The Great Seal of the state of Ohio depicts a rising sun over Mount Logan in southern Ohio’s Ross County — a new day. Ohio Secretary of State William Creighton, Jr. first sketched the scene in 1803 as this territory west of the Alleghenies turned into the country's 17th state. The symbolism is as apt today as it was then, as the nation’s eighth-largest economy aligns itself to the demands of the 21st century.
Sixty percent of the U.S. and Canadian population lies within a day’s drive, making Ohio an ideal location for manufacturing — machinery, automobiles, plastics, appliances, and steel, among others. It has been that heavy reliance on manufacturing that is both Ohio’s strength and, at times, its Achilles heel. Because of Ohio’s manufacturing concentration, “We are known as a pro-cyclical state,” explains Dr. Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist specializing in U.S. economic history. “In periods of upswing, Ohio is, historically, prone to move a little faster than the national average.” On the other hand, “when we have a recession, we’re really clobbered.”