Ohio continues to be a crucial manufacturing and logistics state, according to a new report from an Indiana university.
Ball State University’s 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, an analysis from Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research, grades all 50 states on factors that impact manufacturing and logistics performance.
According to a synopsis of the report released Monday, Ohio received three “As” in the areas of manufacturing, logistics and global reach, a “C-” in human capital and tax climate, a “D” in worker benefit costs, a “C+” in diverse sectors and a “C” in productivity and innovation.
“Ohio continues to be one of the manufacturing powerhouses of the nation,” Michael Hicks, a Ball State economist, said in a statement offering a synopsis of the report.
But potential problems loom. Hicks added that the scorecard did note “a modest drop in (Ohio’s) human capital rankings, which if not arrested will weaken the manufacturing sector’s future growth prospects”
Hicks — a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from 2005-2007 — said Ohio is doing a bit better than average in some K-12 school metrics, such as middle school math scores and high school graduation rates.
“The real problem is in educational attainment among adults, which obviously comprise the current and intermediate term workforce,” Hicks told the Dayton Daily News in an email. “In that category, Ohio is below average on all six metrics we use.”
The state scores its best on the share of adults with a high school diploma, ranking 26th of 50 states. But rankings on the share of adults with a bachelor of arts degree, retention in community colleges, associate degrees awarded on a per-capita basis and adults enrolled in adult basic education, the state ranks in the lower half of all the states, at 27th or lower.
“Manufacturers largely have no use for adults without a high school degree, and in the better paying jobs, some community and technical college, a degree or a related certificate is really the educational standard employers are looking for,” Hicks said.
The report also found that Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio continue “to form the backbone of America’s manufacturing heartland.”
“Ohio has emerged strongly from the Great Recession, but Illinois and Wisconsin still struggle with tax climates that disincentive investment,” the report said.