Building the Future Economy of Ohio and Evolving Along the Way

Every project is a potential win or learning opportunity, and Ohio had both in 2018
Dana Saucier, vice president & head of economic development, JobsOhio
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Each year, JobsOhio takes the time to reflect on its current performance in order to build future capability. 2018 was JobsOhio’s best year yet, surpassing previous years in both job creation and new capital investment.

Here are some of the 2018 highlights:

  • Amazon committed to create 1,500 new jobs in Central Ohio, the biggest new job commitment JobsOhio secured during the year. CoverMyMeds also committed to create 1,032 new jobs in Central Ohio and First Solar committed to create 1,000 jobs in Northwest Ohio, helping drive JobsOhio’s record year.
  • HomeGoods, Inc. committed to create 1,000 new jobs in Northeast Ohio. This project exemplified the importance of the partnership between JobsOhio and its regional and local partners in order to see this company’s commitment materialize in Ohio.
  • The Research and Development (R&D) Center Grant program received additional funding through the approval of the JobsOhio board of directors, which led to several projects that will facilitate innovation in Ohio, including:
    • Nanogate Jay Systems LLC: R&D for applications in the areas of chrome and stainless-steel alternatives, decorative surface finishes and innovative lighting.
    • Pillar Technology: R&D for testing, development and deployment of safe, reliable autonomous vehicle technologies.
    • Toyodenso/Weastec: R&D for the design and development of vehicle electrical components.
    • Dana Incorporated: R&D for engineered solutions for improving the efficiency, performance, and sustainability of powered vehicles and machinery.
    • JPMorgan Chase: Financial technology (fintech) lab created by JPMorgan Chase’s R&D arm at The Point at Otterbein University.
    • Inteva Products: R&D for vehicle interiors systems (e.g., instrument panels, door trim, floor consoles, interior surfaces, stitching).
    • Honda: Expansion of current R&D center to advance driver-assistive and human interface systems to support Honda’s vision for a collision-free society.
    • COTSWORKS: New R&D facility focused on innovation in aerospace optical components.
    • GE Aviation: R&D related to hybrid electric propulsion technology for aviation.
  • Upstart, a platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI), is planning a new location in Central Ohio in 2019. Upstart’s market entry to Ohio from California will represent another positive validation of the business climate offered to innovative, scaling companies: talent, strategic relationships and cost-competitive operations.
  • JobsOhio launched a talent acquisition service (TAS) in 2016. In 2018, JobsOhio began marketing and attraction as well as training and screening support for several clients. JobsOhio continues to build out the team and capabilities to further this ongoing effort to help companies find talent.
  • SiteOhio continues to build authenticated sites to mitigate risk for businesses. By the end of 2018, JobsOhio authenticated 16 sites that are immediately ready for construction.
  • For its high-level of transparency, JobsOhio received GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency, and the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ Seal of Excellence.

JobsOhio is proud of these accomplishments, but there’s more work to do. While JobsOhio celebrates new project investments, there are lessons learned from lost projects, too.

Lost opportunities allow the JobsOhio team, in conjunction with its robust network or regional and local partners, to learn and grow to improve for the future of the citizens and communities of Ohio.

  • Amazon HQ2: Many of JobsOhio’s regional partners submitted proposals in the fall of 2017 which was a feat in itself. This project was unlike anything the economic development community experienced before. In 2018, the Columbus region made the list of 20 finalists, and JobsOhio worked alongside its partners at Columbus 2020 as well as locals in the community to support company visits to Ohio. Although Ohio did not win the project, JobsOhio and its partners are better prepared to attract large-scale corporate headquarters to Ohio. The partnership with Amazon continues in a number of ways across Ohio, including several distribution centers, Amazon Web Services and a recent announcement in 2018 with Amazon Air for an investment in Wilmington Air Park.
  • Apple: JobsOhio’s relationship with Apple led to Ohio’s competing for the company’s proposed second campus. Apple did not choose Ohio. However, during the process, JobsOhio strengthened its relationships with Apple. Ohio already benefits from Apple’s support of The Ohio State University’s Digital Flagship University, a digital learning initiative and iOS design laboratory that also provides training in Apple’s app language.
  • General Motors (GM), Lordstown: Part of JobsOhio’s mission is to retain and support companies that have already invested in Ohio. Having a strong relationship with the GM leadership, JobsOhio remains in close communication with the company, local and regional partners, and the administration and legislative partners to manage the impact of GM’s difficult decision to have no product allocation at the Lordstown plant. Recognizing evolving automotive industry and market trends, JobsOhio continues to learn how the team can better support future opportunities for this facility.

Malcolm Forbes once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.” With pencils and minds sharpened, Ohio’s economic development network builds on these experiences to prepare for future opportunities.