By Mike Venerable
On Friday afternoon (April 30) Vice President Kamala Harris held a roundtable discussion on transit at the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub, our home since 2019.
Hamilton County passed Issue 7, a tax levy to improve transit in the County in March 2020, the first increase in decades. At a time when many knowledge workers have shifted to work-from-home, many other workers have no choice, and public transit is an important asset for a growing region. Vice President Harris was also joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown, Cincinnati Metro CEO Dwight Ferrell, Eddie Koen, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber President Jill Meyer.
The Chamber played a key leadership role to create broad support for the levy in 2020.
The 1819 Innovation Hub houses the UC Office of Innovation, and innovation teams from many regional corporations Space is sold out. Nearby UC recently topped out the new Digital Futures building, another purpose-built facility to spur collaboration, innovation, and economic development. The intersection of MLK and Reading Road will be transformed over the next few years as the gateway to the Cincinnati Innovation District (CID). With UC, Cincinnati Children’s, UC Health, NIOSH, and other health care and technology leaders, the CID is a key part of the region’s future.
During the roundtable discussion Meyer told the vice president about the community of Avondale, where the meeting was held, which had suffered from historic disinvestment. New initiatives and a resurgence of place in Avondale and Uptown are at the “intersection of business growth, education and community development,” Meyer said.
Playing host to Vice President Harris was a great showcase for the 1819 Innovation Hub. Further, it highlights the commitment that the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Jobs Ohio has to create new employment opportunities and growth in the region.
Mike Venerable is president and chief executive officer of CincyTech.