Technology and Productivity Advancing Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio

Feb 27, 2019 | News, Newsletter

Jacob Duritsky
Team NEO’s

Ethan Karp
MAGNET

 

 

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network and Team NEO recently released complementary studies revealing and analyzing the State of Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio.

MAGNET’s survey results is a compilation of insights from over 500 manufacturing companies that responded to the third annual Ohio Manufacturing Survey. Highlights include:

  • 69 percent of respondents said their company grew revenues in 2018, and 88 percent of respondents expect their revenues to grow in 2019.
  • Cybersecurity continues to dominate as a “growing concern” for manufacturers, with 63 percent saying they are concerned and 2 percent reporting they have been attacked online.
  • Attracting new skilled workers is the biggest challenge for Ohio manufacturers, with 60 percent saying their growth has been hampered by the lack of skilled workers.
  • Automation is not replacing jobs, but rather increasing worker productivity, with 47 percent stating they are augmenting their current workforce with automation, and just 5 percent of respondents reporting they use automation to replace current workers.

Report findings from Team NEO’s Cleveland Plus Economic Review include:

  • Manufacturing is spread over a variety of subsectors with fabricated metal product producers, machinery, and transportation and equipment topping the list.
    • Growth areas in diversifying subsectors include food manufacturing and computer & electronic product
  • Projections of 21,000 annual openings through 2023 across a wide range of positions due to retirements and other replacement opportunities
  • Productivity strongest among oil and gas workers due to continued strong advances in midstream and downstream activities
  • There was more than $87 billion in exports in 2017, bringing new dollars back into the region’s economy

Forces with the strongest potential to push manufacturing forward are the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and additive manufacturing. As reported in the Smart Manufacturing IIoT Roadmap, released in late 2018 by a coalition led by Team NEO and in partnership with MAGNET, IIoT could have an incremental economic impact on GRP of $4 billion to $13 billion annually by 2025. Economic Development Practitioners are encouraged to educate manufacturers in their area about the opportunity and make them aware of the IIoT Readiness Assessment that will help them evaluate its digital maturity and readiness for IIoT implementation.

Ohio Ports Eligible for $23 Million in Development Funding

A new program  — the Ohio Maritime Assistance Program program — is providing funding to ports along the Ohio River and Lake Erie or businesses within ports.

The Program began accepting applications from ports in late January and will continue through March 27. The program is making available $11 million through June 30 and an additional $12 million for the 12 months ending June 30, 2021.

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Large TIFs may be eligible for one-time extension opportunity

During fall 2019, the General Assembly changed Ohio law governing tax increment financing (“TIF”) exemptions in a big way.  For certain TIF projects, local communities can extend the exemptions – and therefore continue to redirect property tax millage to necessary public infrastructure improvements – up to 30 additional years. 

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