Team NEO: Northeast Ohio Finished 2021 with Record Projects

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Team NEO, in partnership with JobsOhio and the Northeast Ohio Economic Development Network, worked on 104 projects last year that will generate almost 7,500 jobs, $440 million in annual payroll and $1.5 billion in capital investment for the region.

The private, nonprofit economic development organization announced the results in its annual performance and impact report Tuesday. Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler cited unprecedented investment in innovation and infrastructure, sparking growth and building economic momentum, is what drove the success.

“We are positioned for significant, sustained growth as companies see the value of making significant investments in Northeast Ohio,” Koehler said in a press release. “And the most impactful factor to sustain this growth is the Northeast Ohio Region’s increasingly robust, coordinated network of economic development professionals.”

Local projects cited in the report include JuggerBot 3D LLC, Macy’s Corporate Services LLC and Valley Foods Inc. in Mahoning County, and HemaSource Inc., Lordstown Motors Corp., Thomas Steel Strip Corp., Transglobal Inc. and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Trumbull County.

In August, Team NEO, along with the Youngstown Business Incubator, Magnet and America Makes along with a project team published the Additive Manufacturing Roadmap, which creates “a clear path for the development of a robust [additive manufacturing] ecosystem within the Northeast Ohio Region,” according to the annual report.

Since 2015, Team NEO has reported 583 project wins and more than 44,600 new jobs created, with $2.32 billion in payroll created and $11.33 billion in capital investment.

Reported case studies and highlights from last year address Team NEO’s five key strategies:

Strengthening a Better Coordinated Regional Economic Development Network

As one of the six network partners for JobsOhio, Team NEO worked with its partners to conduct nearly 1,000 business retention calls and worked on 279 projects. The team also connected businesses to resources for job creation and retention, increased regional investment and business growth.

Additionally, Team NEO met with 218 elected officials at the federal, state and local levels to strengthen communities through Team NEO and JobsOhio programming.

Advancing Technology Adoption

Team NEO’s Smart Manufacturing Cluster brought together business, higher education, professional service firms, incubators and others to collectively advance the technology’s adoption rate.

The Cluster encourages technology adoption, convenes potential industry collaborators and solves common manufacturing industry problems. In 2021, the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, r Magnet, launched “Make It Better: A Blueprint for Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio,” offering a vision of the region as a world leader in smart manufacturing with the Smart Manufacturing Cluster as a key component.

Addressing the Talent Supply/Demand Gap

In its fifth annual “Aligning Opportunities” report, Team NEO provided insights into the state of current and emerging needs of the region’s employers.

In 2020, “Misaligned Opportunities” explored how racial inequality affects the talent pipeline, and last year’s “Lost Opportunities” examined gender inequality in the talent pool.

Growing a Pipeline of Competitive Sites

Team NEO published four new marketing brochures to RightSites – an online resource featuring competitive properties in the region – and published “Where Matters” in September with the Fund for Our Economic Future, which analyzed new approaches to business location decisions and their impact on equity, sustainability and talent.

Promoting Regional and Network Performance

A million digital impressions reached key target audiences, including site selection consultants, c-level executives, HR professionals and emerging talent audiences. Pages on Team NEO’s website promoting sites and buildings received more than 7,500 pageviews.

Signature events in 2021 reached 1,300 key stakeholders.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.