JobsOhio Says Investment Up, Highlights Work with Ultium

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Projects assisted by JobsOhio resulted in $7.8 billion in capital investment and $1 billion in new jobs payroll last year. 

The private nonprofit economic development corporation also highlighted its role in assisting the Ultium Cells battery plant project in its 2020 Annual Report & Strategic Plan. 

Investment in 2020 was up by about $800 million from 2019, though most other metrics declined during the year, driven down by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. JobsOhio assisted 307 projects last year, up one from 2019. Payroll from new jobs last year was down from $1.2 billion the year before. 

The number of jobs the 2020 projects created totaled 19,201 and the number retained totaled $29,208. That was down from the 22,770 new jobs and 52,542 retained positions in 2019. 

Among the industries that JobsOhio targets, advanced manufacturing saw 3,527 jobs created and investment of $884 million. Automotive investment totaled $2.2 billion with 3,293 jobs created. In logistics and distribution, JobsOhio assisted with projects totaling $536 million in investment and 3,287 new jobs. 

Read the full JobsOhio annual report HERE.

“While 2020 brought challenges few could have imagined, in Ohio there has been optimism, resilience, ingenuity and dedication,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO in the report.  “Like Ohioans always do, we roll up our sleeves and find a way and as we look ahead and as JobsOhio celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2021, we are confident JobsOhio and our partners will continue to have a positive impact that delivers jobs and growth for businesses and residents in Ohio.”

JobsOhio invested $500 million in COVID-19 support programs that assisted 15,000 businesses. JobsOhio’s 10 new pandemic-related programs affected 300,000 jobs. 

“The year 2020 challenged us in unimaginable ways. Yet, despite everything we’ve been through, we are stronger and more committed to seeing Ohio succeed,” said Bob Smith, chairman of JobsOhio’s board of directors. “Ohio’s talent and diversity is what sets us apart and allows us to gain a competitive advantage.”

The agency’s work with Ultium Cells, the General Motors-LG Chem joint venture to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles, was among the projects spotlighted in case studies in the report. 

The $2.3 billion plant, which has many referring to the Mahoning Valley region as “Voltage Valley,” as the report noted, will be “an integral part of GM’s ambitious plans to develop 20 EV models by 2023”and one of the largest cell manufacturing plants in the world.   

“As the world transitions from internal combustion engines to EVs, battery technology and production will be the new backbone of the automotive industry,” it continued. “This project marks the start of a new era in Lordstown, the Mahoning Valley and Ohio.”

Pictured: A rendering of the Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.