Report highlights economic growth in NE Ohio
By Jamison Cocklin
A report based on data from 10 private-sector economic development organizations in Northeast Ohio — including the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber — shows business investment projects in the region are projected to retain 36,363 jobs and $1.6 billion in payroll.
The 19-page report, released this morning by Team Northeast Ohio, an organization aimed at growing the economies of the region’s 18 counties, also reported that $1.7 billion in capital investment was pledged to the region last year.
Overall, the report touted Northeast Ohio’s growth during 2012, highlighting the rebound in manufacturing and the region’s emerging industries and underscoring the economic benefits of Eastern Ohio’s shale boom.
For example, the report notes that growth in manufacturing here is outpacing that of the nation as a whole, with output projected to increase by 39 percent between 2010 and 2020. Across the U.S., output is expected to increase at the same time by 33 percent.
The oil and gas boom, according to the report, has even helped lift Northeast Ohio’s legacy manufacturers. Republic Steel, U.S. Steel and Timken Co. already have spent millions on capital improvements and sustained, or created, thousands of jobs, as they source the manpower and purchase more equipment to meet the demand of the shale industry.
Economic development investments are “breathing new life” into residential and business districts, according to the report, which notes revitalization in downtown Youngstown by detailing projects such as the $9 million conversion of Erie Terminal Place into residential and commercial space.
Advanced energy and technology investments in Northeast Ohio also will help carry the region’s economy into the future, according to the report.
The region is home to more than 500 companies dedicated to renewable and advanced energy. Industries, including energy efficiency, energy storage, fuel cells, smart grid and waste and biomass-to-energy, present $50 billion in market opportunity and 9,560 new jobs in the next seven years, the report says.
Last year, angel and venture investors committed $212 million in equity to 108 Northeast Ohio companies.
The JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, geared toward technology startups, which counts the Youngstown Business Incubator as a member, saw its clients generate $228.5 million last year, and they helped to create or retain 5,471 jobs.