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.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Embrace AI: Adapt to Change and One Will Survive

There's a must-read over at the Beaulieu brothers' ITR Economics website.  Economist Lauren Saidel-Baker writes in a piece titled "Artificial Intelligence and Automation:  Three Reasons Not to Fear the Robots."

I've written on the topic too--"Fear of Machination is Old Fashioned Thinking."

Saidel-Baker hits home the point that there will be change, but that adapting to change is nothing new.  She makes the case for "embracing" artificial intelligence in manufacturing.

The bottom line is right here:  "The number of new jobs created by artificial intelligence may actually exceed the number of jobs eliminated."

Read the whole piece at

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Census: Newark Moves Up The List, Again

Steady population growth is a key to meet growing employer workforce demands.  That's why the recent news on Newark is good news indeed.

The U.S. Census Bureau published the cities data for 2017 estimates on population.  It's being widely reported around the nation today.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer published a database and a list.

A little analysis shows:  There's good news to be found for Ohio cities in this latest release.  There's good news for Newark especially.

Newark, Ohio can boast being Ohio's 16th largest city.  That's up from 20th in 2010 when the last full Census was taken.  Newark's growth rate since 2010 is at 3.9% and only Columbus surpasses that growth rate among cities Newark's size and larger.

Newark remains the second largest city in growing Central Ohio.

Last year, Newark was one of only three Ohio cities in the top 20 that saw an increase.  This year, the news is better for Ohio with 11 of the top 20 cities reporting a growth in population from the originally-reported 2016 census information. *

Here's the Top 20 for 2017:

Congratulations Newark Mayor Jeff Hall on this news.  Celebrate success, again.

* (Note: the Census updates its 2016 numbers so this comparison uses year-to-year data, not updates)