COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is laying the groundwork for our state’s economic future by releasing a comprehensive report, or blueprint, of Ohio’s economic growth over the next 10 years.
“All the other states are ratcheting up their game, and we’ve got to do a better job of being ready to win in the economy of the future,” said Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
The report details several areas of economic development in Ohio including infrastructure, innovation, education, and the workforce, and ranks them against other states.
Stivers believes Ohio is in a unique position to compete at the highest level when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturing due to Honda announcing it would invest more than $4 billion into three existing Ohio plants.
However, he said a lack of computer science and STEM education across the state could hinder our progress.
“More than half the school districts in the state don’t have a computer science program, and we’ve got to change that if we’re going to be ready for the workforce of the future,” he said.
“Companies are already on the way,” said Rick Carfagna, senior vice president for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “They’re coming, they’re expanding, but what we do need to do is prepare our workforce to meet those job needs that they have to fill.”
With Intel’s arrival in Licking County, Carfagna is confident it will create a huge boost in our local economy, but in order to sustain that growth, he said companies need to properly staff those plants while also supporting the workforce behind it.
“There’s so much more than just job training and job credentialing,” he said. “We talk about the need for childcare, we talk about the need for workforce housing, we talk about the need for public transportation options.”
The blueprint is a 10-year agenda that the chamber will be rolling out during the lame duck session of the Ohio General Assembly after the election.