Insights for more than just manufacturers

Smart Business put a special focus on manufacturing this month, but like so much in business this issue also has common themes that relate to all industries — from workforce development to emerging risks and leadership.

Unlike other areas of the state, Columbus doesn’t really have the self-image of being a manufacturing hub. But it’s still an important sector for the Central Ohio region.

All together, more than 1,700 manufacturers employ more than 85,000 people, according to Columbus 2020. Other reasons why manufacturing is thriving, include the fact that the region:

  • Is a global trade hub with excellent rail and highway connections to major ports and cargo flights. Manufacturers can reach more of the U.S. and Canada within a day’s drive from the Columbus region than from any other major metro.
  • Has one of the lowest private sector unionization rates in the country, at 3.1 percent.
  • Features over 100 manufacturing-related educational and training programs.

To learn more about Central Ohio’s manufacturing sector, check out this month’s cover story where four manufacturers discuss how they handle their workforce, and others talk about the emerging risks manufacturers face.

Workforce development isn’t just a challenge for manufacturers, though. Alvis’ Denise M. Robinson shares how her organization helps individuals who have spent time in the criminal justice system become productive employees in the Building Stronger Communities feature.

Robinson wasn’t the only strong leader featured this month. Right after Dan Creekmur, president of Columbus Gas of Ohio, stepped onto the stage at a January Columbus Chamber of Commerce event, he lost a bet — a bet that his young age wouldn’t be mentioned in the first few minutes.

While being in his 30s and leading more than 1,100 employees is unique, it also gives him a different perspective. Find out more about his views on leadership and service in this issue.