thinkCSC Leadership Series

thinkCSC Leadership Series: Columbus Ranks High for Millennials

By | thinkCSC Leadership Series

columbus-898928_640I’ve written before about what a great place Ohio is to do business, and we’re delighted that Columbus was named as one of the top 7 Intelligent Cities of 2015, but as the leader of a business that relies on innovation, the latest accolade for Columbus is truly worth celebrating.

In September 2015, Money named the top five cities for millennials, and once again, Columbus made the cut. Money focused on cities where:

  • Job growth is above average
  • The cost of living (food, rent, and other necessities) is affordable
  • The concentrations of grocery stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and other amenities is high
  • Loads of fun bars, restaurants, and leisure activities are offered

Coming in just behind Austin and Atlanta, Columbus is the only Midwest town to be listed. Also on the list were Tucson and Seattle. More than a fourth of Columbus residents belong to the millennial generation; Money contributes the attraction for this demographic in part to our great parks, sports, food, and public transportation. I would like to think that the draw is also because of the great companies and schools we have in the Columbus area. Downtown Columbus is becoming a tech and creative cluster, with more than 1,800 jobs projected to be added. Ohio University and Columbus State University are working together to provide more affordable education options, which will help more students obtain the higher education they need.

One of the main drivers behind the success of Columbus on all fronts is Columbus 2020. Columbus 2020 is the economic development organization serving the Columbus Region, which encompasses 11 counties. The organization works with state and local partners to achieve economic growth. As Kenny McDonald, Columbus 2020 CEO, explains, “The Columbus region has a diverse, growing economy and population base. Growth is poised to continue due to a young, educated workforce, aggressive economic-development efforts and geographic and institutional advantages.”

thinkCSC is a proud investor in Columbus 2020 and believes in the 2020 initiative. We are committed to the idea that Columbus is the best place to do business and that business owners, entrepreneurs, and millennials will thrive in our city. We appreciate having the opportunity to share our Columbus stories with those businesses considering a move to Columbus. Learn more about Columbus 2020.

thinkCSC Leadership Series: Columbus Is an Intelligent Place to Do Business

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by Tom Hastings


I’ve mentioned before how strongly I feel that Ohio is a great place to do business, so it’s really no surprise that – for the third consecutive year –  Columbus has been named as one of the “Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015” by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The ICF recognized Columbus for its efforts on several fronts, including:

  • Having the “highest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in America”
  • The excellent research facilities of Ohio State University (OSU) and Battelle
  • The city’s efforts to tackle the challenges of a higher-than-average low-income population
  • The city’s investment in advanced broadband access
  • The regional economic partnership between Columbus and Dublin (a former Top7 Intelligent Community)

The ICF also recognized the efforts of the Central Ohio Compact in their efforts to make higher education more affordable and accessible, as well as Rev1Ventures (formerly: TechColumbus) for its efforts in fostering business startups. Mayor Coleman was applauded for his efforts to revitalize East Franklinton. All of these efforts have had measurable payoffs, and Columbus has seen a decade of growth in skilled manufacturing.

The selection of the Top7 Intelligent Cities is a 10-month process that begins with nominations of cities around the world. Those nominations are narrowed down to 21 finalist cities, and to reach the top seven cities, those finalists provide detailed data that is analyzed and scored by an independent research firm.

This year’s theme was “The Revolutionary Community.” I find this to be an apt description of Columbus, and one all business leaders can take direction from. We must be flexible, forward-thinking, and willing to embrace the way technology will impact our future growth and economy. Columbus was recognized for “programs aimed at increasing collaboration among government, education, business and institutions.” Increased collaboration and an effort to improve the entire community (not just the bottom line) is something every business leader should add to his or her agenda. In the end, we all benefit from the effort to be better together.

Columbus is now in the running to be named the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year. The announcement will be made in June at the Intelligent Community Forum’s Annual Summit in Toronto.

Watch the video and learn more about the Top7 Intelligent Communities.

Leadership Series: Community Properties of Ohio and CPO Impact

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by Tom Hastings

CPO ImpactCommunity Properties of Ohio  (CPO) was initially formed to manage the Community Properties Initiative in Franklin County, managing a $100-million budget and endeavoring to rehabilitate neighborhoods and provide affordable housing for low-income residents of Franklin County, giving them the opportunity to acquire housing, become more stable, and contribute to the success of the community.

What Is CPO?

Community Properties of Ohio are the property management affiliate of Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH). Working with OCCH, CPO has led the rehab efforts that provide improved residential opportunities in seven urban neighborhoods around The Ohio State University and Near East Side areas. CPO partners with OCCH in a variety of capacities to ensure affordable housing for Columbus and for Franklin County.

How CPO Benefits Columbus: CPO Impact

CPO works to provide affordable housing, but their mission is to “move residents beyond poverty.” To further their goal, CPO created CPO Impact, a nonprofit foundation established to work in partnership with the United Way of Central Ohio and other foundations.

CPO Impact Corporation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the OCCH and CPO. The primary mission of CPO Impact is to develop initiatives that increase the success of CPO residents. Their key objectives include increasing stability and safety, helping residents move beyond poverty, and providing support for CPO resident children.

Why I Believe in Supporting CPO Impact

Having the safety and security of a home is vital – not just for the people in need but for the entire community as a whole. A community is only as strong as its residents, and one of the ways to strengthen a community is to address the challenges facing the most marginalized members. I urge you to do what you can to support the efforts of the CPO and CPO Impact.

To learn more about how to support CPO Impact, visit