TOLEDO -- Alternative energy opportunities and efforts by the Port Authority to boost the region's transportation network were highlighted during a meeting Tuesday with local economic development professionals, reports News 11's Rob Wiercinski.
This gave Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner an opportunity to tout his message: Our economy is headed in the right direction.
Here's a little of the backstory. The mayor has received criticism lately for being his own economic development director.
But Mayor Finkbeiner did not want to talk about whether or not he should hire an economic development director because on Tuesday his focus was on the "big picture." That picture, he says, indicates the entire Northwest Ohio region is doing the right thing by diversifying its economic base and creating "Jobs of Tomorrow."
The mayor wants to pass on this message: The Glass City's economy is in transition, yes, but that is not to say it's in the tank.
"In that transition, we are alive, we are strong, and we have a bright future," Finkbeiner says.
One of those bright spots, according to the mayor, is Xunlight Corp., a Toledo-based solar panel firm which was created out of research at the University of Toledo.
"We currently have more projects and initiatives in the pipeline than I can ever recall, aviation related, maritime transportation related, rail related," says Jim Hartung, president, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The effort to create jobs is not limited to the borders of Toledo and Lucas County.
"Every success that we have in Wood County is a success for the region. We don't have a wall built around us. We're part of the region," say Tom Blaha, with the Wood County Economic Development Commission.
According to the mayor, key assets that will help turn around the region's economy include Great Lakes water and a skilled workforce.
"We will bring people and investment back to the Midwest and the Toledo region in particular. That will happen. Take it to the bank," Finkbeiner says.