JobsOhio, and economic development, can only be successful when partners across the state work closely together to bring jobs, companies, educational opportunities and investments to our local communities and their residents. Ohio’s six regional economic development partners each work with cities and municipalities – and JobsOhio – to set up all Ohioans for sustained success.
While the work I do for JobsOhio is statewide, these efforts in the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) region are particularly important to me as an area native and a member of the APEG board. I have a deep understanding of the area, as well as a clear view of the challenges we face here.
Our work in APEG embodies a long view, but we’re already proving successful in bringing significant investment and job creation to some of the state’s most economically challenged areas:
Grants and Assistance:
- In July 2019, JobsOhio executed a $30 million grant, its largest ever, to PTTGCA for its proposed $8 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County. The plant would be the largest investment ever made in the APEG region. JobsOhio’s total investment in this project to date is more than $48.5 million. Of the $48.5 million, JobsOhio has spent over $36 million on demolition, site remediation and site preparation. PTTGCA is anticipated to have a final investment decision on the project in Q1 2020.
- In 2018, APEG and JobsOhio assisted companies with 19 expansion and location projects that brought $654 million in capital investments and 1,046 new jobs, a four-year high for job creation.
- Since 2011, APEG, JobsOhio and the state of Ohio have awarded companies more than $70 million in economic development grants, tax credits and loans for expansions and new locations. Those companies have committed to create more than 7,100 jobs in the region.
Site Development and Redevelopment:
- Between 2016-2018, JobsOhio invested $18 million in the APEG region for a Site Redevelopment Pilot Initiative to redevelop underutilized and contaminated properties.
- At the JobsOhio board meeting in September, another $15 million was approved for further site readiness in the APEG region.
- JobsOhio is making a seven-figure investment to the APEG region, paying for extensive due diligence studies and preliminary engineering work on 10 potential development sites. The goal of the initiative is to help add site inventory in southern Ohio in order to position the area to win more projects and jobs, as these studies are often a prerequisite for corporate site locations.
- APEG has awarded local economic development organizations more than $235,000 in grants through its site readiness funds program, and in 2018, the APEG region competed for a record number of site searches (69) and experienced more projects conducting site visits (12) than previously reported.
While these are all very powerful economic tools, our holistic view of economic development recognizes the importance of new educational, and ultimately job options, for area residents, elevating the prosperity of residents and sustaining these developments. In 2019, APEG and JobsOhio worked with The Career Center Adult Technical Training in Washington County to identify training opportunities that support the region’s industrial maintenance workforce. JobsOhio awarded $300,000 to the career center to implement the program.
JobsOhio, APEG and local partners all understand that the work in southeastern Ohio requires long-term and sustained focus. Guiding much of our work forward is APEG’s comprehensive strategic plan developed for the 25-county region in southern and eastern Ohio, which focuses on education and worker upskilling, talent recruitment, site development, business financing and broadband expansion, among other initiatives.