Ohio is built for 21st century business development


It’s 2017 and our society, economy, and industry have changed. Once considered thoroughly a part of the “Rust Belt,” Ohio has evolved and diversified its workforce. In the early 20th century, Ohio was a titan of manufacturing, mining, and other labor-focused work, a result of a nation working to build and develop its infrastructure while fast becoming a world leader. While those industries remain a crucial part of the foundation of Ohio’s economy, the policies we’ve enacted in the past several years have opened the doors for more technology-related industries and a workforce specifically trained for these jobs, propelling the state into the 21st century.

Just last week, Facebook announced the creation of its 10th data center, which will be located in central Ohio. This center will be one of the most advanced and energy-efficient data centers in the world and will support more than 100 high-paying, full-time jobs upon its completion, not to mention the thousands of jobs provided through its construction.

Facebook is one of the largest, most technologically advanced companies in the world, and its commitment to Ohio shows just how far our state has come. No longer is Silicon Valley in California the only place for technology companies to thrive. We’re home to the 10th most high-tech jobs in the nation, and with lower operational and living costs, our state is becoming increasingly attractive to companies looking to expand.

Ohio has the infrastructure and workforce to support a wide range of advanced industries, from informational technology to advanced engineering and manufacturing to pharmaceutical development. This is true for the entire state, not only our urban hubs.

In recent years, Wilmington and southwestern Ohio have experienced large investments in the area. Through the assistance of a JobsOhio grant, Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) was able to increase work at Wilmington Air Park. This grant helped to fund a customized on-the-job training program, which improves the skills of our workforce and is expected to add at least 100 new jobs at the air park in the coming years.

Alkermes, a biopharmaceutical company, also rededicated itself to the Wilmington community through an expansion of its manufacturing facility. The project is anticipated to add more than 90 new jobs to its team, jobs that pay well and require the technical expertise that has come to be associated with the world we live in today. But what do these developments mean for Wilmington and the rest of Ohio?

First, they add millions of dollars in payroll for Ohioans looking for jobs and consequently impact our economy by millions as well. These investments also demonstrate to other companies the potential that Wilmington and Ohio have to continue to support these industries. We’re open for business, and we have the workforce and infrastructure to sustain them. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come and witness the improvement of our economy because of these kinds of advancements, and Ohio has the capability to take on more.

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By Cliff Rosenberger

Guest Columnist

Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.