Op-Ed Column – January 2023
HEATH-NEWARK-LICKING COUNTY PORT AUTHORITY
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
January 15, 2023
DEVELOPMENT NEWS PREDICTS 2023 OPPORTUNITY
By: Rick Platt
I’m a student of family history research. I know that, in one branch of my family, my third great grandparents came to Ohio over 150 years ago from Germany. Their granddaughter, my great grandmother, left the state but later came back. In that same family branch, my grandfather left Ohio. He graduated high school and college on the West Coast but came back to Ohio 85 years ago.
Coming to Ohio, and coming back to Ohio, had a common reason among my ancestors. The reason in every generation: Opportunity.
I can’t help but think my personal family history trends could be a pattern for other families all over Ohio as the development announcement news of the last few years gets realized in job opportunities opening up. Ohio history has historical examples of windows of job opportunities that bring people to Ohio for the first time or homesick Ohioans back home for good.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine used his second inaugural remarks to call for legal immigrants and people interested in seizing opportunity to “come to Ohio.” The Governor is on to something. Use of his bully pulpit is spot on.
JobsOhio CEO J.P. Nauseef labels what we are experiencing in development announcements in Ohio as “generational opportunities.” He’s right.
2023 will be that year. Licking County is at the heart of it.
New projects are getting more real.
Behr Paint will open a new building which will be the third largest on the Port Authority’s campus in Heath that boasts 80 years of manufacturing development. The building will be ready this Summer.
Amgen’s building in Western Licking County is going up fast. Little known fact: Amgen is already hiring and quietly opened up in a new speculative-built industrial building in Heath last June.
Intel could start hiring in 2023, including internships with a promise of a permanent job when the facility is ready to open. Follow Intel.com/Ohio.
It’s a good bet that those of us in the development community are focused on helping ensure our existing industry has the chance to grow too.
Boeing is at its highest employment level in over 20 years. They’re still hiring at jobs.Boeing.com.
Transcendia’s new building in Union Township looks great. Jobs are there.
The list is long and wide in manufacturing in Licking County.
These now-emerging generational trends can continue as long as we continue to work, as a community and a state, to seize the opportunity before us.
Let’s all make it our job. Welcome homesick Ohioans back home. Welcome new Ohioans here.
National author Joel Kotkin, who has been a frequent visitor to Ohio and Licking County, has his finger on the pulse of opportunity in manufacturing. Kotkin recently wrote in a national column, “History is calling on North America, and the future depends on how we respond.”
What a great time to be in Ohio. What a great time to be in Licking County.
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Rick Platt is the President and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, a regular development column writer, and a father of four and grandfather of one who lives in Newark. He is a Board member of JobsOhio.