International development in Northwest Ohio continues to serve as a steady stream of activity across the 17-county region.

Northwest Ohio is home to 180 foreign-owned businesses employing more than 30,000 people. Those numbers have increased as international corporations capitalize on the many business assets this region offers.

Third-quarter activity saw foreign direct investment efforts attract more than 500 new jobs. One company, TPAM, opened a new facility in North Toledo, adding 30 new positions. The Japanese prototyping company provides support in the new development of automotive and industrial products.

The Regional Growth Partnership’s vice president of international development, Paul Zito, has led the organization’s outreach efforts, most recently with a sales mission to Italy, where he attended a major robotics and automation trade show which attracted approximately 1,000 exhibitors and 65,000 visitors. At this event, Zito generated 12 possible leads.

During the third quarter, eight overseas companies visited the Toledo region, representing countries including Japan, Canada, Germany, Korea and France. These opportunities before foreign businesses allow the RGP to market and promote regional assets such as efficient access to customers, a nationally recognized workforce and Northwest Ohio’s central location in the U.S. marketplace.

Ongoing business development efforts have helped in developing a project pipeline with the potential of more than 700 new jobs.

As a means to further business networking and relationship-building, Zito is a member of the International Economic Development Council. Through this, Zito served as chairman of the International Advisory Committee, in which he was recently recognized for his role and contributions.