Skip to main content

Highland County delegation attends inaugural Legislative Day

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
A delegation of Highland County elected officials and nonprofit, education and business leaders are pictured at the Ohio Statehouse during the inaugural Highland County Legislative Day. (Submitted photo)
Julie Bolender, Highland County Economic Development Director

A delegation of Highland County elected officials and nonprofit, education and business leaders traveled to Columbus on Thursday, April 18, to meet with key state department officials during the inaugural Highland County Legislative Day. 

Sponsored in part by JobsOhio and with the assistance of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, this event provided county leaders an audience of key state decision-makers. 

Throughout the day, guests met with Drew Cooper, Jobs Ohio Director of Government Affairs; OhioSE VP Katy Farber; Director of Ohio Department of Education and Workforce Stephen Dackin; Director of Ohio Department of Development Lydia Mihalik; Director of Ohio Department of Agriculture Brian Baldridge; Lt. Governor Jon Husted; Representative Bob Peterson; and Senator Shane Wilkin. Guests also enjoyed a tour of the historic Ohio Statehouse.

Highlights of the event include discussions surrounding the increased interest in Highland County's economic development. Many agree that our county's strong partnerships stand ready to support industries looking to develop in a new location. Attendees posed challenges they face and learned best practices from their peers and our leaders and are now better equipped for success through the formation of new relationships. 

With help from the various state departments and our local government, the event's attendees and many others work diligently to make Highland County a place where people want to live, learn, work and play.

According to the '2024 Ohio Manufacturing Counts' bulletin published by the Ohio Manufacturers' Association, Ohio's manufacturing GDP was $133.16 billion, making it the fourth-largest in the nation. Preparing individuals for a rewarding career in manufacturing has never been more accessible, thanks in part to our education partner, Southern State Community College, and the initiatives led by the Department of Development and the Lt. Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation.

We appreciate the support of our sponsors, JobsOhio, OhioSE, The Highland County Chamber of Commerce, First State Bank, Huhtamaki, Merchants National Bank, Peoples Bank, Southern Hills Community Bank, Southern State Community College and Weastec Toyodenso. Thank you to Representative Bob Peterson and Senator Shane Wilkin for their assistance in ensuring that state leaders heard of the opportunities and successes in Highland County.

Julie Bolender is the Director of Economic Development for Highland County and can be reached via email at or by calling (937) 661-3010.

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.