IEDC Economic Development Week (May 8 – 13) Highlights Important Work of Economic Developers
Launched in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Economic Development Week (taking place May 8 – 13) is designed to highlight the importance of economic development in communities across the country. Through programs that help create jobs, advance career development opportunities and increase the quality of life for residents, the work of economic developers is essential. As we celebrate Economic Development Week again this year, we wanted to highlight the work of Northeast Ohio’s own economic development community.
As anyone in economic development can attest, true success requires a team effort – at the state, regional and local levels. Thanks to the collective efforts of Northeast Ohio’s entire economic development system, 2016 was a great year for our region that we hope to build upon in 2017. Earlier this year, economic development professionals from across the region gathered to celebrate the success of 2016, which resulted in commitments to:
- Create 4,853 new jobs*
- Add $262 million in new payroll*
- Generate $1.6 billion in capital investment*
In addition to these results, which include only projects that Team NEO or JobsOhio were involved, the economic development network earned commitments for another 1,600 jobs. Per the latest available revised Bureau of Labor Statistics figures (3Q16), the region appears to be on pace to add a net 8,000 to 9,000 jobs in 2016. Final BLS figures will not be available until June.
Over the past five years, Northeast Ohio’s economic development community has assisted companies that have committed to creating more than 24,000 jobs, $1.1 billion in payroll and $7 billion in capital investment. While these numbers are impressive on their own, when the multiplier effect is considered, which are the employment opportunities that arise as these new companies and their employees buy goods and services from local and regional businesses, the impact becomes even more significant.
While economic development is often thought of in terms of incentives and tax breaks, there is a human element to economic development that is frequently overlooked. Every job created provides a new opportunity for someone in our region who then contributes to our overall economy.
To further highlight the impact of economic development in our communities, JobsOhio recently developed a series of success stories that look at the people and companies behind the job tallies and capital expenditures we often read and hear about. One such story focused on the city of Norwalk, Ohio and the positive impact Borgers AG, a German automotive supplier, had on the community. When the company invested $60 million at its Norwalk facility, it created job opportunities for local residents who previously had moved out of the area. With plans to add as many as 230 jobs, Borgers has brought back many of the good-paying positions that help fuel the local economy.
As we celebrate Economic Development Week again this year, it is important to understand and appreciate the role economic development plays throughout our region. Through the collective efforts of countless individuals and organizations, Northeast Ohio’s economic developers are working to grow and enhance the region’s economy one job and project at a time. A special thank you to all those involved in this important work.