Thursday, September 20, 2018

When Headlines Compete

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Cleveland outpacing Columbus.  The Columbus Business First reports Columbus outpacing Cleveland.

How can both be true?

Each takes a different angle, but there are two things that I observed in reviewing both articles that are consistent:

Manufacturers deserve credit.  Though Business First fails to mention it, a deeper looks shows that higher than expected growth in manufacturing is why both Cleveland and Columbus areas saw growth.

The 'Burbs deserve credit.  Both cities are actually reporting metropolitan data.  I've done the research before.  Last year, 94% of manufacturing projects reported by Site Selection magazine, and consistently each year at a similar pace, are happening outside of the 3C's.  The 3C's should thank the 'burbs (both suburbs and exurbs) for the pace of growth in their respecting metro areas.

Now, we've settled it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Immersive Generation Passing Millennials Soon

My youngest kids are part of the generation some are calling "Generation Z."  I call them the Immersive Generation, because I see my kids demanding experiences that are more immersive than any generation before them.

Bloomberg reports "Gen Z to Outnumber Millennials Within a Year" caught my eye.

That fact, passing the Millennials, won't be quite true in the U.S. for a few more years, but it's noteworthy nonetheless.  It's especially noteworthy since the last of that generation hasn't yet been born and a pretty large recession bit into the population a few years too.

The article doesn't conclude much about what this means except to predict less selfishness and more gadgetry.  I won't comment so much on that.

I'll surmise that we'll hear less about millennials' supposed influence on housing choices (urban vs. suburban) with this next emerging, larger generation.  I also suppose we'll be justified in moving more and more to digital tools.  And immersion.

Immersive digital experiences are what this generation wants.  Take it from their Dad.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Innovation and the New American Heartland has a report out today titled "The American Heartland's Position In the Innovation Economy." It's a deep dive look at innovation potential of the states in the New American Heartland.

It's not all good for Ohio and the middle of the country.

Ohio ranking 26th among states in the technology and science index doesn't cause one to shout from the mountain tops.  The rankings are normalized for population, so middle of the road isn't terrible, it's just not exciting.

There's hope though.  The trends are upward.

When it came to preparing STEM skills and STEM workforce, Ohio stood out.  The report says, "Ohio climbed 12 places from 2014 to 18th overall in technology and science workforce.  Ohio was fourth in material scientists. . .sixth in industrial engineers, seventh in aerospace engineers. . .displaying prowess in key engineering occupations."

The Port Authority's Aerospace Center and the I-70/State Route 79 corridor we sit in reflects that prowess.  Our investments in STEM are worth it.

The report also favorably cites Ohio's pace in growing technology industries, though it didn't cite what those industries exactly where.

The report advocates for STEM skills, not just four-year degrees but associates degrees and career technical education.  My column has been a long advocate for that too and the principal that innovation knows no population density.

It puts relocation tax credits out as a policy move to consider.  I agree.

It's worth a read.