COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Two years ahead of schedule, Columbus 2020 has met its goal to add 150,000 net new jobs within the region.
It’s one of four long-term economic development goals in the 10-year plan that was launched in 2010. The region includes Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway and Union counties.
Columbus 2020 said from 2000-2010, the region only added 3,073 jobs. Coming out of the recession until now, that number has grown immensely. It’s set a record for the strongest decade of job growth in the Columbus region’s history.
“There are more people living and working in our region than ever before,” said Columbus 2020 president and CEO Kenny McDonald. “What a great time to be here and in fact historically, the best time ever to live and work in our region.”
If you want to launch your career, start a new one, expand or build a business from the ground-up, McDonald said this region is the place to be.
But, what makes Central Ohio such a great area to live and work?
“Access to the greatest market in the world, which is the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, an unbelievable talent base unparalleled in the Midwest in many ways with colleges and universities that we have in the region,” said McDonald. “We’re a great value, so the coasts are getting extremely expensive. This is still a place where you can actually have it all and have a life.”
He said leadership, entrepreneurs and investment are just a few things that have helped them achieve the goal of adding so many new jobs in just eight years.
“We celebrate the companies that are the job creators that make this happen,” said McDonald.
One of these job creators is Root.
“Root is a car insurance carrier,” said Root chief technology officer Dan Manges. “We started the company a few years ago because we believe the price that people pay for insurance should primarily be based on how they drive.”
In just three years, Root went from about a dozen employees to 100. Manges said they have big plans to hire an additional 500 people in the future.
“There’s really incredible people and I think people are what make the biggest impact on our ability to succeed,” he said. “It’s really exciting to see everything that’s happening here and we think this is absolutely the best place in the country that we could be building this company.”
Columbus 2020 said it has already exceeded its goal to attract $8 billion of capital investment. Another goal is to raise per capita income by 30%, which is on pace to be achieved and exceeded.