Thursday, April 19, 2018

When a Plan Comes Together

Our local science museum planned a "SciDome" to engage with the Immersive Generation.  It's being done in partnership with Ohio State - Newark.  See my latest piece.

When we visited the Spitz office, I saw an image of one place's dome.  I snapped this picture in their conference room and used it to keep making the pitch locally.

Later, The Works took that vision to a teaser of what was to come.

Here's what it looks like at the 98% of readiness phase and it's taking shape.

It's great when a plan comes together.

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Grass Isn't Always Greener. . .

. . .on the other side.

My youngest kids and I enjoyed Spring Break in a southern destination.

Southern Canada that is.

We visited Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada for a few days to take in the sights and sounds of the gorgeous Falls.

It's easy to think that things are just booming in a place like Niagara Falls when you see cranes up and new buildings being built.

I can't help but take a look at the other side though, literally.

The view from the 35th floor back side of our hotel shows one the "other side" of Niagara Falls.  It's rather a stark contrast to the glitz of the more visible side of the Falls.

Frankly, as a recent report from Joel Kotkin shows, the grass is greener right here in Licking County and Central Ohio, and it's because the basis for our economy is stronger.  We are fortunate that our economy is anchored solidly on a diverse array of "economic base" type industries like manufacturing, laboratory services, machining, food production, bank headquarters, multi-state logistics, and more.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Thank You, Manufacturers and Suburbs!

Ohio gained second place in the race put on every year by the people at Site Selection magazine.  Second place means Ohio trailed only Texas in economic development project announcements in 2017.

It's a race for coveted capital investment and jobs.

Big thanks go to Ohio's manufacturing sector and Ohio's suburban places for this jobs and investment win.  Confirming a trend that has been the case for at least a decade, Ohio's success is owed to the state's suburban and rural areas for giving Ohio an edge.

Manufacturing carried its weight.  53% of the projects Ohio submitted were in manufacturing.  That's up from the past two years.

Suburbs and exurbs were the magnets for big investments to Ohio.  Ohio enjoyed 30 projects with investments over $50 million announced in 2017.  20 of these were manufacturing projects.  Fully 19 of the 20 came from Ohio's smaller cities.  That 95%.

Manufacturing found suburbs and exurbs the place to invest.  It's no surprise that 94% of the manufacturing projects on the list came from outside Ohio's "3C's" of Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.  It's no surprise because since checking this stat for seven years, it's never been below 89% in any given year.

Suburbs can take a bow for Ohio's second place finish.  Ohio's less urban counties combined to bring 69% of the projects.

Clearly, Ohio economic development benefits from the work of all of its counties.  Any policy in Ohio that would aim to harm suburbs' ability to compete globally would harm Ohio's competitiveness overall.

The bottom line policy-wise for 2018 and beyond:  Ohio's next Governor needs to embrace manufacturing as well as embrace suburban and rural areas for the key role they play in Ohio's development success.  Winning depends on it.


More background
This analysis comes from ten years of reviewing the data that has been used to rank Ohio.  The trends are consistent.  

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 2017 version of the Ohio Private Investment Survey was recently published to share the list of projects Ohio's Development Services Agency used to help tip the scales in Ohio's favor.  Ohio submitted 392 projects fitting that criteria.

The list shows Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati combined for 12 of the 206 manufacturing projects in the state.  That means 94% came from outside of Ohio's three largest cities.

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

2017: 94%
2016: 95%
2015: 89%
2014: 95%
2013: 94%
2012: 94%
2011: 94%

Ohio's smaller counties brought 69% of all overall development projects to Ohio, again.

Of the total 392 total projects, 272 occurred outside of Ohio's three largest counties--Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton.  That's 69% of the overall projects.

Ten years of data show, consistently, that Ohio's success it owed to it's less urban counties.

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

Check it out yourself.  The analysis is easily reproduced.