The Midwest region in the United States is historically home to one of the most important market sectors in our economy, the manufacturing and industry. Ohio is a pivotal state in this region and was hit hard by the recession of 2008-2009 and it just so happens that the job market in Ohio is flooded with manufacturing and industrial workers. And although the economy has been slowly recovering, the 2016 election in Ohio voiced the economic resentment to the rest of the nation. Recent interest in investing in Ohio’s manufacturing economy could ease a little of the pain. Giants of industry and manufacturing are looking to invest in their already established Ohio plants, or looking to move some of their plants to the region to evade potential change in United States trade policies. The companies recently identified in making investments in Ohio are Fiat, Honda and the Whirlpool Corp. Their investments could provide more jobs in that region and give unemployed Ohioan manufacturers a glimmer of hope as well as stimulate a once dwindling economy.
Our first example is Fiat’s renewed interest in the Ohioan region. Motivated by other auto-industry giants, their move to the northwest is inspired by President Trump’s potential new policies of taxation for sending jobs over the border to Mexico. Fiat’s original plan was to create a facility in Mexico but has adjusted production of SUV’s to be in Ohio instead. This move can potentially create 2,000 jobs in the region.
Honda is another auto manufacturer looking to make its new model hybrids here in already existing plants. The car company already has a long history in Ohio, specifically in the Columbus and Dayton areas, where it has been producing cars in the area and giving jobs to Ohio’s manufacturing workforce of 10,000 people. Their new investments this year will generate an increase in production, a new model for the company, and more jobs to provide in the region.
Whirlpool Corp also made a significant investment in two plants in 2016, most specifically the facilities in Findlay and Greenville. At a range of $40 million dollars of investment for each facility, Whirlpool plans on expanding and growing in its capacity. The plant in Greenville, for instance, will double in size and provide jobs for 1,200 industrial workers in Ohio.
Ohio is on the up and up recently, innovating and investing in its manufacturing future. Could it be the next manufacturing hub? Potentially, but the recovery of this once bolstering manufacturing economy is slow and steady. These recent investments shed light on the necessity to make more in our local economies, not only in Ohio but in the rust belt.
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