Wayne County Takes Home Top Five Economic Strength Ranking
The 2018 POLICOM Micropolitan Strength Rankings have been announced and Wooster/Wayne County Micropolitan has earned its first top ten finish since the inception of the rankings 14 years ago, landing at number five.
POLICOM is an independent economic research firm with specialization in studying the dynamics of local economies. The strength rankings are compiled by analyzing 23 factors including jobs, wages and social welfare, resulting in a measure of how the economy has behaved, not what has caused it to perform.
“The rankings do not reflect the latest ‘hotspot’ or boom town, but the areas which have the best economic foundation,” said William H. Fruth, President of POLICOM.
The Wooster/Wayne County micropolitan has steadily moved up the rankings ladder since 2012 when the area was positioned at 200. Over this five year period, employment and wages countywide have increased by nearly 10%.
“Wayne County has experienced significant growth in recent years”, said Ann Obrecht, Wayne County Commissioner. “Not only have we’ve seen growth in all areas of the county, but we’ve also seen tremendous expansion and diversification in all our business sectors.”
According to the Wayne County Economic Development Council, the area has netted over 4,100 new jobs and $1 billion in capital investment since 2012. Over this time period, Daisy Brand and GOJO Industries have joined the Wayne County business portfolio, while multiple expansions with existing companies including The J.M. Smucker Co., Schaeffler and Venture Products have also transpired.
“Wayne County is the birthplace of our company”, said Randy Kitzmiller, Vice President of Venture Products. We’ve had offers to locate portions of our business elsewhere but the favorable business climate found here has made our decision to grow locally an easy one.”
Wayne County has consistently received recognition as one of the leading 550 micropolitans in the U.S. The POLICOM rankings, acknowledging continual quality growth, strengthen the area’s position and status as high performing micro-economy.
“We’re thrilled by Wayne County’s top five finish in the 2018 POLICOM Micropolitan Strength Rankings”, said Tom Pukys, President Wayne Economic Development Council. “The area has a well-balanced and diverse economy which has led to consistent, long-term growth.”
Among the factors contributing to Wayne County’s success, Pukys credits a high level of collaboration across the private and public sectors as a growth catalyst. Engaged local leadership have created a strong environment for expansion and attraction activity.
Bozeman, MO followed by Lewisburg, PA, Truckee Grass Valley, CA and Traverse City, MI round out the POLICOM 2018 top five. Wayne County is the one of three Ohio micropolitan communities to place in the top 25 and one of twelve in the Great Lakes Region to land in the top 50.