DALLAS (WDTN) – Leaders from Dayton and Cincinnati are in Texas this week to bring back ideas for here in Ohio. They’re looking at how two cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, collaborate with each other.

This is the first time both Dayton and Cincinnati leaders have made the “City2City Leadership Exchange” trip together, which is hosted each year by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Our business leadership, some of our local government leaders are here and having this conversation about how we work to get better together as the community is amazing,” Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chris Kershner said.

Kershner said Dayton is seeing growth with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, three hospital systems and development along the I-70 and I-75 corridor. Cincinnati is home to more people and more fortune 500 companies.

Kershner said the unique qualities between both cities should be leveraged, so they’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to learn how it’s done there.

“How a smaller community in Fort Worth leverages a larger community in Dallas, and vice versa,” Kershner said. “How Dallas leverages Fort Worth. But we’re also talking about challenges they have between the two communities.”

This trip is not about merging the two cities, but about building a stronger connection between both metropolitan areas.

“It doesn’t mean that we can’t work more together, it doesn’t mean that we have employees coming from Cincinnati up to work in Dayton, and you have employees in Dayton going down to work for Cincinnati,” Kershner said. “That’s happening no matter what.”

Dayton Development Coalition Executive Vice President of Regional Development Julie Sullivan said one reason a merger wouldn’t work is because Dayton and Cincinnati still have unique economies and populations.

“While these two communities, Dayton and Cincinnati, are both along that I-75 corridor, there’s ease of interaction between the two, they really are not merged,” Sullivan said.

However, Sullivan said there are benefits to collaboration between the cities, especially in growing Dayton’s workforce.

“If you think about the commutability between the two companies in the state and region can draw on a pretty significant pool of experienced workers, not only in Dayton, but also in Cincinnati and Columbus,” Sullivan said.

Kershner said the main goal over the next three days in Texas is to learn, network and build a stronger connection between Dayton and Cincinnati.

“They’re doing some great things and we’re doing some really great things in Dayton,” Kershner said. “I want to make sure we’re bringing those together and we’re working together so we can advance as a collective.”