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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, June 2019

Playing Long Ball in Central Ohio: 4 Projects Bring 335 Jobs to Columbus Region

Skyline of Columbus, the capital city of Ohio.
Courtesy of Experience Columbus


The last time this many home runs were launched in a single day by one player, second baseman Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds was rocketing baseballs into the outfield bleachers of Great American Ballpark on the northern banks of the Ohio River.

That was on June 6, 2017. A little more than two years later, on June 24, 2019, Columbus 2020 joined the slugfest by propelling four Buckeye State dingers of its own. The regional economic development partnership for Central Ohio accomplished the rare feat when it announced expansion projects by four firms:

  • Univar Solutions, a global chemical and ingredient distributor, confirmed plans to expand its Shared Service Centers of Excellence in Dublin, Ohio, by more than 30,000 sq. ft., generating 225 new jobs by 2022.
  • Integra Beauty Inc., a rapidly growing beauty, fashion and lifestyle company, announced plans to create a new distribution center in Groveport, Ohio, creating 61 jobs and investing more than $4 million at the company’s first warehouse outside of California.
  • City Barbeque, a home-grown restaurant chain of 43 stores across seven states, announced it will expand in Dublin, creating 35 jobs and investing almost $1 million.
  • Toyota Gosie, a Toyota Group company and manufacturer of rubber and plastic car parts, confirmed it will open a new technical center in Dublin, creating 14 jobs.

How rare is it to hit four home runs in one ballgame? Well, when Gennett did it for the National League Central Division Reds, he became only the 17th player all-time to achieve the feat. While records aren’t kept on how many expansion projects are announced on a single day by a local or regional economic development group, four in 24 hours is an outlier, even for an organization with a track record as accomplished as Columbus 2020’s.

A winner of the 2019 Site Selection Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development, which recognizes the top local and regional economic development agencies in the U.S. for their role in delivering prosperity to their communities, Columbus 2020 serves as the economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus region. Among its goals set in 2010 for the year 2020, the region already has surpassed its target of generating 150,000 net new jobs and has achieved its goal to attract $8 billion in capital investment. The group is also on track to attain its goal to raise per capita income across the region by 30%.

Other benchmarks show that the Columbus region is experiencing the strongest decade of economic growth in its history. Columbus 2020 is funded by over 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio.

“The Columbus region’s access to the U.S. market, along with its skilled workforce, makes this a smart move for us during our next chapter of growth.”
-- John Maurer, Vice President of Operations, Integra Beauty Inc.

Mark Fisher, president of Univar Solutions USA, said his company selected Dublin for the IT and training center because of “the Columbus region’s strong talent pool and collaborative business community.”

“Univar’s expansion comes after its acquisition of Nexeo earlier this year, facilitating a consolidation that will bring 225 new jobs to Dublin,” said Dana Saucier, vice president and head of economic development for JobsOhio, the state’s official economic development agency. “We’re excited Univar chose the Columbus region’s talent o significantly grow operations that will support the chemical industry’s largest transportation fleet.”

The Columbus region of Central Ohio is widely regarded as one of the most strategic logistics corridors in the country. More than 4,400 logistics and distribution establishments employ more than 83,000 workers throughout the region. Dublin, located in Franklin, Delaware and Union counties, is home to several logistics and distribution firms.

Beauty supply firm Integra is also making a notable logistics investment in the region and will soon begin hiring for material handlers and packers, warehouse, finance, IT and human resource positions at its new distribution facility in Groveport.

“The Columbus region’s access to the U.S. market, along with its skilled workforce, makes this a smart move for us during our next chapter of growth,” said John Maurer, vice president of operations at Los Angeles-based Integra Beauty.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Reds won that historic game two years ago, 13-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals, thanks mainly to Gennett’s 4-homer, 5-for-5, 10-RBI day, which included – you guessed it – a grand slam:

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.


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