In a repeat of 2012, Ohio has ranked second to Texas in an annual report that measures how states stack up in bringing in new companies and getting existing ones to expand.
Texas recorded 657 projects last year to finish well ahead of Ohio’s 480 and capture Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup competition. Illinois was third, followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Ohio won the competition in 2011.
The magazine added a second category this year that judges how states do per capita. Ohio came in second to Nebraska.
Ohio is doing well to finish second on both lists, said Mark Arend, editor of Site Selection.
“It’s one thing for states to be on both lists ... but Ohio is second on both lists, and that’s impressive,” he said.
Conway Data collects the information for the magazine. A project is defined as an investment by a company of $1 million or more in a new facility, the addition of 50 or more jobs to an existing operation, or an expansion of at least 20,000 square feet to an existing building.
Even though Ohio has done well in the competition, the state still lags many other states and the country when it comes to recovering jobs lost during the recession.
Reports such as those from Site Selection carry some value, said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics near Cleveland.
“Somebody’s actually measuring something purporting this is a happening place,” he said of Ohio. “I respect that.”
Still, the results for Ohio and the other Midwestern states that scored high don’t seem to match up with how they are doing creating jobs, Mayland said.
“I know in terms of attracting a labor force or payroll employment, Ohio continues to significantly underperform the national averages,” he said.
“I know we’re underperforming,” Mayland said of Ohio. “Cincinnati is underperforming, as is Cleveland. The only metropolitan area that is outperforming the national average is Columbus. ... If there is all this great activity, why isn’t it showing up in the numbers?”
Several Ohio cities also score well on the list.
Among metro areas with a population of a least 1 million, Cincinnati came in sixth and Columbus eighth. Both cities moved up two spots from 2012.
Chicago was first in that category, followed by Houston and Dallas.
The improvement for Columbus “is a testament to the collaboration and dedication of our local and state economic-
development partners,” said Kenny McDonald, Columbus 2020’s chief economic officer.
Dayton came in seventh and Youngstown tied for eighth among metro areas with a population of 200,000 to 1 million. That category was led Omaha, Neb., followed by Allentown, Pa.
Among the smallest cities, Wooster came in first, Findlay fourth and Fremont, Tiffin and Wilmington tied for seventh.
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‘Site Selection’ rankings
How Ohio and Ohio cities fared in the annual Site Selection magazine ranking, based on economic-development criteria:
States per capita
Metro areas with a population of 1 million or more
Areas with a population of 200,000 to 1 million
8. Youngstown (tied with two others)
Cities in rural areas
10. Fremont, Tiffin, Wilmington (tied with three others)
Source: Site Selection magazine
By Mark Williams - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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