Selling Ohio on the ground in Germany

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor leads her state’s contingent as part of the USA pavilion at Hannover Messe.
By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media April 26, 2016

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor at the Ohio booth, part of the USA pavilion at Hannover Messe 2016. Courtesy: CFE MediaAs a native of the Akron, Ohio area, Mary Taylor is familiar with manufacturing, and how manufacturing needed to evolve as many Rust Belt industries left the region. As Ohio’s Lt. Governor, Taylor now sees the value of a diverse manufacturing sector that promotes both foreign direct investment into the state and helps Ohio manufacturers expand into the world.

With her boss, presidential candidate John Kasich, on the campaign trail, Taylor came to Hannover Messe this week as part of the largest U.S. manufacturing delegation ever at the 70-year show. Ohio long has been an attendee and supporter of Hannover Messe, and Taylor came this year to continue that relationship, and to bring more business home with her.

"Germany is our best trading partner," Taylor said. "They are very important to us. We have 25,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio just from German companies. Being physically present at this show let’s people see that we are serious."

At the show, Taylor and her team learned that German-based automotive supplier the Schaeffler Group committed to a $60 million expansion of its existing Wooster, Ohio plant, which will create an additional 250 jobs. "Having the opportunity to come here and visit them and tour their facility shows how important they are to us," Taylor said.

She has watched Akron and other American cities shake off the rust from the change in manufacturing and pivot to more advanced manufacturing. "It’s a global world," Taylor said. "Siemens is a big presence in our state, but Ohio is filled with small business manufacturers who contribute to the auto industry. We’re the second largest state to supply the auto industry, and we’re the number one supplier to Boeing and Airbus."

Taylor has come away impressed with the value of Hannover Messe as a place where states like Ohio can reinforce in person its relationship with manufacturing around the world. "Really, this is a fantastic show. You can see really cool advanced technology. You really can see where industry is headed.

"Relationship building is important," Taylor added. "Being physically present helps us reinforce existing relationships and build new relationships. Ohio has a lot to sell. I absolutely believe being present here is good for Ohio."

Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.

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