As more European companies consider expansion plans in the United States, many are concerned about how to get started, where to locate, and what business risks there may be. Our NEE staff recently spoke with Greg Myers, a member of the JobsOhio-West team about what one U.S. state is doing to help answer those questions. JobsOhio is the new private sector approach to economic development in the State of Ohio.
“In Ohio we help companies understand the U.S. business environment and provide them with important data. This allows them to make informed business decisions,” Myers explained. Ohio has been very proactive and successful in bringing foreign direct investment projects to the state.
As the U.S. economy continues to rebound, Ohio is one of the leaders. It was one of the top four states in the country for job creation. “Last year the JobsOhio team assisted 277 companies implement nearly $6 billion in capital investment projects in the state. That is our mission. We are here to help companies succeed,” Myers added. Ohio is the eighth largest source of GDP in the U.S. If Ohio were a separate country, it would be the 27th largest national economy in the world.
What is Ohio’s secret to such success? It is being in the right location. Ohio is within a one-day drive of 50% of the U.S. and Canadian population and 60% of the manufacturing companies in both countries. It has the third lowest tax rates among U.S. states on new capital investment. It has a strong supply chain across many key industries and a highly skilled workforce with a tradition of manufacturing excellence. “In western Ohio we have been making automobiles, automotive parts, home appliances, and a wide variety of consumer goods and food products for generations,” Myers explained. “We know how to make things and make them well. Plus, our workers have a strong ‘right to work mentality’ in the region.”
>Myers also explained political leadership that understands and appreciates business is another important part of Ohio’s success. “Governor John Kasich and his administration are focused on creating the best business climate in the nation,” Myers added. “His goal is low taxes, less regulation, and a state government ready to help businesses succeed.”
Kasich created the new JobsOhio concept as a better way to do economic development in Ohio. As a private sector, not-for-profit corporation, it is a faster, more efficient way to grow business. And it seems to be working. JobsOhio has a central office in the state capital and six regional offices throughout the state. Myers and his colleagues in the West Central Ohio Development Coalition are part of the JobsOhio-West team headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. “We have never been more competitive”, Myers stated. “Why? Because we provide easy and affordable access to profitable markets, we have very low taxes, the region has the most productive workers in the world, and we have business-friendly political leadership ready to help companies grow and prosper in Ohio.”
European companies with an interest in U.S. expansion should contact the West Central Ohio Development Coalition and JobsOhio to learn more about doing business in Ohio. “If you need demographic data, site selection information, supply chain analysis, or operating cost comparisons, our JobsOhio team is ready to help,” Myers added. “We want you to succeed in west central Ohio.”
West Central Ohio Development Coalition – JobsOhio
101 S. Ohio Street – Floor 2
Sidney, Ohio 45365