The Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy Achieves Key Goal to Add 150,000 Net New Jobs

10-Year Goal Met Two Years Ahead of Schedule; Region Looks Forward to Next Decade

May 30, 2018

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Columbus, Ohio – Columbus 2020, the economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus Region, today reported that a key goal to add 150,000 net new jobs has been achieved within the 11- county Columbus Region, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The goal to add 150,000 net new jobs by the year 2020 is one of four long-term economic development goals in the Columbus 2020  Regional Growth Strategy, an ambitious 10-year plan that was launched in 2010 by local leaders from the public and private sectors. The strategy set out to ensure growth of the 11- county regional economy. The Columbus Region is comprised of Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties.

“We selected the 150,000 net new jobs goal because it surpasses anything we’ve done in our history as a metropolitan region,” said Kenny McDonald, president and CEO, Columbus 2020. “And we stressed that it be a net number so that we continued to focus on the success and expansion of existing companies and not just the recruitment of new companies to the area.”

Hundreds of investments and projects have contributed to the Columbus Region’s success over the past decade. From the Region’s rise as a top location for corporate enterprise data centers, to the growth of technology companies and new manufacturing operations, the Columbus Region has experienced diverse economic growth since 2010.

“Open arms from this smart, open region. That’s what I have experienced from Columbus as a business leader. I put down roots here in the middle of the Great Recession and now have a thriving business,” said Becca Apfelstadt, co-founder and CEO, treetree. A Columbus-based marketing firm, treetree is one of hundreds of companies that have created new jobs since the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy launched.

This is the strongest decade of job growth in the Columbus Region’s history. From 2000-2010, the Region added a meager 3,073 net new jobs during a period when the United States went through its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Columbus MSA ranks No. 13 for net new jobs among the 35 similarly sized metros with a population between one and three million.

“When regional economic goals were set in 2010, at the tail end of a rough recession, many could not imagine the achievement of such a bold jobs goal. Companies within the Columbus Region have met the challenge, and our economic development outlook is now stronger than ever,” said Alex R. Fischer, president and CEO, Columbus Partnership, who helped drive development and launch of the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy.

As the area begins to close in on completion of its decade-long plan, work to develop a strategy that meets the Region’s new needs and challenges is in progress now.

“We are very happy about hitting the new jobs milestone,” said Dave Blom, president and CEO of OhioHealth and one of the leaders who helped drive the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy. “And to have done it with such incredible commitment and collaboration – the Columbus Way – makes you proud to be part of it and confident that we can do even more.”

The Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy’s goal to attract over $8 billion of capital investment has already been met and exceeded, and the goal to raise per capita income by 30 percent is on pace to be achieved and exceeded. The Columbus Region has also been repeatedly recognized as a national leader in economic development.

Continued industry recognition like Site Selection magazine’s top-10 Metro Area ranking, which the Columbus Region has been listed on six times in the past six years, has increased awareness of the Columbus Region’s growing economy. In 2017, a survey of U.S. corporate executives and location advisors conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) found that Columbus 2020 was ranked No. 1 “best in class” regional economic development group. In a separate study by Atlas Advertising of 100 site selectors from around the world, Columbus 2020 topped the list of “most valuable brands in economic development” in 2017.

For an overview of the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy goals to date, visit the Columbus 2020 progress page of


About Columbus 2020
As the economic development organization for the Columbus Region, Columbus 2020’s mission is to generate opportunity and build capacity for economic growth across 11 Central Ohio counties. In 2010, hundreds of business and community leaders developed the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy, and the Columbus Region is now experiencing the strongest decade of growth in its history. Consistently named among the best economic development organizations in the country, Columbus 2020 expertly guides companies through the location decision process. Through strategic business outreach and customized research, the Columbus 2020 team leverages public, private and institutional partnerships to grow the Columbus Region’s economy and strengthen its national and international competitiveness. Funding is received from more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Learn more at

Columbus 2020 Media Contact
Irene Alvarez

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