DAYTON — Edison Community College’s new president, Dr. Doreen Larson, took the stage to address the crowd at the second annual Innovation Index Awards at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton on July 23.
The awards, co-hosted by the Dayton Business Journal and Dayton Development Coalition, celebrated nominated teams and companies that made a significant impact on the region’s economy with innovative approaches and solutions.
Edison was the title sponsor of the event which afforded the opportunity for Larson to speak to the room of more than 200 individuals representing a cross-section of diverse industry leaders about Edison’s history, stemming from its namesake, to its unique response to the future of education in the region, as well as its impact on the regional economy.
“Edison reflects the uniqueness of the economy and community culture of the upper Miami Valley,” said Larson. “The agricultural and manufacturing sectors that dominate our economic landscape add diversity to the overall economic portfolio of the greater Miami Valley represented in this room tonight.”
During her address, Larson highlighted the value of Edison’s programs to the regional Dayton economy.
“Edison’s programs contribute to our regional economic health by supporting and growing those businesses that require the large land spaces and natural resources afforded by our rural communities. Our vibrant small towns, convenient main streets and thriving city squares are ideal locations for family businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups,” she said.
Of specific focus within her address was Innovation Academy, Edison’s strategic and large-scale coalition of schools, career centers, employers, families and colleges which coordinates and leverages a myriad of science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (S.T.E.M.) fields and S.T.E.M.-related initiatives to create an “academy without walls.” Dayton Power and Light, who is “Powering Innovation in Education,” joined Edison as a partner in this initiative.
True to the mission of the college, Edison’s Innovation Academy is locally responsive to the needs of education and industry partners. In Shelby County, partnerships have been formed with the Workforce Academy project of Sidney City Schools. In Miami County, curriculum is integrated with the Menlo Park3 program of Piqua, Edison and Upper Valley Career Center. In Darke County, Edison is part of the Partners4Progress.