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Greater Akron’s Competitive Advantages

  • Greater Akron lies within a 500-mile radius of 42 major U.S. cities that encompass 55 percent of U.S. manufacturing plants, 57 percent of the U.S. population and 60 percent of its buying power.

  • The Akron Metropolitan Area was ranked 14th in the nation for European expansions (Top 50 U.S. Cities for European Investments, Expansion Management Magazine, June 2003).

  • Greater Akron is known for a high-end polymer industry equipped with a sophisticated polymer research
    infrastructure.This has created a new image for Akron, which is now referred to as the “Polymer Center of
    the Americas.”

  • Northeast Ohio has the highest concentration of plastics processors in the country and is the nation’s leading manufacturer of plastic processing equipment. Home to the largest number of polymer companies in Ohio, Greater Akron has about 16,000 polymer-industry employees.

  • Second only to California, Ohio employs 95,885 in fabricated-polymer products, with 11,694 in Greater Akron (Society of the Plastics Industry 2000 Economic Study). Ohio’s $13 billion in polymer-product shipments also ranks 2nd.

  • The University of Akron’s polymer-science and polymer-engineering program ranks 2nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

  • In April 2001, the City of Akron was named one of 10 “High Tech Havens”by Newsweek magazine.

  • One-half of Ohio’s Fortune 500 companies are in the Cleveland-Akron area; more than 150 Fortune 500 companies have facilities in Greater Akron.

  • 42 projects contributed to nearly $150 million in private capital investment in new and expanded facilities in 2004.

  • 24 percent of Greater Akron’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, which is 50 percent higher than the national average.

  • Akron is a two-time winner of the All-American City Award (1980 and 1996).

  • In 2003, Site Selection Magazine ranked top U.S. metro areas by the number of new and expanded facilities; the Akron metro area ranked 27th (37 facilities).

  • The Cost of Living Index of the Akron PMSA (Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area) is (91.8 for the first quarter 2005) consistently below the national average (source: ACCRA (American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association) Cost of Living Index).

  • In March 2005, Expansion Management Magazine’s 5-Star Quality of Life Metros Survey ranked Akron 52nd for public schools and 68th for continuing education (rank range: 1 for best to 362 for worst).

  • In July of 2004, Expansion Management Magazine ranked Akron 25th in the top 50 U.S. cities for European
    investment.

  • In March 2004, Inc. Magazine was evaluating large, medium and small cities, rating robust job growth and strong economies. Akron was in the top 25 medium cities in the U.S. to do business.

  • Akron got a better jobs report card this year from the California think tank Milken Institute, which ranks the
    nation’s largest cities on how well they create and sustain jobs.The city and surrounding area bounced up 27 spaces, rising from 180 out of 200 in 2003 to 153 this year.“ (Akron) pretty much out-performs the national average in a couple of categories,”said Armen Bedroussian, senior research analyst at the nonprofit institute and one of the report’s authors.“I think overall the story with Akron (is that) it was able to sustain itself better in the recession than other metros.”

  • In July 2005, Expansion Management Magazine named Akron, Ohio, one of America's 5-Star* Business Opportunity Metros (3rd Annual MAYOR'S CHALLENGE ™ Ranking the Best U.S. Cities to Expand or Relocate a Business, Expansion Management Magazine, July 2005).

  • Akron General and Summa Health System were again ranked among the 50 best hospitals in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report magazine, 2005, Best Hospitals). Summa captured top 50 finishes in three categories: 28th in respiratory disorders, 48th in digestive disorders, and 49th in orthopedics; Akron General ranked in the top 50 in two categories: 35th in hearing and 45th in respiratory disorders.

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