Strategically Selecting Ohio FDI
''Ohio's strengths extend beyond its location and industry base.''
An Interview with Mike Jacoby
Luxury Realtor, Ohio Southeast Economic Development
Our economic development report explores why the Midwestern state of Ohio is an attractive location for foreign direct investment. We profile Ohio Southeast Economic Development, discussing the offering available to companies through sites and buildings ready for occupancy, a skilled workforce with a strong work ethic and regional partners on hand to assist FDI projects, in order to better facilitate doing business in the United States.
EG: What is it about the location of Ohio that makes it ideal for business?
Mike Jacoby: Ohio is located in close proximity to the American Northeast, Midwest and Southeast markets – the most populous areas of the USA.Within one day’s drive, you can reach about 60% of the USA and Canadian populations. Historically, Ohio is a manufacturing state with major strengths in automobiles, metals, plastics and rubber, machinery, agribusiness and food processing. In fact, Ohio has the third largest manufacturing work force in the USA. The logistics industry has grown tremendously thanks to Ohio’s proximity to markets, but also because of the excellent interstate highway network as well as railroads and ports on Lake Erie and the Ohio River.
Ohio’s strengths extend beyond its location and industry base. Ohio is home to a skilled, educated and affordable workforce. Ohio’s universities and colleges turn out more than 175,000 graduates a year. Ohio’s 53 technical centers issue over 7,000 vocational certificates annually. Four Ohio universities are among the top 100 in the world for patents issued in the United States to protect new inventions. Even with those strengths, wage costs are below the national average.
EG: And with constantly rising energy costs, why is now the perfect time to strategically relocate to Ohio?
MJ: In eastern Ohio, we are benefitting from shale energy, an advantage not found in other locations across the globe. In the tristate region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, new technologies in extracting natural gas from shale deep below the earth’s surface are creating a huge boom in abundant natural gas (methane) and natural gas liquids (ethane, butane and propane). In fact, this region now accounts for 43% of USA production. This prolific production results in discounted natural gas prices at regional hubs. This abundant, cheap fuel feeds electric plants and becomes feedstock for petrochemicals such as methanol, plastics and fertiliser.
EG: What are some of the ways in which Ohio Southeast Economic Development helps to foster a business-friendly environment in Ohio?
MJ: The role of Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) will vary depending upon the needs of the client. We can assist with finding a site and building, exploring the workforce, navigating permitting, and economic development financial incentives.
EG: Tell us how Ohio’s tax advantages and wages below the national average, may also benefit companies?
MJ: Ohio has been rated by the Tax Foundation as being the third best state in the nation for new capital-intensive manufacturing projects based on its low tax burden. Ohio does not have a corporate income tax or tax on machinery, equipment and inventory.
EG: You also describe your best asset as your people. What is it about the workforce that makes this state so advantageous for business?
MJ: In our region, there is less competition for workers. A company that treats people well will find a loyal and productive work force that will remain with the company for a long time.
EG: Tell us more about the benefits of your Regional Economic Prosperity Plan?
MJ: The Regional Prosperity Plan is our road map for economic growth and prosperity across our 25-county region. Through a highly collaborative process, we identified 13 strategic priorities to grow our private sector economy. Those initiatives focus on business advocacy, talent, competitive assets and economic development programs. EG