Fuel Cell Companies Drawn to Stark County – The National Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition took place in Palm Springs, California, November 16-19. In attendance were representatives of Stark State College and the Stark Development Board, reflecting Stark County’s commitment to the fuel cell industry. Also in attendance were representatives of the three companies doing research and development on the campus of Stark State College. The three companies—Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, Inc.; Contained Energy, LLC; and Lockheed Martin—have all collaborated with Stark State College in securing grants from Ohio’s Third Frontier Program. The Third Frontier Grant Program is catalyzing the growth of existing and emerging industry clusters in targeted areas of technology. Fuel cells have been a targeted technology since the inception of the Third Frontier Program, and the Stark County community has embraced its growth. Stark State College has received more than $18.2 million in grants over the past five years to develop fuel cell curricula, support industry research and development, and prepare technicians for this emerging field. At the National Exposition, the Stark Development Board featured a brochure that included comments from the three fuel cell companies as to why they chose Stark County for their development. To read those comments and to learn more about the advantages of doing business in Stark County, click here.
Ohio Ranked 4th in the Nation for Business Climate – The State of Ohio rose to fourth in Site Selection magazine’s annual state business climate rankings released November 2, up from seventh in 2008. Ohio leads the Midwest in the rankings, which include new plant construction data and a survey of professional site selectors. Site Selection’s annual business climate rankings are determined in two ways: first, by actual performance in Conway Data’s New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity; second, by the results of a national survey of site selectors, which saw Ohio’s performance climb from 17th in 2008 to 8th in 2009. According to the surveys, Ohio ranked especially high in transportation infrastructure and access, existing workforce skills, and state and local tax environment. Governor Ted Strickland had this to say: “The global recession hit Ohio hard, but we refuse to let our challenges define us. We are holding the line on taxes and cutting red tape so that our businesses can be competitive and create jobs.” To read more about Ohio’s ranking, click on this Ohio Department of Development article. To read more about how Ohio’s tax reform has lowered the cost of doing business compared to other Midwest states, click here.