JobsOhio focuses on military and federal sector, sees record growth

With vibrant fall colors popping in the background, vehicles enter Wright-Patterson Air Force Base through Gate 22B on Nov. 3. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

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With vibrant fall colors popping in the background, vehicles enter Wright-Patterson Air Force Base through Gate 22B on Nov. 3. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO/R.J. ORIEZ

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and JobsOhio leaders on Tuesday said Ohio faces a “generational opportunity” to ignite the state’s economy after a record-setting year and with particular focus on the military and federal sector.

“The pandemic has exposed the disadvantages of doing business on the East Coast and West Coast, quite bluntly, and highlighted the tremendous opportunities of doing business and and living here in the state of Ohio,” DeWine said, addressing the JobsOhio board at its meeting Tuesday marking the end of JobsOhio’s 10th year in existence.

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In its first decade, JobsOhio has borne criticism over its lack of transparency — it’s a private nonprofit funded with public money from Ohio liquor sales — and generous pay for its top officials.

But JobsOhio President JP Nauseef announced a record-setting year for his organization. He said the agency helped create 31,165 jobs; added $1.74 billion to statewide payrolls; won 403 projects; and helped retain and expand 2,200 businesses. These are new all-time highs in each category.

“Ohio, in a COVID-calibrated economy, is wining,” Nauseef said.

In the Dayton region, JobsOhio working with local partner the Dayton Development Coalition set new records as well, with 3,881 new jobs created and 59 projects won.

DeWine and JobsOhio officials noted how the pandemic caused “reshoring,” as supply lines were disrupted and companies learned the importance of manufacturing things in the U.S. Ohio’s location, low cost of living, high qualify of life, and efforts by JobsOhio make the state competitive amid this phenomenon, they said.

“Ohio truly has a generational opportunity, a once in a lifetime opportunity to take our economy to new heights and JobsOhio will help us do that,” DeWine said.

Federal and military sector

JobsOhio last year added federal and military installations to its list of sectors targeted for investment, which could yield particular benefit for the Dayton region as home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — the largest single-site employer in Ohio.

Elaine Bryant, manager of the JobsOhio program and executive vice president for aerospace and defense at the Dayton Development Coalition, said their goal is to be the No. 1 state for military missions, be welcoming to military families and veterans, and support industry clusters.

Ohio in the past year has passed several pieces of legislation to make the state more military friendly, and provides incentives for defense-industry companies.

ExploreTomorrow’s Community Conversation: Making our region the best for the military and veterans

“I don’t see anybody going as fast and going as deep to incentivize military families to come to Ohio but also to reap the benefits of having military retirees in the communities,” said retired Gen. Michael “Buzz” Mosely, former chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force.

An economic impact study recently released by JobsOhio found that Ohio’s military and federal installations support 380,500 jobs and account for 6% of the state’s economy, representing $69 billion in total economic impact.

In the western Ohio region including Dayton, military and federal spending supports over 103,000 jobs and accounts for roughly $11.6 billion in regional economic impact — accounting for 17% of the region’s total economy — the study found.

ExploreMilitary, vets crucial to Dayton’s future. Is Dayton crucial for them?

Join our community conversation

The health and growth of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — the largest single-site employer in Ohio with 32,000 workers — is critical to the success of our entire region. That’s why the Dayton Daily News will examine what needs to be done to keep and attract both military missions and veterans to the area in a Community Conversation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15. You can watch the live discussion on the Dayton Daily News Facebook page.

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