Some Ohioans recognize that their state is being left behind and that protectionism is not the answer. In the midst of the busy holiday shopping season, Circleville leaders hosted a summit with Honda representatives to learn what foreign companies search for in communities when choosing sites for manufacturing plants.
Honda looks for an educated work force, reported the Circleville Herald, graduation rates, proximity of colleges and vocational schools for training a work force as well as involvement with international organizations.
But with 23 percent of its adults holding a college degree, Ohio ranks only 38th among the 50 states. Less than 10 percent of Ohio residents hold advanced degrees.
Ohio must either meet globalization halfway or continue its exit from international economic stage. That Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spent more time trying to sound more anti-NAFTA than talking about policies that would help attract a Honda-sized plant, does not bode well for Ohio's future. Politicians are practiced at telling voters what they want to hear.
I'm reminded of all the hot air expended concerning brain drain. The focus is on who is leaving instead of trying to bring in new people. Until Ohioans (along with the rest of the Rust Belt) grasp that the game is all about attraction, the region will continue to bleed jobs and people. Better to be at the heart of globalization than to be economic backwater.