Team NEO report finds Northeast Ohio is hub for corporate headquarters

By Jordyn Grzelewski


When food distributor Anderson-DuBose Co. broke ground in 2011 on new headquarters located in Lordstown, it not only marked a major investment in the Mahoning Valley but was part of a trend in Northeast Ohio.

That trend is detailed in a report released today by Team NEO, an economic development organization for Northeast Ohio.

Team NEO reports that 187,000 people in Northeast Ohio are employed at company headquarters and professional-service firms in the region.

A comparison of the concentration of headquarters employment in the top 20 U.S. metro areas shows Northeast Ohio has the second-highest concentration overall, beating out metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, Boston and New York City.

Employment at headquarters and in professional services grew 15 percent in this region between 2001 and 2017, and the sector is projected to add 8,000 new jobs by 2027, according to the report.

“Northeast Ohio has historically enjoyed a high concentration of diverse corporate headquarters and professional services firms representing a broad range of expertise, including insurance, technology, legal, financial, real estate and more,” said Bill Koehler, Team NEO CEO, in a statement.

“The region benefits as such operations typically offer employees higher wages, which boosts economic activity and provides a strong multiplier effect.”

In the Mahoning Valley, attracting corporate headquarters can pose a bit of a challenge due to the lack of available office spaces, said Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of economic development for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Still, numerous companies are headquartered in the Valley, including Anderson-DuBose, which is a distributor for hundreds of McDonald’s and Chipotle restaurants; the Cafaro Co., a retail development company; hospitality and food service company AVI Foodsystems; Covelli Enterprises, a Panera Bread, O’Charley’s and Dairy Queen franchisee; and Phantom Fireworks/B.J. Alan Co.

Boyarko said the regional chamber’s current list of prospective economic development projects includes a few headquarter operations, but that division headquarters are often a better fit for the area.

She said the chamber promotes the Valley’s convenient location between two larger markets – Pittsburgh and Cleveland – as a selling point for companies, as it offers the opportunity for companies to have a central location between the two cities at a lower cost and with a solid workforce.

Boyarko also noted that while the Valley might not be drawing in a large number of corporate headquarters, the chamber has seen encouraging trends in this sector.

“We are definitely seeing growth over time with the companies that are already here, as well as acquisitions by larger firms outside of our market,” she said.

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