One hundred nine different languages are spoken in Columbus Region public schools and nearly 1,500 passengers fly to international locations from Port Columbus International Airport on a daily basis. Enrollment at The Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the United States, is comprised of more than 6,000 international students, and more than 600 foreignowned businesses employ more than 39,000 people within the Columbus Region.
Jobs supported by export activity accounted for 70 percent of the job growth in the Columbus Region from 2003 to 2010. With increasing globalization and the potential for re-shoring manufacturing and services, exports will continue to support job growth. Six of the 10 foreign countries whose companies have the most firms in the Columbus Region are also among the top 10 export markets, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Some of the region’s primary employers — Exel; Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane, Inc.; and Anheuser- Busch — are owned by international companies. These companies, along with noted international companies like Honda and its many suppliers, are critically important to the Columbus Region’s economy and local culture.
Additionally, hundreds of local companies — small and large — operate and generate growing revenues from international markets. The region’s manufacturing community is extraordinarily global. Companies like Honda of America Manufacturing, the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, and Worthington Industries have all made significant investments in international markets and have local employees with international expertise.
Recent examples of this include Honda’s announcement that it would locate production of the revamped Acura NSX, its first U.S.- produced version of the luxury “supercar,” in the Columbus Region, along with 50 leadership positions. Likewise, Italy-based FIMM Italia SpA, the world’s leading manufacturer of metal broom handles, announced that it would open its new production facility in the Columbus Region, adding up to $6.5 million in new capital investment.
The Columbus Region is one of eight areas in the United States selected to participate in The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). As a result, the region will receive support to ramp up its export efforts and develop targeted, integrated exportrelated services and strategies to better connect Columbus Region firms to global customers.
The Columbus Region’s global footprint is growing and the world is taking notice.