Central Ohio Technical College banner ad

Swigert gets opportunity to tell Coshocton’s story

| February 22, 2019

Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Tiffany Swigert (left) had the opportunity to share the Coshocton story in Washington D.C. to an influential group of foreign policy makers. Swigert is pictured with Susan B. Glasser, a staff writer at the New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Trump’s Washington. She was a founding editor of Politico and editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Magazine. Beacon | Contributed

COSHOCTON – Tiffany Swigert, executive director of the Coshocton Port Authority, recently had the opportunity to tell the Coshocton story in front of a group of foreign policy makers in Washington D.C. The trip and opportunity was funded in part by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Marion, Lima, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Coshocton are all highlighted in a publication made possible by The Ohio State University and the aforementioned organization. The report is titled, “U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class; Perspectives from Ohio.” The Coshocton and Marion, Ohio stories are similar with losses of large manufacturers while the larger cities fare much better with defense and government spending.

Swigert had the opportunity to compile a two to three minute presentation and ask questions of these leaders representing countries from around the globe. That presentation is presented below in its entirety as a courtesy of The Beacon. You can also view the video of Swigert presenting the information to the group which included two former White House Chiefs of Staff, Joshua Bolton under George W. Bush and Denis McDonough who served as Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff in the second term.

In particular Swigert talked about the uncompleted Pittsburgh to Columbus corridor – with only 30 percent of this project still needing completion to provide a continuous stretch of 160 miles of four lane highway to connect Ohio’s capital city with Pittsburgh – the project was a main focus of her presentation.

Another key component is the loss of manufacturing plants and the jobs that go along with that. But another factor looms large on the landscape – and that is the oftentimes environmental impact left behind for already struggling communities to deal with in an often chicken or egg situation. To get the site fixed up and shovel ready for a new manufacturer the community must find matching funds to go with a grant.

You can find a link to a video that provides more in depth information about the impact of – and possible need for changes to – U.S. Foreign Policy for the Middle Class at:


The below is a link to the presentations that include Coshocton’s very own Port Authority Executive Director Tiffany Swigert. Swigerts’ presentation on Coshocton is at the one hour and six minute mark.


Below is the word for word presentation made in late 2018 in Washington D.C. by Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Tiffany Swigert.

“Thank you for your time and the opportunity to quickly introduce you to my hometown, Coshocton, Ohio. Coshocton is located 75 miles North East of Columbus and sits between Columbus and Pittsburgh. This report does an excellent job of describing our past struggles regarding the loss of industry in Coshocton, Ohio. I believe that too many times, it is difficult to see past the writing on the paper and truly look at the human impact these decisions have. I could easily detail the thousands of jobs that have been lost to foreign locations, as I have personally experienced this with my husband and my father. However, it is more beneficial to describe the absolute strength and resiliency that my community has due to these struggles thus making us the strongest of manufacturing workforce. Due to the loss of the largest water consumer in Coshocton, West Rock, a corrugated paper company, our residents experienced a 34 percent increase on their water bills as well as suffering from the loss of jobs and increased cost of essential goods. All the while, these companies are permitted to pull out of communities like ours leaving Brownfield sites left to be cleaned up by communities with already strained resources. One would think it is easy enough to locate grant opportunities to redevelop those Brownfields; however local match dollars are always a requirement. We have been advised that if we have an end-user of those sites, then we are much more competitive in the process. Thus presenting us with the Chicken and Egg theory. We would have an end user if the site was shovel ready. I would prefer to highlight our current successes despite the struggle and our hopes for our future growth. As we put our best foot forward in Coshocton to redevelop these sites in an effort to attract new business opportunities with gainful employment, we would ask you to consider truly the best way to assist these communities in an actual rebound. By looking to provide funding for communities hit by those former trade policies in the form of site redevelopment dollars (even for speculative projects) as well as complete projects once started and stalled such as the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor. Only 30 percent of this infrastructure needs completed to provide a continuous 160 mile four lane highway directly from Columbus to Pittsburgh. The timing of this support would be essential to a six county region and would certainly assist in the continued progression of the oil and gas boom and particularly the downstream operations including ethane cracker plants under construction in Pennsylvania and proposed in Ohio.  With the completion of the Columbus to Pittsburgh Corridor, a truly critical piece of infrastructure for the entire region, we can expect increased traffic that would provide and support additional business location and subsequent job creation in the corridor. We have a proven track record of growing companies and providing outstanding return on investment – in the last seven years, $5 billion in private investment in the six-county region has resulted in more than 9,500 jobs created. We’ve done it before, and we will do it again. Additional development dollars will help realize this success more quickly.

What advice can you give to communities like ours that have experienced these great losses and are working so hard to rebound while keeping their communities positive?”

Swigert added, “We plan to continue to use the relationships established during our visit to Washington D.C. to help further assist Coshocton’s progress. We were very grateful for the opportunity to work with The Ohio State University and The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Tags: , ,

Category: Business

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.