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Annual Report 2020

Filled with challenges that reached global proportions, 2020 was a year that altered all of our expectations

Thu Jan 28 2021

One moment, we were building on our plans for the year. Then, in March, organizations worldwide were forced to pivot quickly to respond to the unprecedented pandemic.

At JobsOhio, we shifted our focus to ensure that Ohio businesses had resources to sustain their operations, all while continuing economic development activity. Amidst the uncertainty and frequent changes, we maintained our spirit of innovation, perseverance, and hope. And in 2021, Ohio will only become stronger, thanks to Ohioans’ determination and the solid fundamentals of Ohio’s economy.


Message from Governor & Lt Governor



Mike DeWine


Lt Governor 

Jon Husted

Message From

Governor, Mike DeWine and Lt Governor, Jon Husted

When confronted with unprecedented challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohioans are resilient and create solutions. JobsOhio, Ohio’s private nonprofit economic development model, has been an invaluable asset in moving our economy forward by assisting struggling businesses and everyday Ohioans.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we challenged JobsOhio to be creative and innovative in this effort. JobsOhio has boldly moved the state forward by launching new initiatives to help retain businesses and attract new projects.

In early 2020, we saw the critical need and unprecedented opportunity to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) amidst a global health crisis. JobsOhio worked with state agencies and businesses to identify and acquire these life-saving tools when it mattered most. We saw many Ohio producers expand production of PPE, while others created PPE for the first time. As a result, the state has a skilled workforce and the necessary logistical advantages to re-shore production and meet demands for American-made PPE now and in the future.

It’s vitally important that all Ohioans benefit from economic development activity. In 2020, JobsOhio offered the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant to provide financial support to businesses in distressed areas of Ohio. In its first year, 55 companies benefited from this grant opportunity, including many minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. Additionally, JobsOhio partnered with several state agencies to create Ohio To Work, a pilot program to help those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic return to work or discover new job opportunities. The pilot program began in Cuyahoga County, and through the end of last year, helped 363 Ohioans get back on their feet.

Closing the digital divide is a priority of our administration, and the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how essential broadband access is for all Ohioans. We ended 2020 by announcing a pilot program with Starlink to bring new, highspeed broadband technology to our state. Currently, the program brings broadband to 90 homes and 10 small businesses. With help from the Broadband office, JobsOhio will explore additional opportunities to expand broadband access to all Ohioans.

JobsOhio has also continued work on positioning Ohio as a competitive place for world-class talent. Over the last year, our administration has announced Innovation Districts in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. In each district, our partners have joined together to invest in and expand innovative, educational, and research-driven opportunities within the technology and healthcare industries. These Innovation Districts build on our strengths in a one-of-a-kind effort to make Ohio a global medical epicenter. We want researchers and businesses to create, develop, and share their ideas from Ohio with the world.

There has been opportunity with every challenge Ohioans face. It is the ingenuity and work ethic of the people of Ohio that will lead us to a full economic recovery. Our thanks goes out to the JobsOhio team and Board for partnering with our administration and continuing its mission. We are confident Ohio’s best days are ahead of us, and the best is yet to come for all Ohioans.


Message from Our Leadership


Chairman of the Board

Robert Smith


JobsOhio President & CEO

J.P Nauseef


JobsOhio operates under the guidance of an independent board of directors appointed by the Governor, by which the organization fulfills its statewide economic development mission.

Message From

Chairman of the Board, Robert Smith and JobsOhio President & CEO, J.P. Nauseef

Understandably, many may reflect on 2020 as a year they would prefer to forget. The challenges were unlike any in 100 years, shaking the global economy to its core. Ohio was not immune to the effects of the pandemic, but its leadership and people proved resilient and rose to the occasion, positioning our state to capitalize on a generational opportunity. 2020 marked the end of JobsOhio’s first decade in existence, and when it mattered most, our team responded quickly and decisively with leadership and results. Despite the difficulties endured, we believe it was one of the strongest years JobsOhio has ever had.

We began the year, pre-pandemic, with momentum. Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted were on hand to announce the creation of Ohio’s first innovation district in Cincinnati, and Ohio was awarded the “Governor’s Cup” for ranking No. 1 in the USA in Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for the most economic development projects per capita! Then came COVID-19. It was clear JobsOhio and our network partners needed to transform our economic development efforts to meet the critical, immediate needs for Ohioans.

As soon as the pandemic hit our state, Governor DeWine challenged us to soften the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and workforce by utilizing the full capabilities of JobsOhio’s unique and powerful attributes: 1) a professional team with extensive private sector experience, 2) a private structure, 3) stable funding, and 4) a statewide reach through the JobsOhio Network Partners.

JobsOhio worked closely with our Network Partners and the DeWine administration to create ten economic development programs targeted to assist businesses and jobs most at risk, resulting in support for more than 300,000 jobs at over 15,000 Ohio businesses. Additionally, along with our Network Partners, we worked side-by-side with the Ohio Development Services Agency and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to bring much needed lifesaving personal protective equipment to our healthcare workers and other Ohio citizens in need.

While the pandemic has come with unprecedented hurdles, we believe it has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Ohio to reemerge as a leader. Governor DeWine’s leadership during the crisis helped Ohio to “stand out,” giving our state positive and persistent exposure at this critical moment. In today’s climate, businesses are looking to bring their supply chains back to the U.S. Moreover, tens of thousands of businesses and people are considering migration away from the high-priced coasts to more diverse, livable, business-friendly, and affordable states like Ohio.

Ohio is positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, particularly because while other states are scaling back their economic development, Ohio is investing, due in large part, to JobsOhio’s unique and differentiated business model. Throughout 2020, we and our partners worked to ensure Ohio emerges out of the pandemic stronger for decades to come.

  • We are investing in innovation districts to bolster Ohio’s competitiveness in talent, research, invention, technology, and healthcare while revitalizing communities.
  • We launched support for Ohio’s military and federal sector to make Ohio attractive for federal spending, military families, and businesses that support aerospace and aviation, artificial intelligence, and more.
  • We initiated an inclusion strategy in 2019 to increase investment in under-represented population groups and geographies, because a sustainable recovery must and will include all Ohioans.
  • We piloted the Ohio To Work program in the greater Cleveland area to help displaced workers find long-term employment and to help employers find the workforce they need to be competitive.
  • We are investing in job-ready sites through the Ohio Sites Inventory Program to improve Ohio’s success in competing for expanding and attracting businesses.

The ability to move these efforts forward during extraordinary circumstances speaks to the incredible work of JobsOhio’s associates and our partners. We thank them for the long hours and dedication to the people of Ohio. We also want to recognize former House Speaker and JobsOhio board member Bill Batchelder,w who was recently named JobsOhio’s first Board Member Emeritus. We appreciate all he has done for this state and for economic development in Ohio.

Our experiences in 2020 are allowing us to move forward into 2021 with optimism about Ohio’s future. The pandemic has helped to spark a growing realization that Ohio’s unique mix of strong leadership, business climate, skilled workforce, affordability, location, and diverse industries has resulted in the best place to live, work, and achieve each unique vision of the American dream.


2020 Results




New jobs created


In new payroll


In capital investment

Year-Over-Year Results

JobsOhio Metrics201820192020
Total Projects266306307
New Jobs27,07122,77019,021
New Jobs Payroll$1.3 Billion$1.2 Billion$1.0 Billion
Retained Jobs69,90552,54239,208
Retained Jobs Payroll$4.2 Billion$3.2 Billion$2.4 Billion
Capital Investment$9.6 Billion$7.0 BIllion$7.8 Billion

2020 Targeted Industry Results

IndustriesJobs CreatedCapital Investment ($M)
Advanced Manufacturing3,527$884
Logistics and Distribution3,287$536
Information Services and Software1,593$1,279
Food Sciences and Agriculture1,554$1,113
Financial Services962$11
Shale Energy and Petrochemicals959$850
Military and Federal300$182
Aerospace and Aviation210$24

Our Response to COVID-19

Early in the year, the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to shift many of our goals in order to support Ohio communities better and help our state emerge as a national leader in navigating a full economic recovery. We moved quickly to develop several new programs in addition to our normal economic development work that would help Ohio continue to thrive, even under these unexpected circumstances. When Ohio needed us, we were ready.

JobOhio Cares Team with PPE toolkits. Columbus, Ohio.

$500 Million
Investment in COVID-19 support initiatives
Jobs impacted by JobsOhio’s 10 new programs
Businesses helped by these programs

JobsOhio COVID-19 Response

An Analysis of Ohio’s Economy

Ohio’s Position in the U.S.


fastest recovery to pre-COVID-19 conditions in the region*


most affordable state to live in the U.S.


largest manufacturing workforce in the U.S.


best overall economic exposure to the virus


manufacturing GDP in the region*

89% pie chart icon
reduction in unemployment claims since the peak in March
60% pie chart icon
reach of the U.S. and Canadian population within a one-day drive from Ohio

*Region defined as IL, IN, MI, KY, OH, PA, and WV.

Among the 10 Best Cities for Millennial Homebuyers









Ohio Rankings in National and Regional Sector

When it comes to national rankings and studies of the best states for business, Ohio continues to accumulate accolades. Ohio’s reputation for being business-friendly is supported by countless positive rankings across the nation by other agencies, organizations, publications, and, perhaps most importantly, the businesses that have chosen to grow within its boundaries. Thanks to our resilient economy and affordable cost of living, Ohio’s value proposition has never been more evident.

The above recovery insights and ongoing rankings below indicate that Ohio is and will continue to be in a position of leadership for opportunity.

National Business Climate


Governor’s Cup


Business Climate




Best for Business


Best for Business


Top for Business

National Sector Leadership


Automotive Manufacturing Strength


Aerospace Attractiveness


Manufacturing Workforce


Opportunity Zones


Manufacturing GDP


Technology Jobs



In Rainy-day Fund Balance


Recovery to Pre-COVID-19 Conditions


Highest Bond Rating


Pension Funding Leve


In Real GDP Growth
Learn more

Strategic Initiatives


Our people are what make our state so extraordinary. We redoubled our efforts to expand and support our workforce with solutions to help companies find the talent they need to thrive in Ohio—including launching two new programs this year alone. JobsOhio is helping companies access workforce partners in Ohio and investing in programs to increase the skilled talent pool by recruiting top talent, upskilling incumbent workers, and reskilling workers for the jobs of the future.

Ohio to Work

Piloted in the greater Cleveland area, Ohio To Work will help those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic return to work or discover new job opportunities. This is accomplished through a mix of accelerated job exploration, coaching, innovative financing, and training in collaboration with leading employers, training providers, and nonprofits.

Ohio To Work is unique and innovative because it takes a holistic approach—partnering with the full workforce ecosystem—and is designed to look ahead and build a resilient workforce for the future.

Unived Grinding North America Miamisburg, Ohio

Find Your Ohio

Find Your Ohio is a talent attraction program that launched in March 2020 to drive in-demand talent to the state. Through the program, we connect qualified, out-of-state candidates with job opportunities at companies operating in Ohio. JobsOhio developed Find Your Ohio to address talent shortages that organizations continue to face in critical disciplines. For our inaugural year, we focused on technology talent, specifically five roles of express need.

Through regular engagement with both candidates and companies, from resume submission to consideration, we dramatically increase our chance of successful placement.

As of December 31, 2020, we’ve successfully driven 807 resume submissions through our program website.

Talent Acquisition Services Program

Launched in 2017, the JobsOhio Talent Acquisition Services program (TAS) works with companies that are new to, or expanding within, Ohio to identify their unique talent challenges and customize sustainable talent strategies to solve them. The goal is to build and execute a flexible and customizable recruitment strategy alongside the company’s existing recruiting team.

Learn more


Site availability and readiness have been identified as major contributing factors to private sector development and job creation. In the past, Ohio has lost opportunities to secure capital investment and job creation due to a lack of site options. In 2020, JobsOhio invested in multiple initiatives related to site and building development to increase Ohio’s potential to win projects. Additionally, JobsOhio initiated efforts for further real estate development and community readiness.

Preparing Sites for Development

We continued working on JobsOhio’s premier site program, SiteOhio, a site selection evaluation program that puts industrial properties through a more stringent and comprehensive analysis than any other state site certification process in the U.S., to ensure that each site is ready for immediate development.

Focusing on Revitalization

Brownfield sites can be appealing, but the cost, relative to their market value, to develop them often deters redevelopment. JobsOhio offers a program that can bridge that financial gap. The JobsOhio Revitalization Program offers loans and grants to companies to redevelop underutilized properties — both land and buildings — and put them back into productive use. This funding mitigates the financial risk and accelerates the speed at which sites are redeveloped.

Site rendering Hamilton Township, Ohio

Filling Gaps in Real Estate Inventory

To help our state compete for reactive site selection projects and accelerate the process of bringing them to fruition, JobsOhio committed $50 million for the Ohio Site Inventory Program (OSIP), which extends grants and low-interest loans to support speculative site and building development projects. These projects have no identified end-user but have the potential for near-term job creation, supporting brownfield redevelopment, or filling inventory gaps within JobsOhio target industry sectors.

Projects are prioritized that result in near-term job creation, support brownfield redevelopment, or fill inventory gaps within JobsOhio target industry sectors.

Diversity & Inclusion

For Ohio’s recovery to be sustainable, it must be inclusive of all Ohioans. This year, we’ve focused on developing several programs that have helped us make Ohio a state where anyone can thrive, particularly in our underserved and distressed communities.

Diverse & Inclusive Recovery for ALL Ohioans

JobsOhio Inclusion Grant
Grants for SMBs in distressed areas or owned by underrepresented population groups
$5M annually
First 3 months: 87 companies in pipeline representing 483 jobs and $45M new investment
Project Planning & Vibrant Communities Programs
Technical support and grants for transformational projects
$6.4M annually
$32M/5 years
Targeting 3-6 projects across state, 150+ new jobs, $12+M new investment in distressed communities
Community Bank Partnershipup to $50MSupported bank loans for small and medium-sized businesses in underrepresented geographies. Totaling over $10M to more than 170 companies employing 2,200+ Ohioans
Ohio To Work
Work with existing workforce development eco-system partners, resources for technology, training, outreach
up to $30MPilot launched in NE Ohio. Targets underrepresented populations, partners include Urban League, and Goodwill
London Stock Exchange Group ELITE Program
Includes some targeted cohorts in distressed areas and for underrepresented populations.
18 cohorts
(~200 small and medium sized businesses)
Access in underrepresented populations, Stark County minority-owned business cohort underway; Youngstown, Cleveland & Appalachia cohort in development
Affordable Broadband Accessup to $ 50M MAccess in underrepresented geographies and affordable access for underrepresented populations
JobsOhio Bank Loan Guarantee
Loan guarantees for small business owned by underrepresented populations
$10M annually
$30M/3 years


Over the last several years, JobsOhio has been developing an innovation strategy to attract and retain companies in the fastest growing sectors and improve vitality in urban settings. Historically, Ohio has faced obstacles in the innovation space, notably in the start-up ecosystem. In response, JobsOhio launched a strategy in 2020 focused on smart, strategic initiatives and investments to increase Ohio’s competitiveness that will create improvements across the innovation continuum.

Innovation Districts

In March, a new Innovation District in Cincinnati was launched. This first-of-its-kind partnership between JobsOhio, the University of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center aims to accelerate more than 15,000 STEM graduates and $2 billion in research to bring up to 20,000 new jobs and $3 billion in annual economic impact.

Rendering of Cincinnati Innovation District Cincinnati, Ohio

Strengthening Ohio’s Innovation Economy

Our strategy takes form in three main initiatives:

Develop Innovation Districts

We will establish nationally competitive Innovation Districts in dense urban settings where large-scale, mixed-use development is adjacent to major academic and medical research anchor institutions, related firms, entrepreneurs, and spin-off companies.

Deploy Investment Capital

JobsOhio Investment Capital is a vehicle to co-invest with venture sponsors (venture capitalists, research institutes) to fuel scale-up healthcare and technology companies. These companies add vitality to Ohio’s economy and are positioned to become Ohio’s next great corporate leaders.

Assemble Expert Advisors

We will form an advisory group composed of anchor institutions, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs to inform and catalyze Ohio’s competitive offerings. This group will benchmark these offerings and make recommendations that will improve innovation outcomes.

Learn more



While the world may have been knocked down in 2020, Ohio will be a leader as we get back up.

It is what we always do. Ohio is positioned to lead the nation in recovery and be a strategic partner for PPE development, and JobsOhio was created for times like these. While many states are revisiting their economic development activity in light of budget constraints as a result of the pandemic, we at JobsOhio recognize those leaders that supported the development of a private, nonprofit organization with a dedicated funding stream.

JobsOhio is in place to help chart the path forward in Ohio’s recovery. And as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary in July 2021, we honor the qualities of strength and resilience that make our state unique— and now, perhaps more than ever before, we look to the future with hope.

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