Monday, March 24, 2008

Blog Release: Regional Connectivity

From The Business Journal of Youngstown:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber announced this morning that one of its executives took part in a conference last month that crafted a five-point economic policy agenda for the Great Lakes region.

The policy agenda, released last week, lists priorities to be pursued by chambers representing metropolitan areas in the Great Lakes region. According to Tony Paglia, Regional Chamber vice president of government affairs, the agenda that emerged is based on five priorities for political advocacy. The priorities are:

1. Create federal transportation infrastructure policy and funding that supports the unique needs of inland metropolitan regions that today operate as global gateways and centers of trade and commerce.

2. Construct a 21st century border with Canada that balances national security with economic security through accelerating bi-national economic advantage in the movement of goods and people.

3. Establish federal immigration policy that facilitates international talent attraction, integration and retention driven by the assets and needs of the Great Lakes Region.

4. Build a Great Lakes innovation strategy that fuels research, development and commercialization activity in key industrial sectors.

5. Renew and leverage the Great Lakes by supporting business development and research opportunities compatible with fresh water technology and water-based development, while protecting and improving both the supply and the quality of water. Complete the proposed Great Lakes Restoration plan pending before Congress.

Summit participants worked on the Great Lakes agenda based on analysis of the Midwest economy by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, Paglia said.

A follow-up summit will take place later this year with members of Congress representing the Great Lakes region, he added.

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