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Economic Study Shows Ohio’s Transportation Research Center Generates $127 Million Annually for State

Fri Mar 11 2022
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The Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio, contributes $127 million to the state’s economy annually, according to a new economic impact study conducted by the Center for Economic Development in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. The TRC, North America’s largest independent automotive proving ground and test center, has been recognized in transportation research and innovation since 1974. The TRC today is bolstered by its 4,500-acre testing facility and expert technical team.

The study determined that the TRC generated more than $127 million in economic output in 2019, supported more than 670 jobs, and paid almost $36 million in wages and benefits. Testing and research on behalf of TRC clients, including many of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers and systems innovators, generated more than $1.3 million in taxes to local government entities, $1.3 million to the state government and $2.3 million to the federal government. An additional $67.5 million in economic activity was generated from 2011-2019 through multiple construction projects that expanded facilities on TRC’s campus. 

“Our research shows that TRC is generating vitality not only for its immediate region, but also making significant contributions to economic growth and sustainability all across the state,” said Dr. Iryna V. Lendel, director of the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University, which conducted the study. “Its operations create about $127 million in economic output for the state annually. In 2019, TRC supported 674 full-time and part-time jobs in Ohio, including 457 direct jobs and 216 in the supply chain and other industries. These jobs corresponded to almost $36 million in labor income and just under $5 million in annual tax revenue.”

The Cleveland State study was underwritten by JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation. JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said innovation generated at the TRC has a global impact that is particularly valuable to Ohio’s economy.

“TRC’s economic impact is being felt all across Ohio, while its support of transportation innovation and breakthrough technologies is an ongoing benefit worldwide, touching every facet of the automotive and logistics and distribution sectors,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “This economic and technical leadership pays its greatest dividends here in Ohio, where these combined sectors accounted for over 6% of our state’s economic might in 2020. In this way, TRC is keeping Ohio competitive for the jobs and economic growth we need to embrace the future, ensuring that our state is always one step – or more – ahead with each emerging technology.”

Understanding the historic role TRC plays in shaping automotive innovation and job creation in the state, JobsOhio has made significant investments in TRC’s facilities to help maintain Ohio’s leadership role and capitalize on the industry advancements and jobs that follow. Those investments assisted:

  • The construction of TRC’s 540-acre SMARTCenter complex, which is designed for validating advances in automated and connected vehicle technologies.
  • The repaving of the TRC track to accommodate high-speed testing of over 200 mph.
  • Establishing the Edge R&C Center to attract leaders in connected and automated vehicle testing to Ohio.

The TRC’s annual operating expenditures currently account for more than $33 million. In addition, capital expenditures across the state from 2011 to 2019 totaled nearly $44 million.

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