"We must address income disparity, existing high poverty levels, and the lack of a skilled workforce to fill the jobs of the future."
Future 50 Class of 2020
Vice president of external affairs, strategic initiatives and business development; in-house counsel, COSI
About: Following graduate school, Stephen White, a first-generation college student, was recruited by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to develop public-private partnerships for Columbus, including partnerships that helped to win the Smart Cities Challenge in 2016 and create the Reeb Avenue Center’s Hub of Hope. He also created a funding framework to combat the opioid crisis in Columbus, an accomplishment White says he is most proud of.
White has landed at COSI, where he focuses on building the city’s STEM sector. He led the COSI Science Festival, an event that formed partnerships to help address some of the region’s difficulties, including poverty, workforce and economic development. White is a recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award by Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs.
Outside of work: Columbus Metropolitan Club Board of Trustees, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus Bar Association, Knights of Columbus Leadership Council, the State of Ohio STEM Committee and
What does Columbus need to thrive? “We must address income disparity, existing high poverty levels, and the lack of a skilled workforce to fill the jobs of the future. We must align education to in-demand careers at the collegiate, community college, career technical, nano-degree or certification program levels. We must prepare the pipeline of talent to create a path for the jobs of the future.”
White’s idea: “Future 50 can create a yearlong initiative called “CBUS Mentors: A ColumbUS Social Network of Opportunity” that will rely on public, private and nonprofit engagement. Each Future 50 class member will identify in-demand open jobs in their respective sphere of influence, find multiple education pathways to obtain these jobs and partner with an organization in an economically disadvantaged community, which can provide a mentee for the Future 50 to transform around this career.”Stay up to date with the region’s thriving business scene. Subscribe to Columbus CEO’s weekly newsletter.