Game Change

November 18, 2013

Ohio is a unique place. It is incredibly diverse economically and culturally, and full of opportunity and potential.

I was reminded of this just recently during a presentation by Susan Lund of McKinsey & Company. She discussed five “game-changers” for the U.S. economy and her recommendations for capitalizing on these opportunities. Our own backyard is perhaps a window into how these shifts in the U.S. economy are playing out in real time, as Ohio is deeply involved in each trend:

U.S. energy market shifts – from being a net importer of oil and gas to a net exporter through the continued development of extraction technologies. Ohio sits atop large portions of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, massive energy reserves. The article “Is Ohio the Next Texas?” points to Ohio’s potential in this sector.

U.S. trade and investment – developing a generation of exporters (both services and manufactured goods) has unrealized potential for the U.S. economy. The regionalization and reshoring of manufacturing based on U.S. competitiveness, partly due to lower energy costs, is making this a reality.

According to the Brookings Institution, the Columbus Region exported $11.5 billion in goods and services in 2012, accounting for 12 percent of the Region’s GDP. From 2010 to 2012, economic base companies invested $3 billion in the Columbus Region, more than 40 percent of which is a foreign direct investment.

Experion’s announcement in Licking County last week is just one example of recent foreign direct investment in the Columbus Region, and this short video features great organizations that are exporting goods and services worldwide from Central Ohio.

Big data – using advanced technologies and computing power to draw insight from the massive amount of data being collected allows for innovation and improved decision-making. Great companies like IBM, Battelle, ICC, are all leading companies in the advanced analytics space growing within the Columbus market.

The push to revitalize U.S. infrastructure – rebuilding and reimagining transportation and utility infrastructure is necessary to serve a modern economy. The Ohio Department of Transportation’s plan to spend $3 billion on 41 critical infrastructure projects is a great example of how Ohio is modernizing to meet the demands of the global economy. The ODOT plan has 6 projects in the Columbus Region, adding up to $573 million in investment.

Winning the war for talent – making changes in policy and education technology to educate and train a workforce that will meet the demands of the global economy. The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Board of Regents offer just a few examples of how Ohio is addressing this critical business need.

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Our team returned from Mexico where we learned more about the strategies in place to maintain North American competitiveness.
  • With our partners from the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Licking County and the City of Heath, we welcomed Germany-based xperion to the Columbus Region during their groundbreaking event.
  • Congratulations to WELD on a successful Women You Should Know event last week, and congratulations to all honorees.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is hosting several companies considering the Columbus Region. We are also presenting at the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio’s economic development seminar and attending The New Albany Community Foundation Remarkable Evening, featuring keynote speaker Tony Blair.
  • Seats are filling quickly for the second annual ED411. If you haven’t yet reserved your space, we encourage you to do so. ED411 will culminate with our next Investor Update featuring keynote speaker Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution vice president and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution.
  • Registration is now open for the Columbus Region Logistics Council Education Event on Dec. 10. The group will explore the key drivers, focused initiatives and regional action steps necessary to ensure continued logistics industry economic vitality in Central Ohio.