Plastics innovation in Ohio: The Silicon Valley of Polymer Science

In Ohio, companies have access to a skilled talent, supportive innovation infrastructure and an end-to-end supply chain that is unrivaled elsewhere in the United States. These assets create a complete ecosystem for plastics manufacturing, making Ohio the premiere state for companies locating and expanding operations. In our recent video, “Ohio: The Number 1 Plastics Producer in the U.S.,” Ohio-based industry leaders tell the story best.

Plastics Video Screen shot

Ohio and the Northeast region have achieved prominence in polymer science similar to the way Silicon Valley cultivated its reputation in computer science. Ohio benefits from a core group of companies that work closely with universities to develop the science and more importantly, a critical mass of knowledge, business endeavors and technical people who provide the talent to drive the industry forward.

An Unrivaled Innovation Infrastructure

This groundwork has resulted in a comprehensive ecosystem drawing more than 1,800 plastic and rubber organizations to Ohio. These organizations employ 68,700 Ohioans and help produce more than $5.5 billion worth of plastics and rubber products in 2014.

“There’s research institutes, government agencies, associations; there really is a great network here. And it makes a lot of sense to be here if you’re in the polymer industry,” says Bernard Rzepka, president and CEO of A. Schulman, Inc., about Northeast Ohio in a recent Crain’s Cleveland Business article.

Through statewide collaboration, private companies and the State of Ohio invest more than $10 billion annually in engineering research and development, helping companies meet the changing demands for plastic and rubber in medical devices, aerospace applications and vehicle manufacturing.

Access the Best Talent, Only in Ohio

Plastic and rubber companies in Ohio can access exceptional talent, helping them maintain their competitive edge. Ohio colleges and universities draw students from across the globe to complete high-value undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“Whenever I’m in Korea, they know about the University of Akron – and it’s the same when I go to China,” says Dr. Eric Amis, dean of University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, in a recent Crain’s Cleveland Business article. “We’re not having any trouble with students getting offers.” Ohio has abundant high-tech employment options for the 10,000 engineers and engineering technicians graduating annually from the state’s colleges and universities.

Private industry and academic partnerships are the backbone of this talent pipeline, and the collaboration reaps rewards for millennials, companies and universities alike. With a low cost of living and more than 400,000 new jobs since 2011, Ohio metropolitan areas are magnets for recent college grads.


Strategic Partners in a Central Location

In Ohio, plastic and rubber companies are in a central U.S. location in close proximity to an end-to-end supply chain offering unmatched strategic opportunities. “When they come to us, customers get more than us” says Tom Brady, founder of Ohio-based Plastic Technologies, Inc. “We can go to a university. We can go to companies that do electronics development, product development and machining.” This helps Plastic Technologies and other Ohio companies create added value for their customers.

The state’s diverse industry strengths are among the many competitive assets found only in Ohio. The assets include:

•More than 600 Automotive OEM Tier 1 establishments.

•More than 500 Aerospace and Aviation supply chain partners.

•3,500 international establishments from 47 countries.

•28 companies on Fortune magazine’s500 list of America’s largest corporations.

•Access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing base within a single’s day drive.

Accelerate Success Today

Alongside these strengths, companies can access a business-savvy economic development partner dedicated to their immediate success and long-term growth. At JobsOhio we help clients:

•Realize the full benefits of locating in the leading U.S. plastic and rubber ecosystem, from site selection to talent acquisition, industry research and customized incentive programs.

•Connect with supplier partners, research facilities and collaborative networks throughout the state to facilitate continued innovation.

•Maximize efficiency and profitably through proximity to comprehensive supply chains and customer markets.

If you are looking to expand your plastics or rubber operations, welcome to the complete ecosystem. Welcome to Ohio. LEARN MORE

14 thoughts on “Plastics innovation in Ohio: The Silicon Valley of Polymer Science

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