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Researchers Complete Advanced Cluster Analysis for EDA-Funded Project

Oct. 14, 2014

Researchers shared the highlights of an advanced cluster analysis focused on manufacturing with four EDD’s (economic development districts) during meetings in late September and early October 2014.  The cluster analysis is one of four analytical steps being conducted as part of an EDA (Economic Development Administration) funded project to inform the overall 25-county shale impacted region about economic, social and environmental changes, potential implications and resultant strategic directions for sustainable development. 

Changes are being tracked quarterly or annually depending on what is being measured.  Researchers are using a number of data sets including the Center for Human Resource Research’s enterprise and workforce database and IMPLAN, an economic modeling software program.   Social and environmental indicators are also being tracked including school enrollment, housing starts, crime, and water quality, using a wide variety of public and private data sources. 

The cluster analysis revealed both expected and unexpected trends occurring in the four EDD’s.  As anticipated, in the Ohio Mid-Eastern Government Association (OMEGA) District, the region experiencing the majority of the drilling activity, the vast majority of the 600 or so jobs created between 2010-2013 were in the core and ancillary industries related to shale development.  During the same period, the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District in the southern-most part of the 25-county region, saw a concentration of hiring activity occurring primarily in construction tied to housing and commercial development, most likely due to shale development.  Unexpectedly, relatively little or no jobs were created in core or ancillary shale industries in this district. 

Building on the cluster analysis findings, researchers are now embarking on an industry capacity assessment to discover linkages and opportunities for sustainable growth in value added manufacturing in the four regions.  A recently published article provides more information on the project:

Written By: Nancy Bowen, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Community Economics