Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dispeling the Myth: Manufacturing Remains Important to Ohio

It's past time we dispel the myth.  Manufacturing remains important to Ohio, and it will remain so in Ohio's future.

I've used this slide with business prospects to drive home the fact that manufacturing has been and remains an important part of the economy in Central Ohio.  Fully 12% of the labor force is manufacturing oriented.  That percentage would be higher if you dropped out Franklin County where only 7.5% of the labor market is manufacturing-based.

Our future has signs of brightness too.

In his book The Next Hundred Million:  America in 2050, Joel Kotkin says, "Manufacturing's role in promoting job and economic growth is often understated.  Although manufacturing employment overall has dropped, the percentage of higher-wage, skilled industrial jobs has been climbing over the last two decades."

He's talking about advanced manufacturing employing manufacturing-certified technicians.

Kotkin, who joins in predicting 100 million new Americans in the next forty years, cautions against policies that take the focus away from a production economy, adding, "A single-minded emphasis on nontangible industries is a dangerous delusion, particularly for a country that must accommodate one hundred million more people over the next few decades."

We have the sites.  We have the skilled, manufacturing-workers.  We must keep our policy focus on manufacturing in Ohio.

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