Thank you for all your support during the first half of 2024. Together, we’ve accomplished a lot and are set for a strong second half of the year.

In the first six months, we secured commitments for 17 projects, bringing in over $452 million in capital investment, creating 1,000 direct jobs, and generating a total payroll of $70 million. By September, we expect to secure an additional $600 million in capital investment, 500 more direct jobs, and $39 million more in total payroll. While job creation is modest compared to pre-COVID numbers, capital investment remains high, and payroll is robust, reflecting higher average wages.

Our industrial pipeline is in good shape. Like the rest of the nation, smaller projects face challenges from financing costs, automation, and the impact of AI. Office projects are nearly non-existent, but local real estate transactions are happening, mostly involving downsizing and upgrading spaces.

We’ve launched one of our most aggressive business development efforts to maintain momentum and compete with peer metro areas. This week, our team is in Washington D.C. at Select USA, the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) gathering in the world. We expect to close over $500 million in FDI, all in manufacturing investments, from the start of 2024 through the end of summer.

We’ve made over a dozen domestic trips to meet with companies and conducted three overseas missions to Japan, Korea, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. These activities are building a long-term pipeline and relationships that we believe will yield benefits both in the near and long term.

Our outreach to local companies remains vigorous. We’ve interviewed over 140 companies this year. Concerns about a tight labor force are matched by worries over rising costs in energy, talent, and financing. Many companies are delaying projects due to the upcoming November election. We are regularly working with critical supply chains, including Honda and Intel.

The demand for cloud capacity to support growing AI initiatives is increasing. We are addressing this in two ways. First, we are meeting with all parties to gain insights so we can be a value-added partner to our clients and communities. Second, we are targeting this growing sector to create more opportunities, including data center equipment, energy generation projects, and AI R&D facilities.

Our engagement with local partners is growing through our Prepared Communities Win initiative. Over a dozen sites are in the process of being authenticated/certified, meaning due diligence is being done proactively.

Our workforce team continues to work informally and through local initiatives with dozens of local companies, as well as with several major employers on their talent acquisition needs.

We are taking bold steps to boost our marketing efforts. First, we are close to hiring an external firm to manage our national and international media relations. We paused this effort to strengthen our internal processes. Second, we have developed a campaign to raise awareness of the Columbus Region in coordination with Experience Columbus. This campaign will provide advertising and video content for digital and print placement in key markets and audiences across the United States.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. Have a great week and a wonderful Independence Day!

For more updates, visit Columbus Region News.

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