by U.S. Rep. Steve Austria
Last week, I joined the Blue Ribbon Task Force in Dayton to update community leaders and elected officials on the status of the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission report. I think it is important now, more than ever, to focus on how our region can bring our ‘A’ game to the table to be more competitive and bring additional jobs to Ohio. With Wright-Patterson Air Force Base being the largest single site employer in the state, it is vitally important that we continue to evaluate how we can help grow Wright-Patt and better do business with the base.
The Blue Ribbon Commission, which was formed in 2009, was made up of small businesses, community leaders, retirees from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and academia, to evaluate the strengths of the region and better compete for contracts in support of WPAFB. The Blue Ribbon Task Force was then formed to implement the recommendations proposed by the Blue Ribbon Commission Report in July 2010. The recommendations aim to support Ohio’s military facilities and increase the number of WPAFB contracts awarded to local companies, bringing more jobs to the region. The Task Force has done an extraordinary job implementing the Commission’s recommendations, and I am encouraged to hear of their progress and success. This community-based effort has truly taken enormous strides towards returning jobs to the state of Ohio.
Also last week, the Task Force launched and highlighted a social media Web site that was created to address several of the Commission’s recommendations. The Web site was designed to be a resource to the community, where people can share community information. I encourage you to learn more by visiting this page on my Web site to see for yourself how the Task Force’s efforts can help bring the community together. Wright State University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science has also agreed to run and operate the Web site from here on out, and I look forward to their continued efforts.