Ohio explores future of manufacturing

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Costly gasoline has been one of many headaches for the auto industry. One of the states hit the hardest is Ohio. That's where Vice President Biden will be today, talking about what Ohioans hope is the next great manufacturing boom. Here's Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler.


Karen Kasler: Suburban Toledo is the backdrop for the meeting, where the vice president, the Commerce Secretary, the car czar and Ohio's governor will talk about the future of manufacturing. They'll run the town-hall style meeting in a solar cell manufacturing plant.

And Ned Hill says that's a perfect location for such a discussion. He's a professor of economic development at Cleveland State University.

Ned Hill: If you're going to speak about the future of manufacturing, you might as well go to the battleground or the epicenter of the impact of the recession and the decline of the old domestic automobile industry.

Two of the nation's biggest solar cell manufacturers are located in northwest Ohio. Hill says the region's traditions in auto and glass making mean the infrastructure is in place for this growing industry.

Hill: You can tell a story about how you can move old skills to new skills, old technology to new technology, but more importantly old market to new market.

And this is important for Ohio. The U.S. Business and Industry Council says in the past decade, the state has lost more than 280,000 manufacturing jobs.

I'm Karen Kasler for Marketplace.

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