Employment, Education and Poverty

February 25, 2013

Economically, the Columbus Region is fortunate to be gaining ground. Ohio is ranked No. 6 for job creation nationally and No. 1 in the Midwest, and since January 2010, the Columbus Region alone has gained an estimated 45,000 net new jobs. Our ability to act through public-private partnerships has made an incredible difference and will help sustain our long-term economic development efforts.

However, these gains are proportional. Whenever I’m asked about economic development’s link to education and poverty, I point to the disparity you’ll find when looking at unemployment rates by degree of educational attainment. Jobs gains favor the most educated, the most prepared to work immediately and those who are not subjected to the hardships poverty creates.

According to the American Community Survey, individuals without a high-school diploma are more than twice as likely to be unemployed, and those with a bachelor’s degree have an unemployment rate that’s less than half of those without. The link between education and the ability to earn a living could not be clearer.

These are facts that are widely known and largely understood, but still they remain. As with many things, we don’t need to be informed as much as we need to be reminded. Greater alignment between economic development organizations and educational and workforce development partners is imperative if we are to gain ground in this fight.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • One Columbus’s team enjoyed a great retreat with over a dozen regional economic development leaders last week to discuss our region’s path forward. Our thanks go to Anthony Jones, president of MODE and development director of the City of Gahanna, for his time and help in organizing this important activity.
  • Last week, our team traveled to Atlanta with JobsOhio to promote the state and to continue building relationships with customers and allies.
  • This week, we’ll attend the Site Selectors Guild in New Orleans. We’ll also be in Washington, D.C with The Brookings Institution discussing our Metropolitan Export Plan.
  • Our upcoming trip to Japan is only a few short weeks away and our schedule is filling up. On a related note, we are extremely excited about the news from Honda last week. The addition of 50 more key jobs is a great testament to their commitment to Ohio and the Columbus Region.