Led by a handful of major attraction projects bringing new companies, jobs and investment to our region, Northwest Ohio capped an exciting and extraordinary year in further advancing our economic vitality.

At its recent annual meeting, the Regional Growth Partnership provided highlights from 2016 which proved to be the third straight record year for the region in terms of new capital investment. Overall, Northwest Ohio reported 118 “won” projects which produced 3,960 new jobs and $3.26 billion in capital investment.

Dean Monske, president and CEO, said the RGP was directly involved in projects which created nearly 2,000 new jobs and $1 billion in capital investment. His comments came before more than 400 people on hand for the annual event at The Pinnacle in Maumee’s Arrowhead Park.

Doug Pontsler, chairman of the RGP board of directors, kicked off the meeting by describing the organization as a true regional group and also recognizing the necessity of genuine collaboration in the globally competitive field of economic development.

A major win for Northwest Ohio in 2016 occurred when South Korean automotive supplier Hanon Systems selected Carey, Ohio, for the site of its new manufacturing plant. The $16 million project will bring at least 139 new jobs to the region. Plant manager Tom Charnesky told how an existing spec building in Carey was a key factor in the company choosing the Wyandot county site.

Continuing with that theme, Monske acknowledged the intensity of site competition, noting that communities need more than just open fields. Today, communities with certified sites and spec buildings increase their opportunities for success, he said.