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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Growth and Change: Closing Ohio's Knowledge Worker Gap to Build a 21st Century Economy

It is all over the news in Ohio – the State‘s economy is and has been on a downturn. Several causes for this underperformance have been described by other policy briefs in the series1, including a high state and local tax burden, fragmented local govern-ance that blunts the competitiveness of Ohio‘s regions, and a lack of small business creation and entrepreneurship. But another cause is much more basic. With Ohio‘s move from primarily a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy, Ohio must match this transition with a similar transition in the way we educate and retain our workforce. Ohio cannot change its weather to make it a more attractive location or alter the global reshuffling of manufacturing, but Ohio can exert some control over education and workforce training. And it will not be easy or a quick fix. Ohio‘s "unattainmen" is entrenched in disturbing trends across the state. It is a pattern that starts in K-12 and runs through Ohioans adulthood. Despite the dismal statistics, education must be part of a larger effort to turn around Ohio.

Publication type: 
Policy brief
Date published: 
Monday, September 1, 2008