Ohio Earns B+ In Health Of Manufacturing Industry

By
Jeff St. Clair - WKSU/Ohio Public Radio


Updated Mon, Jun 23, 2014 11:11 am

A new study shows Ohio is performing above average in its economic recovery. A report by the Center for Business and Economic Research gives the state a B+ in manufacturing growth.

“I have a very positive prognosis for Ohio’s future manufacturing,” said Mike Hicks, the head of the economic research center at Ball State University in Indiana.

His study graded the health of each state’s manufacturing industry by looking at the tax climate, how well workers are treated, productivity and innovation, and other factors.

Hicks said a big contributor to Ohio’s high grade is logistics – the ability to move goods and raw materials in and out of the state over rail, water, and roads.

One of Ohio’s biggest challenges is retaining an educated workforce – what economists call human capital. Hicks said part of the brain drain problem is attracting today’s workers to Ohio’s aging urban centers.

“The human capital story is as much the quality of place story as it is the educational attainment of adults," Hicks said.

But Hicks said signs are positive that Ohio could attain an A grade. Assessments of standardized test scores of kids still in school show that Ohio’s human capital is ready for the demands of modern manufacturing. The challenge, he said, is keeping them here.

Image courtesy of the Center for Business and Economic Research

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