EDA Tri-State Data Project
In order to market the Metropolitan Area effectively, and for the area to achieve true economic growth, development efforts must adopt an approach that extends across the waters of the Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers, as state-administered programs typically do not. To date, no comprehensive database has been assembled to include multi-state regional data that can assist planning and marketing the region as a whole.
The absence of such uniform regional data, besides strengthening the barriers to regional collaboration and economic development, often leads to a counterproductive competitive attitude between the three states. The Huntington-Ashland-Ironton Metropolitan Area has proposed the development of a regional economic development plan for the Tri-State area, the first step of which is the completion of a Regional Incentives Study. The three regional universities’ public service/economic research centers have participated in planning meetings to identify the specific areas of emphasis necessary to produce such a comprehensive database of regional incentives. Marshall University has already received funding to produce the West Virginia state data; Ohio University will collect the Ohio state data, and Morehead State University will provide the necessary research and compilation of data for the Kentucky Counties.
Local and state economic development agencies in each state have invited these universities to participate in this project because they possess the resources necessary to ensure thorough, accurate assessment of the area’s economic incentives. The academic research analysis ability of the university partners provides added value to the quality of the data, and to its interpretation. Through this academic analysis, data will be synthesized into a report that thoroughly details the condition of the area’s economic development incentives.
The research team was lead by Michael Hail (Associate Professor of Political Science), Jeremy Hall (Research & Development Coordinator), and Suzanne Robbins (Assistant Professor of Political Science). These MSU faculty, and those at Marshall and Ohio University, developed the data, provided the analysis, and will publish the final study.