CLEVELAND, Ohio — Building on Ohio’s strengths in solar and wind power can maximize job growth and give the state a competitive economic edge. That’s according to the Ohio Jobs Project, a new report created in partnership with the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University and led by the American Jobs Project. The report is funded by The JPB Foundation, the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society.
“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on industrial clusters can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced energy industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” said Mary Collins, program manager for the American Jobs Project.
“For Ohio, this approach could employ an average of almost 26,000 people annually in the wind and 3D printing industries over the next 15 years,” Collins said.
Millions of Americans lost good-paying jobs during the recession, and unfortunately, many of the jobs created during the recovery have been in relatively low-skill, low-income occupations. In contrast, the Ohio Jobs Project proposes innovative strategies and policies designed to create thousands of skilled jobs that pay well for Ohioans today and into the future and informed by principles of competition, local control, and less red tape.
The report recommends innovative strategies to support job creation by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components, including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.
The Ohio Jobs Project finds that:
- Ohio relies on imported coal and natural gas for much of its energy supply. Ohio can diversify its energy supply and grow the economy by developing its advanced energy industries.
- Ohio’s wind industry is an ideal mechanism for job growth due to its strong foundation of original equipment manufacturers and successful models across the state, such as Blue Creek Wind Farm. Due to a combination of local leadership from the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation and foreign investment from Fred.Olsen Renewables, Ohio is poised to develop the first freshwater wind project in Lake Erie—an opportunity for Ohio to bolster the state’s wind manufacturing industry.
- Ohio’s wind industry has the opportunity to employ an average of more than 22,000 Ohioans annually over the next 15 years.
- Ohio is well-positioned to become a leader in additive manufacturing due to its large manufacturing workforce and access to the national accelerator for additive manufacturing, America Makes. Ohio can increase manufacturing capacity and expand 3D printing services to meet increased demand for 3D printing skills and to meet growing demand for 3D printing applications in the medical, aerospace, energy, and automotive industries.
- The 3D printer manufacturing and 3D printing services industries have the opportunity to employ an average of over 4,400 Ohioans annually over the next 15 years.
“Ohio is in a unique position to contribute to the global energy ecosystem,” said Alexis Abramson, Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and Director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute. “From our state’s strong industry clusters that span the entire energy supply chain to our diverse and robust workforce, we are particularly geared towards impacting innovation in this sector.”
The American Jobs Project website, which launched this month, features reports on Ohio and nine other states, as well as a Policy Bank detailing best practices and innovative ideas for advanced energy job growth. To learn more, or to download a copy of the Ohio report, visit http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/ohio/.