Editorial: Don’t forget rural areas of Ohio

While the Buckeye State works to attract new visitors (and perhaps permanent residents), it has a running start with its efforts to attract employers. According to corporate real estate and economic development magazine Site Selection, Ohio leads the country in new corporate facility projects per capita. Ohio is second on the list for total projects.

“Ohio continues to attract new corporate facilities and business to invest here,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “In Ohio, we have a strong business community that will work alongside new companies who are looking to invest and utilize our skilled workforce.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted told the magazine the state is first for a reason.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, businesses knew they could count on Ohio as a great place to invest, now and for the future,” he said.

According to the magazine, 25 of the state’s micropolitan areas (one or more adjacent counties that contain an urban core with 10,000 to 50,000 people) were among the top 100 micropolitan areas in the nation. Something is going right for those parts of the state.

Now it is time for lawmakers and economic development officials to find a way to translate it to the large swaths of rural Ohio still struggling. Those areas are just bursting with potential to attract those hoping to escape the urban jungles of some other, more populated states.

But rural communities need help. They need resources and ideas. They need someone to believe in them, too. Columbus has proof there is a formula for success in developing part of the Buckeye State.

Now let’s make it work for ALL of Ohio.

— Marietta Times, March 5