The four-mile corridor from New California to Post Road - known as the Industrial Parkway - has grown from 53 businesses in 2000 to more than 200 in 2008.

The four-mile corridor from New California to Post Road - known as the Industrial Parkway - has grown from 53 businesses in 2000 to more than 200 in 2008.

The Industrial Parkway Association unofficially began in the summer of 2000, when acting on behalf of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, I set up a meeting with business owners Larry Clark (Made From Scratch), Don Grove (The Blind Factory), Glenn Hochstetler (Hochstetler Buildings Inc.) and Dwight Boehler, president of the Plain City Business Association.

A second meeting was held and expanded to include the 53 businesses located on Industrial Parkway at that time. The eight attendees discussed a number of issues and concerns and the group decided to hold monthly meetings. Those meetings were held at The Blind Factory for the first three years, but as attendance increased, they were moved to Made From Scratch to accommodate the larger groups.

In 2002, the Industrial Parkway Association was officially formed and became a division of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. The association now has a nine-member executive committee comprised of officers and those who chair the social, membership, land use, programs and communications committees.

Many improvements have been made to the parkway area over the years as a result of a good working relationship among the parkway businesses, the Jerome Township Trustees, Union County Commissioners, Union County Engineer, Union County Sheriff, Marysville mayor, the city of Dublin and a myriad of other elected and appointed officials.

The goal of the Industrial Parkway Association is to continue to represent the interest of its membership and to be good citizens of Jerome Township and Union County.

As membership in the association has increased, so has the attendance at monthly IPA meetings. Today, attendance averages between 50 and 60 members each month. Clearly, the IPA has become a strong, vital part of the Union County business community.

Bob Whitman is director of memberships and programs with the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Bob Whitman