GROW-ing Across the “Pond”

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 by Nate Strum

As many of you know, one of the chief objectives for GROW Licking County in 2016 was to expand the CIC’s reach by engaging companies at trade shows and starting the critical element of forming crucial relationships with companies in hopes creating new opportunities in Licking County, if the opportunity arises.

However, there is more to business recruitment than attending trade shows. 

Earlier this year, I approached our regional economic development partners at Columbus 2020 about attending their European Trade Mission – and thanks to their hospitality as well as a scholarship from MODE (Mid-Ohio Development Exchange), I joined Matt McCollister - Senior Vice President for Economic Development, Justin Bickle – Director of Project Management, as well as our own Rick Platt – President & CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority on their trade mission to Northern Italy and (most) of Germany.

Over the past week, we met with a dozen companies between the two countries and discussed their industries, business trends, and the opportunities available for their companies here in Central Ohio.  The industries include heavy manufacturing, technology, additive manufacturing, consulting, & automotive – all major sectors within the Central Ohio region.

Overall, the trip was an eye-opening experience for me since I have never traveled overseas.  I was amazed by the similarities (and yet distinct differences) between the two cultures (especially in Northern Italy & Southern Germany), the beautiful countryside, and the stellar cuisine (for those who are friends with me on FB or follow me on Twitter – sorry for all the photos). 

Thank you to our friends at MODE & Columbus 2020 for including GROW Licking County in the Central European Mission – it was a perspective shifting experience!

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