Ohio Third Frontier Continues to Create Jobs and Opportunities for Ohioans

Ohio Third Frontier shows increase in job creation despite challenging economy in 2009

Apr 09, 2010, 13:12 ET from Ohio Business Development Coalition

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the challenging economy many workers faced in 2009, the Ohio Third Frontier Program, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs, has continued its tradition of creating new jobs and opportunities for Ohioans. A new report by the Ohio Department of Development shows the Ohio Third Frontier Program has created more than 9,500 direct jobs, up 14 percent since its last six-month report on the program in June of 2009.

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"The growth of Ohio's technology-based companies is creating employment opportunities for existing workers that are transitioning to the new economy as well as those new to the workforce," said Norm Chagnon, executive director of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. "Ohio Third Frontier's investments in these companies' research, development, and capital infrastructure, aligned with Ohio's educational programs focused on technological excellence, creates an environment where young people and existing workers are prepared to fill the jobs of the future enabling them to remain in Ohio."

The jobs created cross the entire spectrum of high-tech industries including research and development and production and manufacturing. The average salary of direct jobs created is more than $65,000, well above state average salary of $38,100.

Just one example of Ohio Third Frontier's impact is found at Kent Displays. Kent Displays was founded in 1993 as the result of a joint venture between Kent State University and Manning Ventures, and is a world leader in the research, development and manufacture of Reflex™ liquid crystal displays. Ohio Third Frontier has awarded more than $13 million in Third Frontier grants to the Kent, Ohio company.

Funding from Ohio Third Frontier has helped Kent Displays make significant advances in flexible LCD performance and manufacturing. Because of these advances, Kent Displays has been able to increase its workforce from approximately 40 two years ago to more than 70 employees today. 

"All of these people, as well as others Kent Displays will hire with the help of Ohio Third Frontier funding, are creating a critical mass of talent to facilitate creation of a new and solid foundation for Ohio's economic future and put Kent Displays, the state, and even the United States of America on the global map in this large and growing flexible LCD industry," said Dr. Albert Green, chief executive officer of Kent Displays.

In addition to new job creation, the Ohio Third Frontier also is creating new opportunities for students and Ohio's emerging workforce. By December of 2009, Ohio Third Frontier awarded approximately 3,000 Ohio students internships with nearly 700 companies in 77 of Ohio's 88 counties.

"Ohio Third Frontier is providing the funding support and development tools to bring new innovation into the marketplace while also creating new business and workforce development opportunities for the state of Ohio," Chagnon continued. "The state's culture of collaboration between entrepreneurs, businesses, large companies and individual workers really makes any ambition achievable."

Since its inception, the Ohio Third Frontier has created, capitalized or attracted more than 500 companies and has created $6.6 billion in economic impact in Ohio, a 9:1 return on investment.

The complete report and more information about Ohio Third Frontier can be found at www.OhioThirdFrontier.com.

SOURCE Ohio Business Development Coalition