Cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile device ubiquity are not just buzz words and acronyms – they are earth-shaking changes in technical capability that enable companies to operate and delight their customers in ways they could not before. While startup technology companies often win headlines, what this digital shift really means is that nearly every company today is a “tech company.”

Whether offering digital products and services, improving internal and customer efficiencies, or shifting to entirely new digital markets, to remain competitive and grow, every company must innovate and transform how they do business. 

In Ohio, our workforce, businesses, academic institutions, and medical and health systems are on the cutting edge of this digital shift. To get there, many are embracing the startup ethos of agility and innovation, creating partnerships, innovation hubs and labs that bring together multiple stakeholders with the ability to think beyond company lines, introducing and spawning new breakthrough ideas across industries.

And whether in industry or academia, those breakthroughs are happening at new and interesting spaces all around the state:

AEP’s Kyte Works

A wholly owned subsidiary of AEP, this innovation lab allows AEP to operate like a startup, creating new energy solutions and quickly validating them for market. Operating out of the Columbus Idea Foundry, Kyte Works allows different disciplines within AEP to come together to forge new, real-world business solutions. 

Bounce Innovation Hub

Located in downtown Akron in the former BFGoodrich plant and opened in early 2018, Bounce serves as an incubator, accelerator and mentoring program, with more than 50 organizations in the building. Bounce accounts for more than 200 people working and creating in 300,000 square feet of office, lab and light manufacturing space.

Fuse by Cardinal Health

The Fortune 15 health solution provider’s innovation lab focuses on rapid design and prototyping to deliver technology-based, “human-centered” solutions that also meet business needs. Located just over a mile from company headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, the Fuse team works to create solutions that could have the biggest impact in a changing healthcare landscape.

Cleveland Clinic Innovations and Ventures

As the commercialization lab for Cleveland Clinic, Innovations helps turn the medical center’s breakthroughs, from medical devices and healthcare IT to therapeutics and diagnostics, into real-world solutions. Meanwhile, Ventures invests in emerging healthcare companies to deliver financial returns to the clinic’s foundation. That’s resulted in some 1,200 awarded patents, more than 500 licensing agreements as well as more than 80 spin-offs.

Plug and Play Cleveland

Plug and Play is the world’s largest innovation platform, investing in and accelerating startups. Moreover, they connect these startups with Plug and Play’s corporate partners to solve some of their greatest challenges, while investing in these new technologies. Cleveland is one of just three locations in North America and is focused on healthcare technology innovation.

The Point, JPMorgan Chase and Otterbein University

In September 2018, Chase announced plans, with support from JobsOhio, for a fintech R&D hub at Otterbein’s The Point in Westerville, Ohio. The new hub has three distinct innovations that combining teams made up of Chase employees and Otterbein students, with projects including robotics, software development, financial technology, IoT cybersecurity and data analytics.

The 1819 Innovation Hub – University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati’s foray into corporate innovation has already drawn partners and investors like Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Cincinnati Bell and CincyTech. The lab and makerspace, which opened in October, provide a place for industry and business to work directly with students and faculty on their business and technical problems.

Wendy’s 90° Labs

In 2015, Wendy’s opened this dedicated lab that can house nearly 90 employees to explore forward-looking technologies to meet changing business needs. In particular, the fast-food chain is exploring consumer-facing opportunities such as mobile ordering, pay and other digital experiences like in-store kiosks – which are appearing in stores now – for taking orders and payment.

State Innovation Investment

Ohio is also home to an Entrepreneurial Service Provider (ESP) Program, establishing a network of labs and innovation spaces across the state to help startups grow, attract investment capital and create jobs in Ohio.

Powered by Ohio Third Frontier, which has invested some $1.5 billion in the program, ESP, like Rev1 Ventures in Columbus, CincyTech in Cincinnati, NextTech Ohio in Toledo and JumpStart Inc. in Cleveland, gives startups and technology-based entrepreneurs a single resource for technical and business support, as well as access to funding and capital. ESP has sparked dozens of successful startups across the state.

These are but a few examples of the culture of digital innovation occurring in Ohio. And ecosystems like these will continue to push Ohio to the forefront of IT and digital development, leading to new businesses and solutions for both customers and business.

In early October, I attended a demonstration of Honda’s new “smart intersection” technology in Marysville, Ohio. I’ve been involved in the auto industry for many years, and while I’m aware of the advancements taking place with autonomous and connected vehicles, Honda’s technology and how it will improve safety at intersections continues to impress me.

Honda partnered with Marysville to install the technology at one of the city’s busiest intersections. Four cameras are mounted above four traffic signals on each corner of the intersection, capturing live video of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Honda’s proprietary object recognition software then processes that information and analyzes it for threats, such as approaching emergency vehicles, cars running a red light or people stepping into the street. If necessary, the system alerts drivers who have onboard units in their cars using an audio and visual warning projected on a small screen on the windshield.

This pilot program between Honda and Marysville is just one example of smart technology projects in Ohio. Let me explain why they’re happening here. For quite a while, we’ve been touting the fact that Ohio has an unparalleled combination of assets and resources that make it an ideal location for researching, testing and deploying connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. But I think something that makes Ohio particularly attractive for companies involved in this sector is the ease at which they can partner with local communities, state government, academic institutions, research centers and even other companies.

In looking at the Honda and Marysville partnership, Honda came up with the smart intersection technology, but it needed a community where it could research the technology. Marysville, home to Honda’s manufacturing plant, R&D center and thousands of employees, offered a real-world environment and was a logical choice.

The 33 Smart Mobility Corridor is another good example showing the value of partnerships. The cities of Dublin and Marysville and Union County collaborated with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to install fiber-optic cable and dedicated short-range communications along a 35-mile stretch of U.S. 33. The Ohio State University and the Transportation Research Center (TRC) got involved in the effort and helped turn that part of U.S. 33 into a route for public and private entities wanting to test connected vehicle technologies.

TRC, the largest independent automotive proving ground in North America, has long partnered with OEMs, government entities and manufacturers from around the world on research and development activities. When it’s finished, the TRC’s Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center – which itself is a project supported by multiple partners (ODOT, JobsOhio, the state of Ohio and the Ohio State University) – will serve as a one-stop facility where auto manufacturers and suppliers can safely test autonomous vehicles and related technologies before they’re used on city streets and highways.

In May, Gov. Kasich signed an executive order authorizing autonomous vehicle testing in Ohio, reinforcing the state’s commitment to automotive and technology companies that are working on these next-generation technologies. The executive order also created a voluntary “Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program” with the specific purpose of linking companies with local governments willing to partner and provide testing locations.

So, if our weather, geographic assets, research organizations, testing facilities, IT talent and existing “smart” projects aren’t enough, now we have the added benefit of public-private partnerships. These partnerships give companies one more reason to consider Ohio when they’re looking for that perfect location to research, test, and deploy connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ohio’s smart mobility assets, give me a call at 614.300.1159 or send me an email.

Photo by Fred Squillante, courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch as featured in Megan Henry’s story on found here

Food is a social unifier and an important part of our daily life. Some of our fondest memories are tied to the foods we eat. Today, consumers want food that is healthy, convenient and flavorful. This unique mix of freshness and taste is challenging the food industry to innovate.

Food processing companies are focusing on making their ingredients safer, tastier and more satisfying. While some companies struggle to navigate this shift, Ohio’s food processing and food flavoring companies as well as other food entities are rising to meet this new expectation for high-quality foods and beverages.

Food processing companies are focusing on making their ingredients safer, tastier and more satisfying. While some companies struggle to navigate this shift, Ohio’s food processing and food flavoring companies as well as other food entities are rising to meet this new expectation for high-quality foods and beverages.

Food and Agribusiness in Ohio

At its core, Ohio is a strong food and agribusiness state. Food and agribusiness is the largest industry in Ohio, with hundreds of companies that cultivate, process, package, distribute and market food and drinks. Ohio provides the perfect environment for companies because it has plenty of natural resources such as abundant land and fresh water; commodities such as soybeans and dairy; processing, packaging and distribution facilities; a multifaceted infrastructure; and a common-sense regulatory climate that fosters efficiency. From farm to table, Ohio guarantees food freshness and quality.

When the world hears “Ohio is a food test market,” people aren’t surprised. In fact, this is a well-known claim supported by years of testing carried out by companies in state and out of state. Ohio’s population is diverse and plentiful, and food companies crave the input of this market.

Kroger, Bob Evans, Abbott Nutrition, Smucker’s and Wendy’s are all headquartered in Ohio. Daisy, General Mills, Heinz, Campbell’s and Nestlé have significant operations in the state. These companies will often test in their neighboring communities to save on cost. Why go anywhere else when the perfect food testing market is in your backyard?

In the mid-1800s, Cincinnati was big in pork, which is why it received the nickname “Porkopolis.” As the years went on, this reputation was fed by companies like Kroger and Procter & Gamble. The Cincinnati region continues to grow, as the critical mass of food companies in the area allows global companies to source from just one area and enables regional companies to share knowledge and skills. When you have a proven concentration of industry resources, like Cincinnati has for food (or Silicon Valley has for tech), the demand attracts more companies that want to take advantage of this specialized environment.

Home to the Second Largest Hub for Flavoring in the U.S.

Ohio’s food industry also benefits from Ohio’s reputation for food flavoring. Many food flavoring companies are located in Southwest Ohio. In fact, the Cincinnati region is known as the second largest food flavoring hub in the U.S. Some of the world’s largest leaders in the industry, such as Givaudan, MANE, Frutarom and WILD Flavors, all have major operations in the Cincinnati region. As a result, Cincinnati has built an environment with programs, resources and improved processes that support food flavoring companies and open the door to pursue new trends.

Innovating and Growing Quickly

Sometimes, even the best flavors need to improve to accommodate consumer preferences. For food companies pursuing improvements, Ohio has many resources to help them innovate and create new products. These resources include:

Your Future in Food and Flavoring

Every day, consumers are scrutinizing the ingredients in the food they’re buying. They’re picking up products and putting them back on the shelves because the food is unhealthy. In Ohio, your products can stay fresh and you can stay innovative. There’s a reason food companies are adamant about investing in Ohio. Its consumers represent a microcosm of America, and its resources can help you achieve a profit here and anywhere. Thanks to the right ingredients, Ohio provides an extra kick to the world’s food and flavoring industry.

Interested in learning more? We’d love to talk to you! Contact me or Joe Needham for more on Ohio’s food and flavoring opportunities.

Andrea Enders
Andrea Enders
Manager, Business Development and Project Management, REDI Cincinnati

For generations, Ohio has collaborated with private industry to advance the aerospace and aviation sector. The state’s innovation infrastructure enables companies to take full advantage of the latest in technology to develop new products and processes. With NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, and a robust cluster of research universities and private institutes, Ohio provides the innovation support and the talent to ensure a company’s success. Today, more than 590 aerospace companies, consisting of prime contractors, systems and component suppliers, and maintenance, repair and overhaul service providers, contribute to, and rely on, Ohio’s innovation infrastructure.

Dedienne Aerospace is an international company specializing in aircraft tooling and ground support equipment for the civil and defense markets. With its U.S. headquarters in Miami, Florida, Dedienne recognized a need to be closer to Midwest aerospace companies. The new location would mark a milestone for Dedienne as it would become the company’s first U.S. expansion outside of Florida.

The company came to Ohio to meet with some of its in-state partners and with REDI Cincinnati, the regional economic development organization, to learn more about Ohio’s aerospace industry. REDI brought in representatives from JobsOhio and Clermont County to meet with company officials and learn more about Dedienne’s project needs and its interest in the region.

Dedienne was thrilled by the growth possibilities available by investing in Ohio. The company executives were also very pleased with the Ohio team’s fast and thorough responses to their requests. Not only could Dedienne achieve its goal of being close to Ohio’s aerospace assets, but it also could be close to many other aerospace companies, attract skilled workers, and have easy airline access to major U.S. cities.

The high number of major aerospace and aviation customers and suppliers across Ohio was particularly enticing to Dedienne, helping them to see the potential for new customers and additional growth opportunities. Companies such as Parker, Safran, Arconic, Honeywell, Eaton and UTC Aerospace Systems are all successfully established in Ohio.

Dedienne continues to experience growth in Ohio by gaining access to new markets, available skilled talent and leveraging an established aerospace supply chain.

To learn more about exciting aerospace and aviation opportunities in Ohio, contact me or Glenn Richardson, managing director of aerospace and aviation.

The insurance industry is undergoing a major transformation, and Ohio is leading the revolution. Sifting through policy paperwork will soon be a thing of the past as millennials, who now outnumber baby boomers, begin to seek and find personalized insurance information in new and innovative ways. Emerging technologies — such as big data, wearable devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain — are changing consumer expectations and preferences and forcing the insurance industry to change with them.

The use of technology in insurance, simply known as insurtech, is exploding across the globe, with an increasing number of insurance startups choosing to launch and grow their companies in Ohio.

Insurtech Thriving in Ohio

Root Insurance is one of those innovators. Established less than three years ago in Columbus, this rapidly growing insurtech disruptor just announced plans to add more than 450 new full-time jobs and expand to a 65,000-square-foot office. Root developed a first-of-its-kind mobile app that uses smartphone technology and data science to understand actual driving behavior. This gives the company a unique ability to insure drivers based on more than just their demographics, offering safe drivers steep discounts. Since launching, Root has been licensed to offer insurance in 16 states and plans to offer it nationwide by the end of 2019.

A former insurance agent started Bold Penguin, an Ohio-based insurtech company that offers an online tool to help insurance agents quickly find and write more commercial insurance policies. The startup has already grown to 60 employees since the beginning of 2017 with additional growth expected this year.

Elafris, headquartered in San Francisco, recently announced the expansion of its offices to Columbus. Elafris, the creator of advanced AI technology products, developed a virtual insurance agent that links insurers and consumers via messenger applications (Facebook Messenger, Alexa, etc.). The company then uses customer interactions to identify the right insurance coverage and allows customers to process insurance claims through their smartphone or home device.

Why Ohio Attracts Insurtech Companies

What is it about Ohio that attracts insurtech startups? Besides the obvious fact that Ohio is a financial services mecca for top U.S. bank and insurance company headquarters, it comes down to three major reasons: talent, a collaborative financial services environment and a cost advantage.

Root’s CEO attributed the company’s growth to the strong digital-savvy talent found in Columbus. Ohio universities produce 32,000 college graduates annually, including innovation leaders in banking, insurance and financial services. Ohio’s major metropolitans – Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland – are continually attracting millennial talent.

Ohio also boasts a collaborative financial services sector. Industry leaders like Grange and Nationwide partner with startups to help them succeed, and companies of all sizes work together to come up with innovations that strengthen not just their own operations, but the industry overall. Ohio’s recently passed legislation on blockchain technology development and its digital banking laws are examples of how state government also takes a partnership versus policy mentality with the financial services industry.

Finally, Ohio offers incredible opportunity at a significant cost advantage. With one quarter the cost of New York City wages as well as rent, it’s no wonder so many insurtech companies are choosing Ohio. By reducing the cost of doing business, companies can channel new-found resources into innovation.

Luckily, more and more traditional financial services firms recognize that change is an opportunity, not a restraint, and are willing to invest in the new talent, technology and ideas that will transform this industry.

Ohio has always been home to invention. Whether it’s being the birthplace of flight, the traffic signal, the light bulb or Teflon, Ohio has invariably had pioneers driving the research, development and commercialization of new methods and products to improve what is and discover what is yet to be. Through the passion, dedication and hard work of the people in Ohio, innovation has been happening for generations and JobsOhio is facilitating its continuation. JobsOhio’s Research & Development (R&D) Center Grant program helps established companies explore and commercialize new ideas.

The funding is not a tax credit, and companies have no expense on their part – other than investing in Ohio. The R&D Center Grant is just that – a grant. Companies receive this money specifically to facilitate R&D that will generate a return on investment for them, Ohio and the future of the specified industry.

The reality is, not every company has the means nor the capacity for R&D. That’s limiting a lot of brilliant minds and ideas. When JobsOhio implemented the R&D Center Grant in mid-2016, we wanted to give these companies an opportunity to turn their visions into real breakthroughs.

Since 2016, eight companies have announced new R&D Centers with the support of a JobsOhio R&D grant, all of which operate in at least one of JobOhio’s nine industries and show promising return on investment for Ohio, among other qualifications.

To help you determine if you qualify for the grant, please review the following criteria.

  • Are you in Ohio or do you intend to invest in Ohio?
  • Have you been operating for at least 5 years?
  • Do you have an annual revenue of at least $10 million?
  • Are you operating in one of the following industries? Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, Automotive, Energy and Chemicals, Financial Services, Food and Agribusiness, Information Technology (IT), or Logistics and Distribution.
  • Will your center represent at least $3 million in new cash investment by your company?
  • Do you anticipate your R&D center will create at least five new jobs over five years?
  • Do you anticipate carrying out R&D operations in Ohio for at least 10 years?

If you have questions or want to apply, contact us to learn more. We look forward to potentially working with you.

In today’s cyber age, businesses and organizations of all sizes face a unique and dynamic threat. Cyberattacks and data breaches continue to grow in number and scale, and highly sophisticated criminals are constantly evolving attack methods, which can have immediate, widespread impact.

In unison with Ohio’s strides toward becoming a national hub for technology advancement, the state is also at the forefront of education and training for the cybersecurity workforce of the future. And there is no shortage in demand; CyberSeek reports that Ohio alone has nearly 7,000 high-paying cybersecurity job openings, and the nation has more than 300,000 open jobs in the field.

Through state-sponsored initiatives, educational institutions and tech-centered businesses, Ohio is seeing a growing and cooperative effort to engage today’s tech-savvy youth, raise awareness of cyber defense challenges and solve the increasing talent shortage.

Ohio hosts 45 higher education institutions with cybersecurity programs, including six designated as National Security Agency (NSA) Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs). The University of Cincinnati and Cedarville University also make up two of only 20 universities in the country designated as CAEs in Cyber Operations by the NSA. And Ohio’s list of cybersecurity education programs continues to grow.

In March 2018, Franklin University, a leader in educating working adults, announced the development of its new Center for Public Safety & Cybersecurity Education, a state-of-the-art center which will help to address the increasing number of cyber related incidents through high-tech degree programs and training opportunities.

True to the nature of high-tech cyber defense, there are also a growing number of interactive and virtual educational opportunities available to those interested in the career path.

The Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee (OC3), a group formed by the Ohio National Guard following a request from Gov. John Kasich, was formed in February 2017 and has grown to more than 200 public, private, military and educational organizations around the state. The group’s focus is to increase the number of students who pursue careers in cybersecurity through collaborative and innovative education and training.

As one of OC3’s first initiatives, the Ohio National Guard tested a virtual “Capture the Flag” event at Columbus State Community College in December 2017. The hands-on hacking competition pinned teams of high school and college students against each other with the goal of cracking cyber defenses to capture virtual flags, while simultaneously defending their own computers from attackers. More than 60 participants took part in the inaugural competition, and the Ohio National Guard has expanded the initiative across the state, with competitions at many colleges and high schools in the first half of 2018 including Cleveland State University, Ohio University-Chillicothe, and Findlay and Westerville City Schools.

In May 2018, OC3 and the University of Cincinnati opened the first Ohio Cyber Range, a virtual safe space created using computer servers, which will act as a training ground for students to demonstrate skills to protect businesses and government organizations from cyber threats. The cyber range joins only a few others in the country, and OC3 expects to add four more in Ohio by mid-2019.

The Columbus Collaboratory is another example of industry-leading cyber collaboration. Founded in 2014 by seven central Ohio-based industry leaders, the company serves the tech community in the ways of workforce and talent development through a one-of-a-kind cyber rotational program, where participants learn and work with the cybersecurity and advanced analytics functions for each of the seven founding companies and gain a unique perspective of industry-specific challenges and solutions.

These cooperative efforts to build Ohio’s cyber pipeline span across the state. Through the Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor, educators are provided with resources to better prepare students for cyber careers, employers receive access to high-quality cybersecurity professionals to strengthen current and future cyber workforces, and students get valuable opportunities to explore careers and learn the skills needed to succeed in cybersecurity. There’s also the Northeast Ohio CyberConsortium, made up of large corporations, healthcare systems, academic institutions, and civic and government organizations. The CyberConsortium aims to build a community of Northeast Ohio cybersecurity professionals, develop programming and university-industry collaborations to address regional talent needs and tackle challenges for member companies through threat-sharing and analysis platforms and systems.

As society becomes increasingly devoted to the digital arena, there is no question that cybersecurity professionals will be crucial to our privacy and public safety. Catching up with cybercriminals and the shortage of defenders will be an ongoing effort, but thanks to a focus on exciting and interactive educational opportunities across the state helping to attract young professionals to technology roles, the outlook is bright and hopefully secure for Ohio’s businesses, residents and customers.

Making a new investment is no small undertaking, especially in a new country. Investing in the United States is complex as there are 50 states with different laws, tax codes, industries, infrastructures, cultures and climates that can be difficult to understand and compare. When multiple states, several regions and an even greater number of local communities compete for your investment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

And while there’s no perfect solution, there is a best solution for you. What you need is a guide to assist you through the site location process, one that ensures your needs are genuinely heard and helps you make the right choice – even if the right choice isn’t in our state, region or community. This is JobsOhio.


JobsOhio takes a client-centered approach to serving international businesses, from mid-market companies to multinational corporations, that simplifies your decision-making process. Throughout the entire investment process, JobsOhio partners with companies like yours to ensure a positive experience. Our expertise and client-first approach turn the overwhelming into the possible.

JobsOhio and our six regional partners build relationships with companies during the site location and investment process. We get to know you, your company, your culture and your specific business needs. Our experts help you identify the assets that establish Ohio as the right location for your business. We connect you with local organizations, entities and resources that directly manage the community you will call home. We strive to become your trusted advisors for your weighty decisions.

But what we do doesn’t stop there. This network of state, regional and local organizations is available as a resource to you as you grow. If you are considering expanding, for example, we can help you with either expanding a current location or finding a new one. Our partnership with you is long term.

JobsOhio is a one-stop shop for your business expansion and investment needs. If you’re interested in working with other Ohio companies, institutions and organizations, we will connect you to them. Whether you’re looking to develop a relationship with a local university, launch an R&D initiative or inquire about other services from other Ohio entities, we make the introduction and work with to facilitate the goal you have in mind.

Peer Insight

Our in-house team of industry experts oversees investment projects in JobsOhio’s nine targeted industries. As former business executives in their respective industries, they understand corporate decision-making, are steeped in industry knowledge and remain well-connected to industry-specific resources throughout Ohio.

Investment Programs and Services for You

JobsOhio and our partners and colleagues in Ohio collaborate on programs and services that address your needs. As a company considers Ohio, JobsOhio strengthens the relationship by:

  • offering site selection assistance.
  • helping with talent acquisition.
  • navigating taxes and regulations.
  • finding trusted service providers such as attorneys, bankers and accountants.
  • making introductions to potential resources, including trade associations, workforce development programs and nearby universities.

Funding to Help Make the Jump

JobsOhio offers performance-based incentives like loans and grants for companies that are relocating or expanding operations in Ohio. Driven by the needs of the clients, loans and grants are available for different purposes, from R&D centers and workforce training to site and infrastructure improvements.

Because JobsOhio has a private source of funding, it has the flexibility to offer grants and loans customized to fit a company’s needs. JobsOhio can offer grants to train workers and to offset the costs of capital investments. In terms of financing, it provides capital to companies that have limited access to capital in private markets and supplements projects financed by other lenders when a funding gap exists. It can also offer funding at different stages of a project or when specific milestones are met.

Getting Started

When an international company reaches out to JobsOhio, our worldwide sales team engages with your company, ensuring that time zones, distance and language don’t inhibit the ability communicate with potential customers in other countries. With JobsOhio’s help, the message that Ohio is a great place to do business reaches the worldwide market 24 hours a day.

FDI in Ohio

More than 3,700 foreign establishments from 49 countries have investments in Ohio. Continued visits from foreign business federations like Keidanren reinforce that Ohio is valuable to international investments because of client-first business practices.

Above all else, know that JobsOhio and our partners will help support you throughout your investment. We are your one-stop shop for investing in Ohio. Our end goal is not the transaction, but the relationship. If Ohio is not the best choice for you, we will tell you. We want you to succeed and hope you’ll look to Ohio again for an expansion in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ohio or would like to talk, let's get the conversation started.

Every few months, it seems another company has announced plans to build or expand a distribution or fulfillment center in Ohio.

First it was Macy’s, then Amazon and now Dollar Tree.

Macy’s announced plans in late April to open a distribution center in Columbus dedicated to its new specialty store, Macy’s Backstage. The $14.9 million project will bring more than 400 jobs to the region.

Amazon, meanwhile, announced this month that it will open its sixth Ohio fulfillment center in West Jefferson. The facility, which is scheduled to open by the end of 2019, will create more than 1,500 full-time positions. Amazon has two fulfillment centers in central Ohio and three more in the works – two in northeastern Ohio and one near Cincinnati.

Most recently, Dollar Tree, North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores, announced plans for a $125 million distribution center in Morrow County that will employ 400 people.

Macy’s, Amazon and Dollar Tree join companies like Home Depot, Hayneedle, zulily, Restoration Hardware and McLane Co., which already have significant distribution operations in Ohio. Why do these companies want to put their distribution facilities here, in Ohio? Because Ohio makes it easy to move goods where they need to go.

E-commerce continues to grow, and retailers want to move closer to dense population centers where most of their customers live. Ohio fits the bill, with three major metropolitan areas – Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland – as well several smaller metro areas, including Akron, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. And it’s within a day’s drive of 60 percent of U.S. and Canadian markets. Ohio’s proximity to customers provides a clear advantage for companies involved in e-commerce and logistics and distribution.

But being close to customers and markets isn’t enough. Companies must be able to deliver their goods to those markets quickly, reliably and cost-effectively.

UPS, DHL, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service, the nation’s four largest delivery companies, have six distribution and processing centers in Ohio, more than any other state within 600 miles. Access to multiple vendors not only gives companies more outbound shipping options, it also allows them to negotiate for better rates. It’s a huge business advantage for Ohio companies.

Ohio’s integrated transportation infrastructure makes it easy for these shippers to move goods and increase a company’s speed to market. With 6,820 miles of interstate highway on eight major routes, Ohio has the fourth largest interstate system in the country, making truck transport a popular option. There are 13 intermodal facilities across the state that enable the transfer of containers between trucks and rail cars as well as 10 major rail yards. So moving goods via truck and train is easy, too. Shipping via air is also a viable choice thanks to the state’s seven commercial and four cargo airports. The Ohio River and Lake Erie enable maritime transport. In fact, the Port of Cleveland is the only port on the Great Lakes that provides regularly scheduled direct shipping service to Europe, giving companies an economical and efficient way of moving cargo to global markets.

Ohio has even more benefits in addition to multiple shippers and a comprehensive infrastructure. It also offers employees an affordable cost of living and employers a business climate conducive to the success of distribution centers. There is no tax on products sold outside of Ohio, and the state has the second lowest effective tax rate in the country for new distribution centers.

Ohio has one more thing not available in most other states: a collaborative network of retailers, fintech leaders and data centers are helping companies move into the next generation of logistics, or Logistics 4.0, which integrates online activities with the physical distribution of goods and supports high-tech supply chains.

With all these advantages, it’s not surprising that more and more companies, like Macy’s, Amazon and Dollar Tree, are building and expanding distribution and fulfillment centers in Ohio.

If you’re interested in joining these companies in Ohio or simply learning more about Ohio’s logistics and distribution industry, just send me an email and I’ll get in touch with you.

Ohio’s energy sector is growing, largely due to its highly productive Utica shale deposit. This shale growth, coupled with low energy prices, has prompted independent power plant developers and operators to invest billions of private sector money in new state-of-the-art electricity generating plants. The result is an abundance of reliable, low cost and clean electricity, which benefits all businesses and and consumers.

JobsOhio has relationships with companies and resources across the state that benefit economic development efforts. These relationships often bring about company investments that make an impact throughout the state. During projects, JobsOhio maintains an active role by connecting companies with the appropriate resources and decision makers to obtain permits and other regulatory approvals in a timely manner. For fast-growing energy companies, JobsOhio’s involvement helps them get their facilities up and running in accordance with their desired timeframe.

These plants are having a significant positive impact on the communities where they’re located, not only by creating construction jobs and permanent jobs, but also by creating additional tax revenue that can be reinvested in further improving the communities.

Construction Jobs

When JobsOhio measures jobs created, the numbers reflect only the full-time employees who will work in a facility when it’s operational. The construction process, however, creates hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of high-paying jobs over several years, which creates additional economic benefits to the state and to local communities.

The Lordstown Energy Center in Northwest Ohio, for example, created 1,026 jobs during its 32-month construction period, generating $55.6 million in payroll for each year of construction, for an estimated total of $148.3 million in labor income.

Southwestern Ohio’s Gemma Power Systems LLC employed over 400 skilled craft workers at its site during peak construction of its 475 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. More than 1 million safe work hours have been accumulated without a lost-time accident since construction began in late 2015.

Nearly 1,000 craftsmen worked more than 2 million man-hours between April 2015 and May 2017 to build the Oregon Clean Energy Power Plant in Northwest Ohio. The project was completed on time and under budget with zero lost-time accidents.

Bechtel Power Corp. in Eastern Ohio began construction of a natural gas-fired power plant, Carroll County Energy, in July 2015. During the two-year construction period, the project created 700 union trade jobs. Even though 3 million man-hours were spent on the job, zero fatalities and zero loss-of-time accidents occurred.

The robust membership of Ohio’s skilled trades combined with strong training programs are integral reasons why these large-scale projects are completed on time, on budget and without lost-time accidents.

Building Schools

The Carroll County Energy facility, which became operational in December 2017, generates 700 megawatts of power – enough to supply 750,000 homes. More important, this natural gas electric generation facility in Northeast Ohio has made it possible for Carrollton Exempted Village Schools to construct a long-desired new school.

The taxes generated by the Carroll County Energy facility will pay the school district $1.3 million annually for 30 years, for a total of $38 million, to help with the cost. The remainder of the money will come from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. This agreement meant the school district could build the school without going to taxpayers with a levy.

The new school, which is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 school year, will be beneficial in attracting companies and their employees with families to the area.

Business Attraction

Ashtabula County in Northeast Ohio lacked access to an adequate supply of natural gas, making it difficult for the area to attract new, and expand existing, businesses. That is expected to change with RH energytrans LLC’s new 28-mile natural gas pipeline, supported in part by $4 million from the JobsOhio Growth Fund.

The Risberg Line, as it will be known, will connect to 32 miles of existing line owned by energytrans’ sister company, Emkey Energy. Initially, natural gas will be received from interstate pipeline sources carrying domestic natural gas. Dominion Energy in Northeast Ohio will be the primary customer of the new line, which will have an initial capacity of 55,000 dekatherms per day.

As a result of this investment, natural gas supply and pressure will flow to an Ohio county that is badly underserved.

It is evident that Ohio’s energy projects have a ripple effect that extends beyond the physical plants and what they yield during operation. They also act as a catalyst in job creation and business attraction. Energy investments are excellent examples of how the projects that JobsOhio supports throughout Ohio often create more jobs and opportunities than the metrics indicate.