John Molinaro Blog

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Appalachian Partnership Chairman and CEO John Molinaro has been developing rural economies for three decades.  He also knows the policy side having come to APEG from the Aspen Institute in Washington D.C. and through service on national rural development boards.  He is shaping the Rare Mix of Assets offered by Ohio’s 32 Appalachian-designated counties into the region’s first-ever economic development entity.

Economic Development in Uncertain Times

John Molinaro, APEG President and CEO

National and global events can have a profound effect on local and regional economic development.  The number one factor companies look for before committing to a major investment is predictability of their operating environment.  Their bankers, owners and investors want to be certain their investment will pay off.

Put another way, companies are always trying to manage their risks.  Economic uncertainties, political changes, regulatory proposals and international trade relations can make a huge difference in how risky a project may be.  Our recent national elections provide a strong example of how this works.

Every presidential election cycle is accompanied by a slowdown of company decisions regarding investments in new plants and equipment.  During the primaries, as the field narrows, companies look at candidates’ positions and track records and try to predict how each would affect their plans…

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Playing the Long Game

Every once in a while you will hear a country, a politician or a company described as “playing the long game.”  Urban Dictionary defines the phrase as “active participation in achieving goals which may take some time.”  Other sources add that those playing the long-game may pass over short- or medium-term gains in order to reach larger and more beneficial long-term goals.

Economic development is a field where winners learn playing the long game produces more benefits.  Economies rise and fall over decades so strategies work best when they address long-term opportunities and challenges and answer questions like:

• What are our unique competitive advantages and how can we capitalize on them?

• What new industries are emerging that are right for our region? How do we attract them?

• How do we preserve viable segments of declining industries?

• What infrastructure, sites and buildings need to be in place 5, 10, 20 years from…

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JobsOhio and APEG at worldwide trade show

image1What do President Obama, APEG, JobsOhio and 210,000 industrial leaders from around the globe all have in common?  We all traveled to Hannover, Germany in April to attend the largest industrial trade show in the world, the Hannover Messe.

Why did the President attend?  There is no better place in the world to identify and meet with industrial leaders who can bring additional jobs, investment and prosperity to America.  In addition, for the first time in the Messe’s 69-year history,  America was the show’s official partner country.  President Obama and various federal agencies used the Messe to showcase America as a place to invest, do business and create jobs.

Strategically placed next to the main stage, foot traffic at the Ohio booth was intense for the entire week.

Our JobsOhio contingent had the largest presence of any state at the Messe; more than 100 Ohioans…

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21st Century Buffalo Hunting

Many economic developers describe the art of attracting large domestic and foreign companies as “buffalo hunting.”  Some praise the practice saying that bagging the big, migratory beast fills a lot of stewpots and benefits the whole tribe.  Others criticize economic development as being too focused on buffalo, rather than on local firms – the rabbits, squirrels and deer that fill most of our stewpots every day.

Since starting in 2012, APEG has focused mostly on local game.  We know that 80-90 percent of new jobs come from growing companies already present in our economy.  We have made thousands of calls on local companies, looking for ways to help them grow and succeed here in Appalachian Ohio.  Our retention and expansion efforts have resulted in most of the 5500 plus new jobs we have helped grow in the region.

Mike Jacoby describes (below) how APEG is launching new efforts to attract companies to…

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Contact:
John Molinaro,
President, CEO
molinaro@apeg.com
740.753.5359

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