Talk of a Dayton – Cincinnati metroplex and joint MSA was considered a possibility years ago. However, the federal government said that is off the table, which is just fine with our local businesses.
Dayton is a unique, vibrant, diverse and robust community. Our innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, business environment and workforce quality of life give us a unique value proposition over any other community in the world, not to mention also being the home to the largest single-site employer in Ohio (Wright Patterson Air Force Base) and being uniquely located in the heart of the Crossroads of America (I-70/I75 interchange).
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace, partner, and collaborate with our neighbors 45 miles to the South. Nurturing our relationship with Cincinnati gives the Dayton region an even greater value-add, and the same goes for Cincinnati’s partnership with Dayton. Our working commuters are already showcasing this, as a number of Cincinnati area residents are coming to Dayton for employment opportunities and Dayton area residents are finding jobs in Cincinnati. This doesn’t bother us at all, as it makes our regions more attractive and provides opportunities for residents in both communities.
Collaboration between our two communities is a must. We have already ventured into this territory with positive partnerships between the Dayton and Cincinnati Chambers of Commerce and local governments around minority certification reciprocity, workforce commuting, strategic regional communications and economic development support.
Our economic growth hinges on the interconnectivity between our communities. Cincinnati has Fortune 500 companies, major league sports and tri-state connections. Dayton has federal installations, the I-70/I-75 interchange and a logistics hub. For example, for our logistics hub near the Dayton International Airport to be successful, it is essential that major infrastructure connectors like the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati are safe, efficient and operational. And for major defense contracting companies in Cincinnati, a strong relationship with WPAFB is critical to success.
But there is always more to do. Our regional chambers of commerce are already working together. The Cincinnati Chamber has been a good partner and this positive relationship trickles into our respective business communities and enhanced partnerships. I’m excited to continue to explore ways we can leverage both of our communities so we can each grow – together. We aren’t Cincinnati, and Cincinnati isn’t Dayton, but we can be more successful as a collective than we can on our own.
Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Dayton Daily News.