The Anatomy of a Deal
By John Minor
JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer
During its monthly meeting in July, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved projects that are committed to bring thousands of jobs to Ohio in the next three years. One of the big wins was the attraction of Barclays to Hamilton, where the global finance leader plans to hire 1,500 workers.
While the culmination of a project win gets the most attention – and deservedly so – the work that goes into every JobsOhio success story may surprise those who work outside of economic development. It always starts with a focus on our clients, the companies creating jobs.
Most successes like these are months – even years – in the making. We begin by identifying businesses we believe can create jobs for Ohioans. A lot of that responsibility falls on JobsOhio’s research, sales and marketing functions, as well as our Network Partners that are located throughout the state. Our team of managing directors with industry experience, as well as project managers, also plays an essential role in this effort.
The JobsOhio team spends a great deal of time vetting opportunities and executing technical reviews that help to inform whether a project is a good fit for Ohio. Does it align with our targeted industries? Is it competitive with other states or countries? And most important, will it create or retain jobs in Ohio?
If the answers to those questions are positive, we begin looking at what kind of support we can provide. Does the company need assistance breaking down barriers or business hurdles? Does the company need financing? A site to build on?
Barclays initially expressed interested in investing in Ohio in December of 2014, and within two weeks we provided a proposal that included several options in the state. At that time, we knew the Barclays project was competitive with states on the East Coast, and that there would ultimately be a significant job commitment for the winning state.
Among the company’s many needs was the ability to quickly fill jobs once a final decision was made. With our client’s needs in mind, we worked closely with our regional partners, industry managers, the City of Hamilton, and Vora Technology Park executives who believed they had a “key ready” site for the company.
We always work with regional partners, industry managers and local economic development professionals to determine how we can keep and grow jobs in the state. For example, JobsOhio can often assist with JobsOhio loans and grants. We can also recommend to the State of Ohio other incentives, which must be approved by the state, such as a Job Creation Tax Credits – a tool that keeps Ohio competitive with other states in economic development.
When JobsOhio is satisfied with the specifics of an incentive offer, the appropriate approval body must review it; for State incentives that includes the Ohio Tax Credit Authority or the Controlling Board. Though incentives play an important role, building strong relationships with our clients and teamwork always are essential to attracting jobs.
Ultimately we were informed that continued support at a state, regional and local level throughout the entire life of the Barclay’s project made a huge difference in the company’s decision to choose the Vora Technology Park for the new customer service center and 1,500 jobs. This win shows our model is customer friendly, efficient and competitive.
Every project is built on the JobsOhio philosophy: to promote economic development, business expansion, and redevelopment of under-utilized sites leading to one primary goal – jobs for the people of Ohio.