Ohio: Gaining New Ground

With a long history of fostering business across industries, Ohio is seeing a record-breaking renaissance.

By BF Editors
From the January / February 2023 Issue

Last year was a record one for Ohio with the state attracting the most corporate investment in new buildings and equipment in 2022 of any year since JobsOhio, the state’s independent nonprofit economic development corporation, formed in 2011. Last year alone, JobsOhio saw a record $1.8 billion in new payroll and $31.2 billion in new capital investment.

Manufacturing, automotive, and food processing industries have historically been representative industries in the state, while other growth industries have been identified in which Ohio could show its strengths, and these include technology and healthcare. Over the past decade, Ohio has shifted to expand beyond manufacturing to also create an environment for professional and business services, finance, insurance, real estate, education, and healthcare. The state’s increased industry diversity is driven by strategy around the inclusion of these growing industries. And it’s paying off with record investments from companies such as Intel and France-based Forsee Power.

Ohio investment
(Photo: JobsOhio)


Recognizing education is a cornerstone of economic growth and societal strength, Ohio leadership continues to invest in students of all ages. In December 2022, the Ohio Department of Higher Education awarded 45 colleges and universities nearly $28 million in Choose Ohio First funds to boost efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The scholarship will support an estimated 3,400 students pursuing STEM degrees and certificates.

This new funding marks the fourth round of grants for the Choose Ohio First program under Governor Mike DeWine’s administration. It creates new scholarship opportunities across the state, including at several schools new to the program. The Choose Ohio First scholarship program began in 2008 in an effort to increase the number of Ohio students enrolling in and successfully completing STEM programs at Ohio’s public and independent colleges and universities.

Also In December, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced $88 million in state support for 123 brownfield remediation projects that will help clean up hazardous and underutilized sites throughout the state. The Ohio Department of Development is funding the awards through the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, which is designed to clean up and prepare hazardous brownfield sites for redevelopment. This is expected to help local communities clean up or assess 123 contaminated properties across 35 Ohio counties. This followed grants totaling $242 million announced earlier in 2022.

The Brownfield Remediation Program is part of Governor DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings.

Meanwhile, transportation in the state got a boost with five new airlines coming to Ohio in 2022. Collectively, the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus added 20 nonstop domestic routes.

Ohio: Business Savvy Put To Work

Much is written in economic publications about fostering business-friendly environments. The metrics vary, but tax policy, regulatory posture, incentives, cost of doing business, workforce readiness, and infrastructure loom large. Still, the ultimate litmus test for whether a state truly welcomes business activity is success in attracting diverse industries.

In 2022, Ohio proved its bull case and won big with an eye-popping $31.2 billion in corporate CAPEX commitments (three times the previous record) and $1.85 billion in new payrolls (new record) from three megaprojects and hundreds of other investments and expansions involving leading global companies including Abbott, Amgen, Ford, GM, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Intel, Honda, LG Energy Services, Medpace, P&G, Sierra Nevada, SEMCORP, and Ultium Cells.

Ohio kicked off 2022 by landing the largest economic development deal in state history—Intel’s commitment of $20 billion to build the Silicon Heartland in Ohio. Intel is actively building its state-of-the-art manufacturing campus on 1,000 acres in Central Ohio. The announcement drew global headlines for its size and because it will be the first semiconductor manufacturing facility ever built in Ohio and the first new build in the U.S. in 40 years.

“We expect Intel Ohio
will become one of
the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites
in the world over the
next decade.”

— Pat Gelsinger

Forty U.S. sites competed to win the Intel project. Ohio wasn’t even on Intel’s list for consideration when the process started. Examining how Ohio moved from non-starter to contender and, ultimately, to be selected as the ideal location for Intel’s next-generation fabs reveals much about how Ohio is leveraging business savvy, proactive investments, and bipartisan statewide collaboration to win coveted economic development projects. (Business Facilities has recognized this project as its 2022 Gold Deal of the Year.)

Ohio investment
In September 2022, Ohio political, education, and local leaders joined Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and other Intel executives for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the company’s U.S. manufacturing site in Licking County, OH. (Photo: Intel Corporation)


“We are excited to call Ohio home to Intel’s first new manufacturing site in 40 years,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. “We expect Intel Ohio will become one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites in the world over the next decade.”

Unique Competitive Advantage. Ohio boasts ample assets befitting a top destination for business—rich natural resources, central location, cheap energy, leading universities, and low cost of living. The state ranks 9th for Industrial Diversity and has a deep heritage in manufacturing.

And, Ohio adds a unique competitive advantage — JobsOhio, the state’s independent nonprofit economic development corporation. JobsOhio is state authorized but private with a stable funding model that enables strategic thinking and long-term investments that make a critical difference in structuring deals for major projects.

JobsOhio comes to the bargaining table with confidentiality, competence, and capital. Proprietary data is protected, and companies deal with industry veterans from 10 sectors who speak their language and move at the speed of business. For example, JobsOhio and its regional partners identified the Intel site in just three days and worked discreetly to secure and purchase the land so Intel could close with confidence. The deal went from introduction to Intel’s commitment in eight months.


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JobsOhio also invests in critical business needs, such as shovel-ready sites, workforce development, Innovation Districts, R&D Centers, and Inclusive Development initiatives that foster vibrant communities for incoming company employees and their families.

“We’re engineered to connect companies with all the entities that can influence the progress of a project, from conception to site to permitting and staffing,” explains J.P. Nauseef, President & CEO of JobsOhio. “Our JobsOhio team, together with our statewide network of regional economic development partners, quickly brings all the stakeholders and incentives to the table and guides our commercial clients on the path to success.”