At its 2022 Annual Event, the Regional Growth Partnership reported the creation of more than 6,400 new jobs during the past year by businesses across Northwest Ohio, with capital investment of $2.5 billion.

Despite being virtual, the RGP took advantage of the March 8 forum by presenting an informative, impactful, and visually entertaining event.

RGP President and CEO Dean Monske presented the metric results, which along with the new jobs, included 118 projects and nearly 16,000 retained jobs. Within that, the advanced manufacturing sector contributed about 4,000 of those jobs and close to $1.5 billion of investment.

After that, a 10-minute narrated video followed spotlighting some top projects from last year, featuring aerial drone. One of the purposes of the video was to demonstrate that those 118 projects are spread evenly across the entire 17-county region.

In addition, the RGP also featured two case studies of major projects (First Solar and APackaging Group) completed in 2021.

A focus of the meeting was presenting key initiatives from 2021 moving into this year which are helping drive the strategic planning for the RGP. For years, the RGP has prioritized building an inventory of modern buildings and shovel-ready sites across the region. Senior Site Manager Matt Davis shared a number of programs introduced by JobsOhio created to improve the competitiveness of the state. One example, the Ohio Site Inventory Program, provides $50 million a year across the state through grants and loans to support the construction of spec buildings.

Gary Thompson, executive vice president, then presented how Northwest Ohio is working to prepare and capitalize on the changes taking place in the automotive sector, particularly how it relates to smart mobility and electric vehicles. In sharing best practices, the RGP hosted a Transportation Technology Symposium where leaders gathered to discuss industry trends.

Jeff Sprague then presented on the challenges for communities with workforce shortages, and then highlighted some initiatives that Northwest Ohio and the state are taking to proactively address those concerns. Sprague, the RGP’s vice president of talent expansion, highlighted the Ohio to Work initiative which identifies displaced workers and provides talent upskill services before connecting them to hiring companies.

Finally, JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef virtually attended to recognize the past year’s successes for Northwest Ohio. He also highlighted the state of Ohio’s growing strength in attracting new business from both coasts and rising to become the #1 state in the Midwest for venture capital funding.

“We and our partners at RGP welcome Conagra’s decision to choose Archbold for its new production line, which will bring 100 additional jobs to the facility,” said Dana Saucier, JobsOhio vice president and head of economic development. “Conagra processes some of the world’s most recognizable food brands, and we appreciate the company’s ongoing partnership as it expands with talent from Ohio.”

– Dana Saucier, Jobs Ohio