Tuesday, October 25, 2005

 

The Fourth Frontier?

While the Taft administration tries to get voters excited about Issue 1 and the "Third Frontier" initiative, the reality is that the lame TF economic development proposals are about as exciting and productive as kissing your sister.

On the other hand, we have a new report from the good folks at Policy Matters Ohio that suggests a realistic plan that could bring a significant number of new manufacturing jobs to Ohio and at the same time help free us from petroleum energy dependence:
Ohio ranks fourth among states in potential new component parts manufacturing positions and fifth among states in potential new investment if the U.S. were to make a large national commitment to renewable energy.
. . .

Because of Ohio's strong manufacturing infrastructure and workforce, about $3.64 billion of the $71.8 billion that would be needed nationwide could be expected to be spent in Ohio, more than all but four other states. More than 22,000 of the nationwide 380,000 new component parts manufacturing positions would likely be in Ohio, exceeding all but three other states. With the right policy reforms, Ohio stands to benefit disproportionately from this investment, said George Sterzinger, Executive Director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project.

Ohio has more than 2,000 of the 36,000 U.S. firms producing component parts similar to parts needed in renewable energy equipment, according to the 1997 Economic Census. These firms would be poised to slightly modify current capacity to manufacture parts for the new equipment.
. . .

Ohio could capture:
  • More than 13,000 jobs from wind investment, exceeding all states but California;
  • Nearly 6,000 jobs from solar investment, more than all but five other states;
  • More than 1,800 jobs from geothermal investments, second only to California; and
  • More than 1,800 jobs from biomass, among the top nine states (several stand to gain between 1,800 and 1,900).
Job and investment gains from this national commitment could be spread throughout the state of Ohio - 85 of the states 88 counties have a firm that could enter this market.
PMO has created a nifty map that shows how many jobs would be created in each Ohio county.

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