As the state capital and the largest city in Ohio, Columbus is experiencing one of the most remarkable economic expansions in the Midwest. The city's labor market has grown by 0.9% in the past year, and is projected to increase by 34.2% over the next decade - higher than the US average of 33.5%. This growth is largely attributed to the arrival of a major Intel chip plant, which has resulted in business growth measured in the tens of billions. The population is expected to continue rising until 2050, and Ohio State University is overseeing a new semiconductor research center.
In interviews with Bridge Michigan, leaders who were at the forefront of Columbus' growth discussed what sets the region apart. Jeff Donofrio, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), praised Ohio's “unique funding structure for economic development”. He also noted that Ohio is focusing on growth in the new economy, rather than relying on its previous industries. Google recently announced its second data center in Columbus, which now ranks tenth in the US.
Private sector employers play an important role in helping employees maintain stable housing by providing adequate compensation. Despite this, Columbus must address housing and homelessness if it is to achieve its goal of prosperity for all. This could involve initiatives to improve the supply of affordable housing, as well as approaches to improve people's ability to afford housing. The fact that domestic companies have signed high-profile agreements in Columbus indicates a change in the region over the past five years.
Global banking institutions and financial technology companies are also improving the sector in Columbus. Ohio State University is expanding its research capabilities through a new mixed-use innovation district on 275 acres. Without an increase in housing supply, Columbus could struggle to continue on a growth trajectory. However, with support from top-tier educational and research institutions and an ever-growing venture capital community, the city offers a stable environment for companies looking to grow.
With its unique funding structure for economic development, focus on new economy growth, and support from educational and research institutions, Columbus is well-positioned to continue its impressive economic expansion.