Last week, JobsOhio released its 2019 annual report that also included its 2020 strategic plan. JobsOhio was incorporated as a private nonprofit company in 2011. Its mission is to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio. JobsOhio works with a statewide network of partners (One Columbus, APEG, DDC, REDI, RGP and Team-NEO) to bring economic development across the state of Ohio. As the 21st largest economy in the world, and the seventh largest in the United States, Ohio has a strong and vibrant business climate with a diverse workforce in a variety industry sectors. JobsOhio breaks those industry sectors into nine industry targets with five cross-over sector strategies.
In 2019, JobsOhio saw a total of 306 projects, and if all are realized beyond their potential, Ohio will see an increase of 22,770 new jobs and retention of over 64,000 jobs. The 306 projects will also bring $7B in capital investment to Ohio and new payroll of $1.2B. While the most investment occurred in the shale energy and petrochemical sector, advanced manufacturing saw a $650m increase in capital investment. And, financially, JobsOhio finished the year in a stronger position than the year before.
Included in the 2019 annual report is a high-level five-year strategy (JobsOhio 2.0). This strategy focuses on five challenges/goals. The first is building economic resilience for Ohio. This challenge will be addressed by attempting to bring 10,000 additional federal jobs at the federal and military installations located in Ohio, by adding additional international and domestic air travel routes to Ohio’s airports, and by working with the Office of Broadband to expand and enhance Ohio’s statewide broadband strategy.
The second challenge is to examine the changing landscape of work as it transitions to automated and advanced technology workplaces. For this challenge, the goal is two-fold. One: increase in-demand degrees up to 50% in five years, and two: expand the JobsOhio talent acquisition services program to match the right talent to the right position at the right company. This will be measured by completing up to 60 projects per year over the five years.
The third goal is to make sure there are enough project sites available for immediate development on day one. The Ohio Site Inventory Program wants to have 20-35 authenticated sites ready that will bring up to 20 significant deals to Ohio.
The fourth challenge is the implementation of an inclusive economic development growth strategy. The metric for this challenge is the addition of 6,000 new jobs over the five years in distressed communities across Ohio. Finally, JobsOhio wants Ohio to be the most innovative state in the Midwest. The metric for this goal is a 3x increase in annual computer science degrees, 20% increase in federally funded research and development of two million square feet of state-of-the-art mixed-use real estate.
These are ambitious goals, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce stands ready to partner with JobsOhio and its statewide network of regional partners as they work to fulfill these goals and keep Ohio’s business climate vibrant. Passage of Senate Bill 39, Senate 95 and House Bill 13 would assist with those goals. SB 39 is a tax credit bill that aids the development of transformational use projects. Senate 95 focuses on mega-site development to prepare for job site selection and HB 13 would establish a broadband expansion program.
If you need more information about the annual report or the strategic goals of JobsOhio, please feel free to contact me.