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.

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