Southeast Region

Home to the Utica Shale and one of the highest concentrations of natural gas liquids in the world, the southeast region's energy and specialty chemical sector is attracting billions in investment.

The 25 counties of southeast Ohio include:

  • 1.03 million residents
  • 355,718 workers
  • $37.4 billion economy
  • More than 14,000 square miles
  • Athens, Chillicothe, Portsmouth and Zanesville

Major industries:

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Energy Production
  • Food
  • Transportation and Aerospace
  • Forestry and Wood products
  • Metals
  • Logistics
  • Consumer Products


  • Massive reserves of natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil from the Utica and Marcellus Shale Play provide manufacturers with the cheapest source of energy in the Western Hemisphere. This new resource complements the region's oldest resource, the Ohio River, with its 125-plus ports and ample water for manufacturing needs.
  • Over $63 billion in capital investments tied to the shale deposits have been announced.  Investment in drilling, collection, processing and extraction is expected to continue over the next 50 years, diversifying the energy supply of an area long known for coal and electric power.
  • Dubbed the "second polymer valley," the region is the birthplace of the modern block polymers industry and is now a leader in advanced polymers used in products from coffee cups to auto parts to medical equipment.
  • Forest and wood products here constitute a $5.23 billion industry, which includes the largest hardwood furniture manufacturing cluster in the country.
  • Continuing a 200-year tradition in metals, the region has more than 333 businesses representing virtually every step in the production and fabrication of metals and metal products.
  • Considered one of Ohio's logistics sweet spots, the region is home to logistics centers of companies of all sizes. The southeast region is also one of the only areas in the Midwest with a documented surplus of skilled labor.

For more information, visit the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth.


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