Clinton County Port Authority: Award-Winning Economic Development

Clinton County Port Authority: Award-Winning Economic Development Main Photo

16 Mar 2022


Clinton County Port Authority saw the sixth annual National Economic Development Week in 2021 as a prime opportunity to recap the impact their office made on the economic development of their thriving Ohio community, even during the pandemic. By the measure of the two awards they won for the campaign, their efforts were an impressive success. 

The Clinton County Port Authority won a Silver Award for its “#EDW2021 in Clinton County” project from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The recognition was awarded in the category of “Innovation in Economic Development Week.” The campaign was also selected as the winner for the Marketing Program (Small Division) category for the Mid-America Economic Development Council’s (MAEDC) 2021 Annual Economic Development Awards.

#EDW2021 in Clinton County

The Clinton County Port Authority’s EDW2021 project encompassed a robust social media campaign, recognition from local and state government representatives, community awareness initiatives, and business education programs. It also included participation in, and promotion of, events by the Port Authority’s Economic Development partners throughout Clinton County.

The Clinton County Port Authority’s partners include the City of Wilmington, Clinton County Board of Commissioners, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, Wilmington Community Improvement Corporation, Main Street Wilmington, Ohio Small Business Development Center at Miami Regionals, and Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce.

“We saw EDW2021 as an opportunity to engage with the public about the role Economic Development plays in a variety of facets of the life of the community,” said Jennifer Klus, Economic Development Director with the Clinton County Port Authority, “work that includes a broad range of activities to attract, create, and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy.”

The campaign was particularly significant as it was the “official” rollout of the Economic Development program, which was preempted by COVID in 2020. A collaborative agreement between the Port Authority, the City of Wilmington, the Clinton County Board of Commissioners, the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Wilmington Community Improvement Corporation had been negotiated in late 2019, with the kick off of the program set to coincide with the hiring of the Economic Development Director in 2020. COVID hit in early 2020 and the Port Authority quickly pivoted its efforts to assist the business community with COVID related resources, programs, and navigating all of the information and mandates that were in effect. 

As a result of that, the Port decided to focus its efforts on EDW2021 as a way to introduce — or reintroduce — the Economic Development program in Clinton County. 

Clinton County Economic Development Highlights

The basis of the award-winning campaign’s significant success was the work it promoted.

  • Clinton County is home to seven foreign-owned companies that employ nearly 3,000 people.
  • In total, there are roughly 880 businesses that employ approximately 19,000 people in Clinton County.
  • CCPA operates and manages Wilmington Air Park: over 1,900 acres surrounding the two-runway, fully functional Part 139 airport. Nearly 3 million square feet of office, warehouse, and hangar space are included in the airport property. 
  • Economic development tools available for business creation and expansion include a Revolving Loan Fund, a Community Reinvestment Area, Tax Increment Financing, and an Enterprise Zone.
  • Tourism is an important pillar of the local economy. Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 2020 agritourism campaign resulted in a significant increase in visitorship for a number of local attractions.
  • Main Street Wilmington works diligently to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Its placemaking efforts like downtown beautification endeavors, and entertainment support campaigns like the DORA, are vital parts of the economic development network in Clinton County.
  • Business attraction and expansion only happen with available properties. The Davids Drive corridor is home to businesses that employ hundreds of local residents, thanks to the real estate development work of the Community Improvement Corporation of Wilmington and its commitment to aiding in job creation and long-term investment in the community.
  • Secure and stable infrastructure that can support a community and allow for expansion is vital to economic development. Clinton County, Ohio leadership understands the need, shares the vision, and supports the work to address water and sewer issues, housing concerns, and the expansion of fiber and broadband. 
  • Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce stays in communication with its members to address the top issues facing the entire business community, including workforce development concerns. It shares open positions in the community through its jobs board and partners with local and state agencies to host career fairs to play an active role in economic development in the community.
  • #ClintonCounty2040, “connecting to the past, cultivating the future,” comprehensive planning surveys were underway during EDW2021 led by the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission. The resulting new comprehensive plan will be released soon. 

Economic Development Awards Clinton CountyIEDC Awards

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Twenty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards were judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.

MAEDC Awards

MAEDC has sponsored the annual Economic Development Awards competition to recognize and stimulate the creative use of quality marketing by economic development organizations throughout the 13-state Mid-America region in promoting their respective communities. The competition is open to all economic development organizations in the MAEDC region.

Clinton County Port Authority

Clinton County Port Authority is the first stop for businesses looking to expand into Clinton County and local businesses looking to grow. Established in 2004, the Port Authority was designated as the economic development organization for Clinton County in 2019 and all county development efforts are now concentrated through it. Contact Jennifer Klus, Economic Development Director for the Port Authority at 937-655-7019 or

Follow the Port Authority on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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