Data points to economic growth

By Wayne Allen - [email protected]

With the start of each year several agencies will released data, which is based on the previous year’s activities. Recent data released by the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) JobsOhio, and a number of other agencies, indicate economic growth in southern Ohio.

SOPA in its 2015 Annual Report stated there were 27 jobs created and 256 jobs retained. There was $10.7 million dollars in new investment along with a monthly average of 13.75 active business development projects. In addition to a host of other activities SOPA brought in $128,119 in grant funding.

Recently JobsOhio released their 2015 annual report, highlighting some of the work the agencies along with some of its partners have completed in the last year.

One of the partner agencies to JobsOhio is the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio (JEDISO). SOPA is highly involved with JEDISO and found some success in securing some funding for local business.

A grant through JEDISO from the Fluor-BWXT Opportunity was awarded to YEI Technology, PatterFam Sauces, Tri-America Contractors, Appalachian Wood Flooring (Phase 1) and Columbia Gas Regional Headquarters.

The grants resulted in 48 jobs created and 225 jobs retained.

The JobsOhio report indicates growing target industries include biohealth, information technology and advanced technology.

“The way you look at Information Technology, YEI/Zumba Compliance/Yost Labs grew in Portsmouth and Tylma in Chillicothe. In Advanced Manufacturing Appalachian Wood Flooring, purchased new advanced manufacturing equipment for their facility in Portsmouth. In automotive Mancor and Vitatoe in Chillicothe grew. In Shale/Petrochemicals Altivia Chemicals came online and Tri-America expanded,” said Jason Kester, Executive Director of SOPA. “We’re seeing growth in a lot of the same areas at the rest of the state, which resulted in $140,000,000 in new investment since 2013 in the four (Scioto, Jackson, Pike and Ross Counties) county region. It’s a good time to be doing business in southern Ohio.”

Each year Site Selection Magazine releases its annual Governors Cups listing, as well at a listing of the top 100 Micropolitans.

The annual listings tracks major economic development projects in every state and ranks them.

Kentucky and Texas lead the listing, which means they attracted a variety of new projects last year.

According to Kester, “The Governor’s Cup is the tracking of all major economic development projects. The parameters are manufacturing, distribution, office, data center, and R&D (Research and Development) projects are eligible for submission. Projects must meet one or more of the following criteria to be considered: 1) employees – 20 or more new jobs created; 2) square footage – 20,000 or more of new or expanded facility space; and 3) capital investment – $1,000,000 or more (construction, land, building). Chillicothe had three in 2014 and they ranked in the top 50 of the USA. “

Kester said Scioto County reported its first project in over a decade last year.

“We’ve already got one that qualifies with at least two more on the near horizon and another three in the tentative category – we’ll have a minimum of three projects for 2016,” Kester said.

The magazine also recently came out with its annual ranking of top 100 Micropolitans with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.

Both Chillicothe and Jackson made the list. Chillicothe was ranked 39 with three projects and Jackson was ranked 73 with two projects.

Kester said one project was submitted locally; Phase one expansion of Appalachian Wood Floors.

He acknowledged there will be more projects submitted for consideration in next year’s ranking.

“Projects that will be included in the 2016 rankings will include the new Columbia Gas Headquarters in New Boston and the Altivia Chemicals and there will be others,” Kester said.

For more information about SOPA visit

For more information about the Site Selection Magazine listings visit

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT