Holmes County in top 10 nationally for development

Holmes County in top 10 nationally for development

Three Ohio counties located in Southeast Ohio — including Holmes — were recently recognized for successful economic-development outcomes in the year 2020 by Site Selection Magazine, a unit of Conway Data Inc.

Holmes, Monroe and Pike counties were rated in the top 10 of all U.S. rural counties that experienced economic-development growth based upon private project investments with a capital investment of $1 million or more, job creation of 20 new hires or 20,000 square feet of new buildout by corporate end-users.

“Only 10 rural counties throughout the country registered more than two qualifying investments of $1 million or more, and four of those counties are in Ohio,” said Mike Jacoby, president of Ohio Southeast Economic Development. “Southeastern Ohio continues to be on the rise with Holmes County having five qualifying projects, Pike having four and Monroe County having three.”

Ohio was one of only five states with 11 or more qualifying rural projects. Nineteen states reported none at all. Williams County in Northwest Ohio was the fourth Ohio county recognized as being in the top-10 rural counties by Site Selection Magazine.

“We were thrilled to learn that Holmes County was recognized by Site Selection magazine as one of the top-performing rural communities in the country,” said Mark Leininger, executive director of Holmes County Economic Development Council. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work of the entrepreneurial people in our community. Our business owners are committed to this area, and they continue to push themselves to find new and innovative ways to thrive in competitive markets and during challenging times.”

Leininger said he appreciates JobsOhio’s recognition of the importance of supporting small communities like those in Holmes County.

“What our community lacks in terms of economic-development amenities such as ample public infrastructure and access to four-lane highways, it more than makes up for with a dedicated and hardworking workforce and an abundance of entrepreneurial people,” he said. “We value our partnership with JobsOhio and OhioSE and look forward to continuing to work together to support the growth of our local manufacturing sector businesses.”

Qualifying projects in Holmes County included a $1.5 million investment by Keim Lumber to modernize its inventory management system and train employees and a $1.7 million investment by Walnut Creek Foods to construct a 17,000-square-foot building addition at its manufacturing and distribution site.

“The fact that the Ohio Southeast Region represents a third of the top-10 rural counties for economic-development projects validates our great business environment here,” Jacoby said. “Our work force, our proximity to markets and low operating costs make our region a highly attractive location for business growth. We intend to be on this annual list for a long time to come.”

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic-development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com.

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