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U.S. Manufacturing Shows Resilience During COVID-19

February 19, 2021

U.S. manufacturing output plummeted more than 20% between February and April 2020, but it has definitely recovered since then. National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray reported this week that production output in January was down only 1% from its pre-pandemic pace. January’s 1% gain in output marked the eighth increase over the past nine months.

Five manufacturing sub-sectors have experienced increased production since January 2020: aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (3.5% growth); food, beverage and tobacco products (3.5%); motor vehicles and parts (1.7%); chemicals (1.4%); and computer and electronics products (0.6%).

It was also announced this week that U.S. producer prices in January increased 1.3% — the most since 2009 — suggesting rising inflation. 2/17/2021

Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch

February 19, 2021

OMA Connections Partner RSM has assembled its list of the top seven trends impacting the manufacturing industry.

The firm says that going forward, manufacturers need to be pro-active about adapting their operations by embracing changes associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. 2/16/2021

New $1 Billion-plus Columbus Innovation District Will Boost Ohio’s STEM Talent Pool

February 19, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week that Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and JobsOhio are collaborating on a $1.1 billion Columbus Innovation District. The project, which will focus on developing new gene and cell therapies to treat genetic disorders, is expected to create 20,000 jobs over the next decade — most of which will be in the STEM field. (Just last month, Ohio officials announced the new Cleveland Innovation District; the Cincinnati Innovation District was announced in March 2020.)

OMA President Ryan Augsburger said the OMA is optimistic the project will enhance opportunities for Ohio’s health care manufacturers and technology supply chain, while improving the state’s already high quality of life. 2/17/2021

OMA Grows Its Social Media Followers

February 19, 2021

Approximately 7,500 individuals follow the OMA on one of three social media platforms — LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. If you’re not already doing so, consider following us to monitor announcements regarding Ohio manufacturing job creation and investment, as well as helpful insight from OMA Connections Partners.

Also, the “Making Ohio” initiative — established by the OMA and its partners to spotlight career opportunities in modern manufacturing — has its own Facebook page. With more than 1,100 “likes” and followers, this page seeks to engage young people, educators, and community leaders as part of the OMA’s broader workforce strategy. 2/15/2021

Rachael Carl Joins OMA’s Public Policy Team

February 12, 2021

This week, the OMA announced that Rachael Carl has been named director of public policy services. Rachael will help oversee the OMA’s advocacy services and lobbying efforts at the Ohio Statehouse and within the executive branch and state agencies.

A native of Grove City and graduate of The Ohio State University, Rachael most recently served as a legislative liaison for the office of Gov. Mike DeWine. Prior to her role in the governor’s office, she was legislative director for the Ohio Department of Commerce and a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives.

You can email Rachael here. 2/8/2021

Broadband Funding Bill Approved by Ohio Senate

February 12, 2021

The Senate this week unanimously approved Senate Bill 8, legislation to appropriate $20 million to distribute via a competitive grant pool to broadband providers that otherwise would not pursue expansion in an underserved area. The OMA supports SB 8 and the creation of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program. 2/11/2021

A Look at New Members of the Ohio General Assembly

February 12, 2021

There are several first-time lawmakers in Ohio’s 134th General Assembly. The Senate has six freshmen — all Republicans — while the House has 24 new representatives — 19 Republicans and four Democrats.

Impact Ohio has compiled lists of the General Assembly’s new representatives and new senators, complete with a short bio for each member. 2/10/2021

Report: Can the Heartland Lead America’s Reshoring?

February 12, 2021

Heartland Forward — an Arkansas-based think tank — has released a new research paper titled, “Reshoring America: Can the Heartland Lead the Way?” The study examines the advantages of the U.S. Heartland and the role these interior states can play in revitalizing American manufacturing. JobsOhio helped commission the report.

The study references a 2020 survey that found 70% of manufacturing firms said they would likely reshore in the coming years. Ohio is spotlighted in the study several times, including for its business friendliness. The study also quotes Karen Wright, president of OMA member Ariel Corporation, who points out Ohio’s energy cost advantages. 2/9/2021

Leading Indicators Show Ohio Manufacturing Hours Back to 2018 Levels

February 12, 2021

The latest Ohio Leading Indicators report, published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, shows seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment was 5,236,200 in December — up 0.2% over the previous month, but down 6.3% over the year. Ohio’s average weekly manufacturing hours increased to 42.5 in December, a level not seen since 2018.

See the full report for the job-growth outlook for all of Ohio’s metropolitan statistical areas. 2/8/2021

DeWine-Husted Budget Includes $460M for Businesses

February 5, 2021

This week, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Jon Husted unveiled the administration’s two-year state budget, with the centerpiece being an approximately $1 billion “Investing In Ohio Initiative” to help businesses and communities recover from the pandemic. (See the governor’s press release or watch his press conference. Also, check out the administration’s “Blue Book.”)

The one-time spending proposal would distribute $460 million to support Ohio’s small businesses in the following manner:

  • $200 million for bars and restaurants;
  • $150 million for Small Business Relief Grant applicants that previously applied and are qualified;
  • $50 million for lodging industry businesses;
  • $40 million for indoor entertainment venues; and
  • $20 million for new businesses, many of which were unqualified to receive previous funding.

The budget also includes $70 million for workforce development efforts. (See our story in the Workforce section of this Leadership Briefing.) Another $250 million would be used to expand broadband internet service to underserved areas and $200 million for local government infrastructure projects to help attract jobs. Around $50 million would be used in a national marketing campaign to promote Ohio as a great place to live, work and attend school.

General Revenue Fund spending would grow to $75 billion over the two years beginning July 1 — an increase of 3.4% the first year and 11% the second year — largely due to soaring Medicaid expenses. The plan contains no tax increases, but seeks a $10 increase in motor vehicle registration fees and a $2 increase to the title fee to help fund the State Highway Patrol. The state’s $2.7 billion rainy day fund would not be touched.

The Ohio House will hold budget hearings during the coming weeks. Lawmakers also will act on separate budgets for the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Commission. 2/1/2021