Thursday, March 7, 2019

Manufacturers and Suburbs Winning it For Ohio, Again!


Site Selection magazine's coveted Governor's Cup was one state away for Ohio again this year.  For the fifth straight year, Ohio came out in the top of the race among the states for economic development prowess.

Second place is a really good place to be if you can't be number one.

Ohio's good showing is, for longer than five years in a row, the result of manufacturing projects and suburban/exurban projects carrying more than their fair share.   That's clear.

Here's some key metrics from my annual analysis of the "Ohio Private Investment Survey," the tool Ohio's development agency uses to report to Site Selection on projects meeting the magazine's project criteria.

  •  97% of Ohio's manufacturing project wins were from Ohio's 'burbs.  That's an all-time high.
  •  78% of all Ohio projects were from Ohio's less urban counties.  That's also an all-time high.
  • 55% of all Ohio projects were from the manufacturing sector.  That's up again in 2018.
  • 94% of Ohio's mega projects (greater than $50 million) were also from the 'burbs.
  • 100% of Ohio's mega manufacturing projects were from Ohio's smaller communities.

It sure makes the case for why Ohio is fortunate to have a breadth of investment-attracting local communities not dominated by just a handful of higher-profile places.  Policies that strengthen more communities' ability to compete globally are critical to Ohio's future success.


The data makes this point very clearly:  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his Administration, especially JobsOhio, needs to embrace manufacturing as well as embrace suburban, exurban, and rural areas for the key role they play in Ohio's development success.  Winning job-creating projects depends on it.

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More background
This analysis comes from eleven years of reviewing the data that has been used to rank Ohio.  The trends remain 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 2018 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 the magazine.  Ohio submitted 434 projects fitting the magazine's criteria.

Check it out yourself.  This analysis is easily reproduced.

Ohio reports 55% (238 of the 434) classified as manufacturing projects.

The list shows Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati combined for seven of the 238 manufacturing projects in the state.  That means 97.1% came from outside of Ohio's three largest cities--a record.

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

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

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

Ohio's smaller counties brought 78% of all overall development projects to Ohio.  That's up from last year and higher than any of the last 11 years.

Of the total 434 total projects, 338 occurred outside of Ohio's three largest counties--Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton.  That's 77.9% of the overall projects--a record.

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

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 28 projects achieved $50 million or more in capital investment.  One of those was in Columbus, so 27 of 28 came from outside of the 3C's.  14 of these mega projects were in the manufacturing sector.  All 14 were from Ohio's smaller communities.

Bottom Line:  This report shows the reason to care about what happens in all of Ohio and shows that Ohio is more than just three or six places of focus.  The reason to reach the places that have been left behind is because Ohio's success is broad and wide and can be broader and wider.  Let's get better.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Job Talking Points for Thanksgiving Dinner

This is an opinion-editorial piece which ran in Sunday's edition of The Advocate and aimed at tapping that homesickness.  Thanksgiving is a time to promote a "return to Ohio" message.



Record levels of employment. Major new investments. A great economy. Licking County has much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving Day sure seems timely to give thanks.

My kids and I will gather on Thursday to do just that. I'm thankful that I can get them all together, but I know I may not always be able to do that. As they advance through their education, I fear someday that I may see them leave the area for work. That's a fear many parents face already.

It doesn't need to happen. Experience tells us that people who leave often find themselves homesick for Ohio and craving the chance to come back. A job is the number one reason to come back.

2018 is a year when it can happen.

Consider these suggestions for Thanksgiving Dinner table conversation with family from out of town. Will you?

There are well-paying jobs open right now in Central Licking County. Right now.

Boeing in Heath is hiring. There were two jobs on Boeing.com this week for Electrical Design. Engineers of all sorts and manufacturing talent are in demand. Ariel Corporation's Newark plant has jobs open for machinists, heavy equipment mechanics, and equipment maintenance technicians. Covestro and Anomatic are hiring systems analysts and multi-craft maintenance workers.

OhioMeansJobs.com shows over 5,000 jobs posted within 50 miles of Newark with the title "engineer" in them. There are 1,287 jobs open within just 10 miles of Heath.

It's clear that many firms are looking to hire workers, and it's easy to predict that out-of-state returnees would find a welcome mat to a new job at many local companies.

New job opportunities are coming too.

Facebook, Amazon, and Kohls have grabbed the headlines, but there are countless other job-creating projects that haven't become as well known.

For example, three new food manufacturers are in various stages of development on the Port Authority's Aerospace Center campus. Someone who knows how to properly handle food and work with food processing equipment is going to be in demand in 2019 with those firms.

One of those, GB Food, already attracted talent to return to the area. A Granville resident is now heading up the protein food additive ingredient manufacturer's new plant in Heath.

He'll be leading an early 2019 hiring effort. A baby formula manufacturer and plant-based seafood manufacturer are predicted to be doing the same here later in 2019.

You don't have to be out of a job to want to return to Ohio and Licking County.

Ohio Means Jobs Licking County is the area's one-stop place for job seekers. Get to know them.

They can quickly connect job seekers with employers. You don't have to be unemployed to use their very capable services. How about suggesting a stop by their 998 East Main Street office in Newark before heading back?

I'm sharing these thoughts in hopes that your Thanksgiving Day time with family is a joyous one and one filled with conversations that cause those many homesick Ohioans to come back, not just for the holidays, but for a job right here in Licking County.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ford Launches Edgy, Midwestern Themed Ad Campaign



I'm in the wrong demographic for about 99% of TV commercials.  One just got my attention.

Ford launched a campaign of talking vs. doing.  That's up my alley.

They take more than a few shots at so-called tech titans and add a strong dose of Midwest edginess to do it.  Wow.  Midwest and edginess don't normally mix.

The images are as good as the message.  There's a coal worker, a steel furnace, a forging shop, and the Ford Rouge plant that started an industrial revolution in there.

Worth a look.  A couple or more times.

Seems like more than just an ad.  It's a great short story and a metaphor for so many things in my World.