The power of technology, in particular information technology, to transform communities is enormous. Our economy has traditionally been based upon manufacturing. As we all know only too well industry is under stress from imports and recession. Only technology has the potential to revitalize aging manufacturing processes and to replace well-paying lost jobs. The Tuscarawas County Community Improvement Corporation’s mission is to make technology available to existing companies, to nurture the technology-based businesses we already have and to attract more such companies. To do so we must ensure that we have the resources these businesses require.
We have found that technology-based businesses prefer to “cluster”. They like the synergistic environment that is enhanced by the combination of the corporate cultures of individual companies in a technology or “smart” park. Although common in major metropolitan areas, there are currently none in the more rural areas of Ohio. With the collaboration of county government, Kent State University Tuscarawas and others, the CIC is working to create the first Technology Park in an area such as Tuscarawas County.
The number one requirement of technology-based businesses is access to a world-class communications infrastructure. The CIC’s technology initiative includes not only state-of- the-art local data networks, but also access to the national “pipes”.
The terrorist acts of last September were like a tsunami for American “business-as usual”. However it seems well to remember that the Chinese ideogram for chaos is the same as that for opportunity. The chaos created by the terrorists has created a need for certainty, both by businesses and their employees. It has created a need for high-quality, well-paying and interesting technology jobs, heretofore available predominately in urban areas, combined with our county’s traditional quality of life. It has created a need for what the CIC has adopted as its marketing theme: “Living Well - Working Smart”. With imagination, we are creating the “product” in Tuscarawas County that will satisfy these needs, ensuring a better life for all.