State Legislators Get "Wired" at Ohio's E-Commerce Day

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Mar 22, 2001) — 

As part of "E-Commerce Day in Ohio," more than 100 state legislators were presented with "Wired" awards in honor of their adoption of technology. The event was held on March 6 at the Riffe Center in celebration of a joint resolution honoring the efforts of ECom-Ohio by Senator Ron Amstutz (R- Wooster) and Representative Kevin DeWine (R-Fairborn).

Through e-commerce demonstrations by both industry and public sector exhibitors, "E-Commerce Day in Ohio" showed Ohio's legislators the power of e-commerce to transform the state's businesses. Legislators spoke about the positive impact e-commerce can have on traditional Ohio industries and how early adoption can catapult Ohio's economy.

Senator Amstutz said, "We all need to be very interested in applying information technologies to improve Ohio's competitive position. We in the legislature need to understand what inducements or impediments should be addressed by the General Assembly in order to do our part in advancing the ECom-Ohio agenda."

Participating ECom-Ohio Statewide Steering Committee members demonstrated how utilizing e-commerce and the Internet has improved their delivery of services and competitiveness. Statewide Steering Committee members are listed at the end of the release.

In return, legislators indicated their commitment to Ohio's business community to work toward policies that benefit e-commerce, such as improved network infrastructure.

Dewine announced, "Over the next few years, my job in the legislature will be to do everything I can to create an environment so that NCR and the myriad of companies like it in the information technology sector can thrive and compete, creating wealth and jobs for Ohioans throughout the state."

At "E-Commerce Day in Ohio," the audience witnessed the first interactive senate committee meeting, through the use of emerging video conferencing technology over the Internet. Senate Technology Committee members in the Statehouse interacted with participants at the ECom Ohio event at the Riffe Center.

Rod Chu, co-chair of ECom-Ohio, emphasized the need for benchmarks to systematically assess Ohio's readiness for global electronic commerce in order for the state to become a national leader in understanding and building a strong information technology agenda.

"Ohio once again, has the opportunity to be a leader amongst states. We need to leverage our strengths as an entire state to remain competitive in this changing economy," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Rod Chu. "A large part of that equation remains in the hands of the legislature and I'm excited to see so many new members thinking about and embracing technology to be more effective."

"The goal of our legislative event is to help to achieve the mission of ECom Ohio, which is to establish Ohio as a recognized leader in E-commerce applications in business, government, and society," said Pari Sabety, Technology Policy Group director.

ECom-Ohio, a project of OSC's Technology Policy Group (TPG), is currently in its second year of measuring Ohio businesses' and citizens' ability to deploy the new tools of electronic commerce. The ECom-Ohio project is housed at OSC, the state's flagship high performance computing and networking resource. Support for the project comes from the following Ohio companies who provide steering committee leadership:

NCR (Co-Chair)
Ohio Health
Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Reynolds and Reynolds
Exodus Communications
National City Corporation
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
Worthington Industries
Cincinnati Bell
Sterling Commerce