This Can't Wait-We're No. 1!

Mary Yost

There's nothing like a little peer recognition to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. Here's what does it for us this week at Columbus CEO: We brought home eight awards from the 2016 Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards bestowed on Friday by the Press Club of Cleveland. Our top honor was being named the Best Business Publication in Ohio-for the second year in a row! We submitted our July and October 2015 issues for the contest.

Bragging rights go to Columbus for topping the list of America's Best Cities for Mid-Career Professionals in 2016, as recognized last week by Forbes. The inaugural list started with the nation's largest 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and then ranked them based on factors including job growth projections, unemployment, cost of living, median home prices and the percentage of college graduates 25 and older.

And for those just starting their careers, Bloomberg recently named Columbus as fifth on its list of Top 10 Metro Areas for Young College Graduates. That ranking is based on the availability of entry-level jobs for new grads, affordability of rental housing for median-income grads aged 22-30 and the share of residents from 22 to 30 with at least a bachelor's degree.

Such positive indicators could help explain why the May Werth Poll found Ohioans are twice as optimistic about the state's direction compared to national polls. The telephone poll of registered voters showed 53.2 percent see Ohio as moving in the right direction. Four national polls ranked the nation's prevalent direction as wrong by percentages of 62 to 68 percent, with those seeing the nation moving in the right direction reaching just 23 to 30 percent.

Increasingly, Columbus is also becoming a top destination for the arts. In support of that boast is the upcoming exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art, "Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation and Change." It begins Friday and runs through Sept. 11.

A lot of fingers are crossed that Columbus will be named the winner later this month of $50 million in grant funds put up for the US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge. Mayor Andrew Ginther will join mayors of six other finalist cities Thursday afternoon to make a final pitch for the opportunity to create a fully integrated model combining data, technology and creativity for moving people and goods through the area. The mayors' 2 p.m. pitches can be viewed in a live webcast. Good luck, your honor, on winning Columbus this honor!