The Northeast Ohio region is a microcosm of the United States. Its anchor cities have a long and varied history in the development of the region, state, and country. Its population is about equally split by gender and the median age is 39 years. Over 50% of the population reports having taken some post secondary courses. The region is ethnically diverse and is reflective of the overall U.S. population. Median household income in the region is approximately $42,000 and approximately 94% of the eligible population is employed.
Economically, the region is going through a distressed economic period that is also affecting the rest of the country. This is brought on by the region’s slow movement from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy. Across both the state and the region these distressed economic conditions have been further exacerbated by the recent banking, credit quality, mortgage, and telescoping oil costs crises. There is a shift occurring in the region and it anchor cities away from traditional manufacturing jobs to service sector jobs, especially in the healthcare sector. This is evidenced by the fact that the largest employers in each of the anchor cities and the region overall are major health systems. This movement to the service sector has generated numerous collaborative efforts, especially the sharing of innovative ideas and technologies that have laid a solid foundation for continuous increased productivity in the region.
The economic situation in Northeastern Ohio is positioning itself for a major transition and change. While epochal change of this type is often slow and difficult, a number of key assistance and growth stimulants have been put into place to aid businesses in the region and to successfully attract domestic and international businesses into the region. Key among these is regional growth initiatives and Ohio tax assistance and reforms. Thus, the economic climate, out of necessity, is changing to one where the resources will be made available to generate new business and to stimulate growth of existing businesses in the area. The political, business, and resource infrastructure is there to provide opportunities and advantages to businesses committing and availing themselves of them. In this sense, the economic glass should be viewed as half full as the region sets its tools and policies in place to generate its rebirth.