PDT Staff Writer
Shawnee State University held an Intermodal Conference on Thursday with an estimated 120 people in attendance, including local, state and regional officials.
“Through this conference we want to educate ourselves on what the opportunities are available and we also want people to be aware of where Portsmouth, Scioto County and southern Ohio are and that we’re eager to play a roll,” said John Carey, Assistant to the President of SSU for Governmental Relations. “At the end of the conference we are going to come up with an action plan to move forward. We want to take the information we learned today and develop an action plan so we are in a better position to compete for jobs and improve employment for the area.”
John Molinaro, President and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, was one of the conferences keynote speakers.
“I spoke to the audience about the resurgence of manufacturing that’s likely to occur as transportation costs continue to go up. I also spoke about the critical nature of intermodal transportation, to realizing those opportunities here,” Molinaro said. “There is going to be billions of dollars of private investment made in intermodal transportation in America over the next few years and there is going to be incredible opportunities for that in this part of the county. Ohio is in the absolute bullseye of consumer demand and market demand in North America. We’ve got the transportation networks to really be one of the best places in America from which to serve the American markets. We need intermodal facilities to really maximize on those opportunities.”
Also attending the conference was Jason Wilson, Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia.
“I think Intermodal is critical to Ohio’s future, the infrastructure of shipping is changing with the expansion of the Panama Canal and with the motorization of rail and the ability to ship on containers on barges,” Wilson said. “As we move forward, technology, shipping of goods, cost of fuel, all of those are going to be beneficial elements that make our area a strategic location for things that are positive for Ohio. We can be an integral part of the transportation mode for moving goods in and out of the United States.”
He said conversations like the ones occurring at the conference are important in taking steps to reach those goals.
“It’s like anything; you’ve got to have a vision, you have to have a goal. Gov. Kasich has outlined where things need to go for the state in general. It’s our job, our roll to work with places like Shawnee State and John Carey, the city, county and regional organizations, to make sure that everybody understands the current framework that the governor has laid out,” Wilson said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.