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Published: 3/2/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Ohio leads nation in new project growth

State sees 30 percent increase from 2010

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Ohio led the nation in the number of new or expanded economic development projects announced in 2011, according to Site Selection magazine.

Ohio won the Governor's Cup because it had 498 economic development projects that qualified for the magazine's rankings. That's a 30 percent increase from 2010, when the state had posted 376 projects, according to the magazine.

For a project to qualify for the rankings, it must have $1 million invested, create 50 new jobs, or contain 20,000 new square feet of development.

Ohio beat out Texas for the top spot. Last year, Ohio finished second behind Texas after being atop the list every year from 2006-2009. The Buckeye State had led the rankings for four consecutive years before that.

The state will announce its unemployment rate for January Friday; the rate for December was 8.1 percent.

Adam Bruns, the managing editor of Site Selection, said his magazine does not rank the 50 states in order, only the Top 10. Michigan ranks fourth among five states in what the magazine calls the "east north central" region, behind Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana and ahead of Wisconsin.

Ohio has finished near the top of the rankings with both Republican and Democratic governors in office.

"Ohio ranks highly consistently, and, in a lot of ways, it has to do with the infrastructure in the state for operations," said Mr. Bruns. "Certainly, some of the policy changes that have been instituted by the current administration as well as the robust infrastructure have helped the state earn the Governor's Cup in past years."

Site Selection keeps a database of the projects it tracks throughout the year, Mr. Bruns said.

In the magazine's rankings of metropolitan areas, Toledo tied for seventh place for new and expanded facilities among cities with populations of 200,000 to one million.

Dayton tied for second, and Akron ranked sixth. Baton Rouge topped the list.

A spokesman said the Toledo-based Regional Growth Partnership does not comment on rankings.

Findlay tied for sixth-place in the ranking of smaller cities.

Cincinnati was No. 6 among metro areas with at least one million people.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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