Ohio’s educated population is providing an amazing amount of innovative researchers and skilled labor to the workforce. Let’s run the numbers. There are 194 public and private post-secondary education institutions in Ohio. Research and medical institutions total 43 in Ohio. Three of the world’s top polymer universities are in Ohio. Nationally, the University of Akron ranks second and Case Western Reserve University ranks sixth for their polymer programs (Ohio’s Innovation Economy, Ohio Department of Development). Twenty-five Ohio higher education institutions offer biotechnology programs. All of these and other Ohio post-secondary institutions produce future workers at every conceivable organizational skill level, thus providing a rich human resource pool, which translates into outstanding corporate resources. The 5.4 million skilled workers in Ohio are more in number than the combined population of the 31 least-populated states in the U.S.
How Ohio Ranks 2008 (The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America, 2008) cites over 1,000 science or engineering (S&E) Ph.D. degrees awarded annually and over 22,000 S&E and health (SE&H) graduate students – feeding into a state high-tech annual payroll of approximately $9.3B. Ohio ranks ninth nationally in employed SE&H doctorate holders. Federally supported research at Ohio’s top 15 universities and technical institutes totaled nearly $500M for FY2006 (The National Science Foundation [NSF] FY2006). Academic research in both engineering and life sciences is higher than the national averages (NSF). For example, the University of Dayton receives approximately $37.5M and The Ohio State University receives $11.M in federally financed R&D for metallurgical and advanced materials engineering work. Nationally, these two universities rank second and third in total materials research (ODOD).
In 2006, Ohio’s colleges and universities awarded 4, 236 bachelors; 1,494 masters; and 350 doctoral degrees in engineering fields. The summary number represents an 18 percent increase over 2001 (ODOD). Statistics for 2005 compiled by the Ohio Board of Regents showed that Ohio’s bachelor’s degree production per capita was 103 percent of the U.S. level, compared to 82 percent of the national average for associate degrees, and 94 percent for graduate and professional degrees.
While comparisons to national statistics might sound like a B+ level of progress on a report card, it is actually a lot better than in similar states that have faced industrial decline and failed to rebound (as Ohio has done). If compared to statistics from 2001 per 100,000 residents, Ohio’s associate degree production has increased in all major fields, with engineering increasing by 11 percent and science and math by an amazing 167 percent. Similarly, bachelor’s degrees in engineering increased 32 percent and science and math degrees by 20 percent, which translates into a 115 percent increase compared to 1980. For graduate and professional degrees, engineering increased by 67 percent and science and math by 40 percent.
All of this boils down to a reason for optimism about the status of technical education in Ohio and the availability of outstanding workers for companies in Ohio or considering relocation to Ohio. As one of ODOD’s taglines reads: Ohio Means Business.
PolymerOhio is an industry connecting and networking group that is focused on enhancing the global competitiveness and growth of Ohio’s plastics, rubber and advanced materials industry. PolymerOhio does this by providing a broad range of value-added programs and services to our members and Ohio’s polymer industry. PolymerOhio resources have a deep understanding of the polymer materials and processes and the products derived from these materials.
The mission of PolymerOhio is to enhance the growth and global competitiveness of Ohio’s polymer, plastic, rubber, paint, sealant, adhesive, ink and advanced materials industry, through the identification and fulfillment of its needs and by facilitating the awareness, utilization, and development of existing and future resources.