Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Column Paused

This column is on a pause.

Please find the archives for the perspective on manufacturing and growth in Ohio.

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All-Ohio Wins Development Race

Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and JP. Nauseef of JobsOhio can take a bow.  2019 saw Ohio rank among the best states for economic development according to the Site Selection magazine annual rankings it call's the Governor's Cup

Ohio pulled off a hard-to-pull-off #1 ranking per capita.  Ohio ranked second overall. 

A deeper review of the data provided in the "2019 Ohio Private Investment Survey" shows the all-Ohio performance was strong and stands out as the reason for the win, again.  Manufacturing's strength stands out as well.

Here's the numbers:

  • 92% of Ohio's manufacturing projects were from Ohio's smaller communities. 
  • 75% of all Ohio projects were from Ohio's less urban counties.
  • 54% of all Ohio projects were from the manufacturing sector.
  • 89% of Ohio's mega projects (> than $50 million investment) were from the 'burbs, including 95% of manufacturing-related mega projects.
There was a trend to be found in 2019--manufacturing surged in the 3C's.  The 2019 actual number of Ohio manufacturing projects was up from 2018 (243 vs. 238) with the increase from the contribution of manufacturers' projects in Ohio's three largest cities.

Conversely, since the overall number of projects was up, that means the smaller communities contributed a higher share of projects diversified from manufacturing.  

The bottom line is two-fold.

Ohio is proven fortunate to have an economy not dependent on it's largest cities to carry the state's economy.  In fact, the smaller areas in Ohio continue to carry a very large share.  There clearly remains reasons to spark investment in all of Ohio.

Manufacturing remains Ohio's biggest strength.  This is no surprise, though some national media reports might cause some to think otherwise.  According to JobsOhio recent annual report, Ohio ranks second in the region for highest location quotient for manufacturing.

Closer to home:  Licking County had 13 projects make the list--double the per capita number that our population would predict.  I'm also proud that five projects on our Port Authority campus made the list in 2019, four of them were manufacturer investments.


More background
This analysis comes from twelve years of reviewing the data that has been used to rank Ohio.  The trends remain consistent in 2019 versus past years.  

Let's start with what makes the list.  Site Selection magazine counts announcements of manufacturing, distribution, headquarters, and R&D projects that meet at least one of three criteria:
  • investment of $1 million or more
  • square footage of 20,000  sq. ft. or more
  • job creation of 20 or more
The 2019 version of the Ohio Private Investment Survey was recently published.  It shares the list of projects Ohio's Development Services Agency used to self-report to Site Selection magazine.  Ohio submitted 449 projects fitting the magazine's criteria.  This analysis is easily reproduced.

Ohio reports 54.1% (243 of the 449) classified as manufacturing projects.  The number of manufacturing projects is up versus 2018.

Ohio's numbers show 92% of manufacturing projects came from outside of Ohio's three largest cities.  The list shows Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati combined for 19 of the 243 manufacturing projects in the state.  This means that the 3C's made a surge with a combined 19 projects in 2019 vs. 7 projects in 2018.  It also means that the smaller cities in Ohio surged in diverse projects not dependent on manufacturing.

Ohio's suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas have sustained an average 94% of manufacturing projects over nine years.  The number has never been lower than 89%.

Nine years of data shows how that pace has played out since 2011 when this analysis was first performed:

2019: 92%
2018: 97%
2017: 94%
2016: 95%
2015: 89%
2014: 95%
2013: 94%
2012: 94%
2011: 94%

Ohio's smaller counties brought 75% of all overall development projects to Ohio.  That's higher than the 72% average over twelve years.

Of the total 449 total projects, 335 occurred outside of Ohio's three largest counties--Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton.  

Twelve years of data show, consistently, that Ohio's success it owed to it's smaller counties.

2019: 75%
2018: 78%
2017: 69%
2016: 66%
2015: 70%
2014: 74%
2013: 72%
2012: 74%
2011: 68%
2010: 71%
2009: 73%
2008: 74%

Ohio's DSA report indicates 27 projects achieved $50 million or more in capital investment in 2019.  Fully 24 of 27 came from outside of the 3C's.  Consider that 20 of these mega projects were in the manufacturing sector and all but one of those were from Ohio's smaller communities.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Goodbye to The Vindy, Like Family

Newsrooms don't look like this anymore.  Soon, this particular newsroom won't exist at all.

This is The Youngstown Vindicator newsroom circa 1953.  My grandfather, Dick Platt, is depicted at the "State Desk" where he served as assistant state editor.

My grandpa worked 43 years with The Vindy.  As a young reporter, he covered the infamous Little Steel Strike in 1937, later telling us kids of bullets buzzing past his ears.  As copy editor, he wrote the headlines for Black Monday in 1977, a sad day for the economy of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.  He retired in 1979 two years after VCTs (computers) confoundedly came to his copy desk.

With 43 years of employment at one place, the history of The Vindicator is family history to the Platt family.

It's been a reservoir of Ohio History.

In less than 60 days, only the history will remain.  The Vindicator will cease to produce a newspaper in August 2019.  After 150 years of print publication, it will stop printing.

I wrote to Bertram de Souza, the editorial page editor whom I met 30 years ago and who recalled stories about my grandfather, "Be proud of all you have done.  Know that what you reported and deterred by the threat of reporting made Youngstown and Ohio a better place."

God bless.