SSTI Digest

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Geography: Ohio

State leaders zero in on recovery in budget proposals, state addresses

As state budgets move into the legislatures for final negotiations and approvals, the last of the governors have addressed their constituents and put forth their proposals. While a renewed sense of hope is seeping into the latest addresses, governors are still cautious and guarded in proposing new programs. Broadband, small business, education and workforce initiatives continue to be among the innovation-related initiatives announced by the state leaders, with the intent that those efforts will also boost the economic recovery of the states.

Racial disparities in labor market outcomes examined

A new commentary from a senior policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland examines the extent to which disparities exist between Black and whites in labor market outcomes such as levels of labor force participation, unemployment rates, and earnings. Economic inclusion trends have been studied at the national level, but this commentary takes a look at how those disparities vary within and across states with a specific look at the Fourth Federal Reserve District states of Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Venture-backed exit in Appalachian Ohio shows strength of higher ed, state-backed economic development for rural areas

For those looking for examples of the impact state investment, university involvement and tech-based economic development can have in rural parts of the country, one can examine news from Appalachian Ohio that Stirling Ultracold reached a definitive merger agreement on March 22 to be acquired for a reported $258 million by publicly-traded BioLife Solutions. The original lead investor in Stirling Ultracold is TechGROWTH Ohio, one of Ohio Third Frontier’s regional entrepreneurial service providers.

Reports outline strategy for heart of Appalachia to benefit from clean energy

While the Appalachian region began the 21st century by expanding the reaches of its fossil fuel industries, clean energy development and carbon emission reductions are not yet out of reach for Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. A set of reports developed by the University of Massachusetts’ Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) present opportunities available to these states for the advancement of clean energy technologies within the region while also detailing the economic and employment benefits of potential climate stabilization programs.

Ohio rolls out third innovation district in less than a year with $100 million in state commitment

Ohio unveiled the Columbus Innovation District this week, marking the third such announcement in less than a year, with a $100 million commitment from JobsOhio, the state’s nonprofit economic development corporation. Other partners in the Columbus initiative include Ohio State University, which will contribute $650 million, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, with a $350 million commitment.

Fracking industry failing to contribute to broader regional growth in Appalachia, study finds

While natural gas production has continued to expand throughout the Appalachian region, the surrounding communities have yet to experience the economic and social benefits that were initially seen as surefire byproducts of the natural gas industry’s growing footprint within the area, according to a new report.

State of Ohio commits $265 million for new innovation district

Ohio’s governor and other state leaders this week announced the creation of a new Cleveland Innovation District, with the state of Ohio, through the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), JobsOhio and the Cleveland Clinic committing a combined $565 million to the new district. The new district will bring together Northeast Ohio’s leading healthcare providers and education institutions with the goal of creating a pathogen center with global reach. DSA is committing to $155 million, $100 million will be in the form of a loan, the terms of which are still being finalized, and an estimated $55 million in Job Creation Tax Credits (JCTC) over a 15-year period. JobsOhio will invest $110 million and an additional $300 million will be invested by Cleveland Clinic.

States dealt blow with pandemic

In general, the effect of the pandemic on states’ budgets due to the wave of business, retail, and commerce shutdowns, as well as other reduced economic activity across the nation, is not entirely known, or too early to forecast; however, a number of states are beginning to experience the initial impacts of a substantial downturn. With several states having already enacted their 2020-21 budgets, special sessions are expected later this year to deal with declining revenues. Others ended sessions early without a new fiscal year spending plan in place.

Workforce development key to state economic development initiatives

A report on employment trends from hiring firm Robert Half found that 2020 presents greater challenges for employers looking to expand their workforce as the country’s labor market is near full employment and job openings remain at high levels.

State actions in 2019: Opportunity Zones

In 2019, the administrations and legislatures in many states grappled with if and how to adjust state economic development initiatives to leverage the federal Opportunity Zone (OZ) program. The actions of 12 states that implemented new activities are described below.

Manufacturing wage growth supporting Appalachian economy

Earnings for Appalachian manufacturing workers grew 3.4 percent from 2012 through 2017 to an average of $63,583. The growth is in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Industrial Make-up of the Appalachian Region, 2002-2017, which reviews employment and wages by sector across the region. Appalachian workers overall saw earnings increase by 3.7 percent over the five years.

States launching new tech commercialization programs to strengthen economies

Knowing that research universities are integral to the innovation in this country, states continue their efforts to build the economy by supporting efforts to move the research from the labs to the market.

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