America has long been a worker’s state. With deft hands and hard muscle, skilled workers transformed inventions – from airplanes to automobiles – into products in high demand across the U.S. and around the globe. Manufacturing revenues rippled through the economy to create unparalleled prosperity. As the last century waned, however, it seemed the day of the worker was coming to an end.
Though manufacturing nationwide is recovering from the recession, manufacturing production is expected to hit all-time highs in 2011 and 2012, according to the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.
According to Ball State University’s annual Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, Ohio is one of only two states to earn both an “A” grade in manufacturing and logistics. Indiana also earned an “A” grade in both industries.
The manufacturing rating is based on total income earned by manufacturing employees in a given state, the wage premium received by manufacturing employees relative to those of other states and the per capita share of manufacturing employment. The logistics rating is based on the share of total logistics industry income as a share of total state income and the employment per capita. These data are collected from the U.S. Department of the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Information System and the Center for Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation.
Ohio aims to leverage its strengths in manufacturing and logistics to be known as a global leader that offers manufacturing companies an ideal environment to maximize ROI with industry expertise, a business-friendly climate, a well-educated workforce and a strong supply chain to get products to market.
“As globalization, technology and innovation reshape our economy, some of the greatest opportunities for economic growth in Ohio lie in manufacturing,” said Daniel Berry, president and CEO of the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, a Cleveland-based economic development group aimed at helping manufacturers in Ohio become more competitive and grow.
“We are looking for opportunities to build on the strengths of our industrial heritage that’s highlighted in the Ball State University report by connecting these capabilities with future manufacturing needs in technology-driven growth clusters like materials, advanced energy, materials and aerospace,” Berry added.
The global marketplace and recent recession have forever changed the manufacturing landscape, distributing manufacturing employment into second- and third-world economies. Despite these changes and resulting challenges, Ohio’s strength in “making things” means that manufacturing will remain a key element of Ohio’s economy.
According to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, manufacturing is the largest of the 20 sectors of Ohio’s economy with 17.8 percent of total output in 2008. Manufacturing leads Ohio’s private sector industry in job creation, with more than 14 percent of all Ohio workers are employed in manufacturing. More than half of all manufacturing jobs in Ohio are in high demand industries, such as transportation equipment, plastics and rubber and food.
From the processing of raw materials to the creation of finely tuned products, Ohioans serve as the world’s experts in the manufacturing sector. “In Ohio, we have brilliance in all kinds of materials that support manufacturing from manufacturing and process technologies to process know-how,” said Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. “Ohio has all the components that make up an advanced industrial economy.”
Ohio’s world-class logistics capabilities help manufacturing companies reduce operating costs by getting components and finished goods quickly to their destination anywhere in the U.S. or around the globe. Ohio’s extensive logistics management network supports the state’s 21,250 manufacturing companies with multi-modal and inter-modal networks allowing efficient import and export of products–180 public airports, eight interstate highways, 36 freight railroads and 25 waterfront ports.
A strategic location also plays an important role; the state is within 600 miles of 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian population and is within a one-day drive of 70 percent of North America’s manufacturing capacity.
Strategic investments and tax reforms enable Ohio companies to compete – and win – in the 21st century global economy. In fact, businesses incur only a flat $150 fee on out-of-state sales of up to $1 million. A recent report by the Quantitative Economics and Statistics Practices (QUEST) of Ernst & Young in conjunction with the Council On State Taxation (COST), ranks Ohio as third in the nation for friendliest tax environment. Companies continue to discover the benefits of investing in Ohio, finding a preferred location for capital investment, a competitive business environment and a perfect balance between business pursuits and personal aspirations.
“Ohio’s ongoing efforts to reform and improve the state tax structure, as well as our loyal workforce and excellent support from the state and the local community keep Lincoln Electric growing in Ohio,” said John M. Stropki, chairman and chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of welding systems and equipment headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Ohio’s success is not solely dependent on the strength of its business advantages. It’s about Ohio’s promise of work-life balance,” said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. “Low-cost, low-stress communities and short commutes create the State of Perfect Balance, where you can achieve both professional and personal success without sacrificing one for the other.”
About the Ohio Business Development Coalition
The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio’s economic development efforts. For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.