I was reading my Wall Street Journal during lunch and found this story on the front page of the second section, Marketplace.
In October, the RGP hosted Jim Carlton, for a two-day visit, setting appointments with appropriate businesses and entities and accompanying him throughout his trip. This story is the result of that visit.
The article takes an objective look at the area from our 'Glass City' reputation, tough economic times and our potential with new companies like Solar Fields, Xunlight Corp. and First Solar.
"But clean tech isn't necessarily a panacea. Only about 5,000 solar jobs have been created in the last five years in Toledo. Meanwhile, the number of manufacturing jobs lost since the 1980s is in the tens of thousands.
Cities like Toledo may also have trouble competing with domestic clean-tech hot spots like Silicon Valley, which are in closer proximity to venture capital sources. In addition, Toledo is competing against cheaper overseas locales. First Solar, for instance, is building four manufacturing plants in Malaysia. Company officials say the Perrysburg plant remains "critical" to the firm's future success.
Still, Toledo has come a long way. Stricken by manufacturing declines in the automotive and other big glass-consuming sectors, the city has been in an economic malaise for much of two decades. Its population loss in the 1990s was one of the fastest in the U.S.
Toledo acquired its Glass City moniker because of a long history of innovation in all aspects of the glass business. Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning, Glasstech and Tempglass have extensive ties here. As the traditional glass industry slowed, executives explored other uses for the material."
Kudos to the RGP for the great work the private sector is doing in promoting this region!