Developing Ohio

GOOD THINGS appear to be taking place in Ohio.

The Buckeye State ranked second, trailing only Texas, in a national survey which rates states in their ability to land companies while also being able to have existing firms expand.

Ohio recorded 480 projects in 2013. To be be tagged a project, a company must be investing at least $1 million into a new facility, add 50 or more jobs to an existing operation, or an expansion of at least 20,000 square feet to an existing building.

It marks the second straight year Ohio placed second behind Texas.

Texas was the runaway winner in 2013 with its 657 projects. Illinois was third.

States were also judged on a per capita formula. Ohio came in second to Nebraska.

Both results are hopefully a harbinger that the Buckeye State economic picture is definitely brightening. The addition of nearly 500 projects in one year is a major infusion of jobs and revenue into the workplace.

The healthy employment report the last two years is obviously tied to the oil and gas industry. Its effects have been felt locally with the likelihood of even better times in the offing.

One downside of the survey in regards to Ohio is that it lags when it comes to recovering jobs lost during the recession. The steel industry also played into that low rating.

That’s an unfortunate scenario, but hope remains that steel can regain some of once-mighty industrial swagger. Should that happen, a promising Ohio jobs outlook would bump up to another level.