. They also discussed Intel’s planned investment of $20 billion in dual New Albany-area semiconductor production sites and what impact that can have on the rest of the state.

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Other topics that will be discussed during the conference include improvements and investments made to the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport related to the development and research of air mobility technology. What remote work will look like in the future and the potential economic impacts will be touched upon as well.

The conference will also feature walking tours that will feature sites in downtown Springfield and the municipal airport.

Hobbs said that by having the conference in Springfield this year, it not only gives them an opportunity to showcase the community, but also has an economic impact. He said that can be due to hotel stays as well as participants eating and shopping in the area.

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