All About Chemistry

While chemistry may not have been your favorite subject in
school, it plays an essential role in our everyday lives as well as
our national and local economy. As over 96 percent
of all manufactured goods are touched by the chemical industry in
some way, the industry is a significant employer and economic
contributor. To that end, the chemical industry directly employs
more than 44,000 people in Ohio and indirectly
employs another 130,000 people.  Closely tied
to polymers, the chemical industry supports a number of end-use
markets such as packaging, consumer products and building and

Nationally, the chemical industry is a major economic player,
representing an $801 billion enterprise. In fact,
the American Chemistry Council projects that chemical sales will
reach $1 trillion by 2019. This growth is spurred in part by
increased light vehicle production, medical devices, packaging,
electronics and building construction materials that depend on the
chemical industry. Much like the nation overall, chemicals also
represent big business for Ohio. As a whole,
“chemistry” constitutes a $32 billion industry for the
state, making Ohio the 6th largest chemistry producing state in the
country. In addition to being a major economic producer, the
chemical industry supports a number of well-paying jobs. The
average salary for a person employed in Ohio’s chemical
industry is nearly $74,000.  Just as the
chemical industry plays an important role in our national and state
economies, it also is pivotal to Northeast Ohio’s economic

Fueled by downstream shale activity, Northeast Ohio’s
chemical industry is reaping the benefits as development of the
Utica Shale continues. Rich with natural gas liquids (NGLs), the
Utica Shale is projected to have a highly transformative effect on
the future of Northeast Ohio’s chemical industry. Natural gas
liquids (ethane, propane and butane) serve as “crucial feed
stocks for high value added products of the chemical
industry” (Crain’s Cleveland). Products like adhesives,
coatings, paints, textiles, plastics and more are all derived from
the natural gas liquids found in the Utica Shale, illustrating just
how impactful the Utica Shale play is projected to be for our

As such, Northeast Ohio’s chemical-related companies are
well-positioned to take advantage of the close proximity to the
Utica Shale, which many believe will help increase their global
competitiveness.  Home to several major players in the
chemical industry such as Sherwin-Williams, Lubrizol, A. Schulman,
Polyone, OMNOVA Solutions and RPM International, to name a few,
Northeast Ohio already boasts a thriving chemical industry, which
will likely see continued growth in the years ahead as development
of the Utica Shale progresses.

Ultimately, the chemical industry is an essential economic
driver of our region’s economy, serving as the backbone for
numerous manufactured goods while employing thousands of Ohioans.
As the saying goes, it is indeed “all about