Under the guidance of the board of directors and third-party strategic insights, JobsOhio was designed to have a proactive business development model and a return on investment approach to investment decisions. The initial focus included manufacturing, automotive and food processing – industries that represent Ohio’s historic strengths. While protecting the base of Ohio’s economy, the leadership team also recognized that there were growth industries in which Ohio could, and must, compete, including technology and healthcare. Altogether, nine industries were identified as the foundation on which JobsOhio would pursue economic growth.
Ohio’s increased industry diversity, as referenced in the chart below, is driven by strategy around the inclusion of growing industries including professional and business services, finance, insurance and healthcare. From 2007 to 2017, Ohio’s economy witnessed a shift from manufacturing sector to services providing industries like professional and business services, finance, insurance and real estate, education and healthcare. JobsOhio has played a role in helping promote diversification of the economy by proactively attracting businesses to the state. In 2007, Moody’s ranked Ohio tenth among U.S. states in terms of industrial diversity. By 2017, Ohio had improved to eighth. As innovative companies like BrightEdge, Facebook, Quotient, Upstart, Veeva Systems and others invest in Ohio, JobsOhio is optimistic that the economy will continue to diversify.
Today, company executives are taking note of the changes happening in Ohio. With a balanced budget, a pro-business tax climate, low operations costs, a skilled workforce and JobsOhio’s flexibility to build customized solutions to meet companies’ needs, Ohio is on the radar for companies and growth industries and is part of the national conversation about economic diversity and jobs of the future.