GE’s Move a Regional Win
Is “regionalism” an empty booster’s phrase, or the foundation of how Greater Cincinnati competes with the rest of the world?

When GE Aviation announced it would consolidate its local office workforce into a new West Chester campus, moving some 1,400 employees from their Springdale location, some cast this as a win for Butler County and a loss for Hamilton County.
We call it a regional victory for the Tristate. After all, what if GE considered consolidating its aircraft engines plant in Evendale with one of its several other heavy-metal locations in North America, taking those offices and engineering jobs far away?
Back when AK Steel moved its office operations from Middletown to West Chester, we sympathized with the people of Middletown but celebrated the fact that this manufacturer was performing well enough to invest in new headquarters — an encouraging commitment to staying in our metro region.
The same sentiment applies to GE Aviation and its office workers. Many of them were already commuting from homes in Butler and Warren counties. Now they’ll have a new facility, and their local income tax gets cut from 1.5 to 1 percent. That’s nothing to dismiss when we talk about how to attract and retain the best and brightest in our local workforce.
Springdale and Hamilton County officials made a valiant effort to compete with West Chester on the GE deal. This is an opportunity for them — and all Tristate communities — to learn how to better compete in this arena, to keep existing jobs and attract new employers from other regions.

Goodbye, Concourse C
As Delta Air Lines announced its decision to cease flights out of Concourse C at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, the airline and the airport once again tried to concoct a “lemonade out of lemons” scenario. Travelers no longer will suffer riding shuttle buses to “C,” the PR masters bleated. Hey, let’s all celebrate!
Nah, let’s wake up to reality. This fall, Delta says it will run 298 flights to 93 destinations on peak days, down from 406 flights and 115 destinations in the fall of 2007: a 25 percent service reduction in one year. Some industry analysts say the pending Delta-Northwest merger would cause further flight cuts here.

We’ve posed this question before: When will this be a Delta “hub” in name only, and what is the airport board, along with Tristate business and political leaders, doing about it? Waiting until the Delta-Comair Terminal 3 looks as depressingly empty as nearby Terminal 2 next door? On some weekends, Terminal 3 looks that ghostly already.

Talking About Agenda 360
Speaking of regionalism, Agenda 360 is described as “A Regional Action Plan” to transform Greater Cincinnati into a major metro leader in talent, jobs and economic opportunity. Ellen van der Horst, Kevin Ghassomian and Dr. Myrtis Powell co-chair the leadership team, and the Advisory Council is a who’s who of major corporate executives.
After months of community engagement, the group aims to issue its “regional transformational priorities” in November. To find out more and contribute to the dialogue, visit