July 02, 2013
Talent gap, strategy, biggest economic development challenges
The Cincinnati USA Partnership for Economic Development hosted over 250 business leaders and economic development professionals at a sold-out Annual Report to the Community event on Thursday, June 27.
From the beginning you got the feeling that this wasn't your everyday annual report readout. A relaxed, low-lit room with brightly colored pillars that lit up to reflect the vibrant colors of the Partnership branding welcomed guests to the conference room at the downtown Westin hotel.
The keynote speaker of the event, IBM's Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM's Foundation Stanley S. Litow, gave great insights into IBM's smarter cities challenge and hit on the talent gaps companies are seeing today globally. During his presentation Litow highlighted the organization's P-TECH initiative, which strives to empower students in grades 9-14 with the skills they will need to find jobs and hone their business acumen. Students are given projects like coming up with the next tablet idea to refine their math, presentation, business planning and marketing abilities in exchange for a spot at the front of the line in IBM's hiring process. Beyond the talent issue Litow says that "the key to a city remaining viable is an economic development strategy."
Following along on that strategy, start-up incubators, accelerators and marketing experts from The Partnership, The Brandery, CincyTech, Cintrifuse, Empower MediaMarketing, Ahalogy spoke on the evolving innovation ecosystem. Working together as a BrandHUB team, and as proponents of economic development ambassadors, it's a win-win situation for Cincinnati and business.
View photos of the event