Technology Driving the Future of Manufacturing

Economic development groups collaborate to reveal state of manufacturing in Northeast Ohio

The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and Team NEO collaborated to report on the Northeast Ohio Region’s manufacturing industry, including the state of manufacturing today, projections through 2025 and steps the ecosystem is taking to help expand the use of innovation industry 4.0 technologies to make our region a global leader.

The $46 billion industry with 248,000+ workers and 7,700 facilities, is an important economic driver for the Northeast Ohio Region’s economy. “Manufacturing is the backbone of our region, impacting the prosperity of our communities,” said Ethan Karp, President and CEO, MAGNET. “The release of Make It Better: A Blueprint for Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio earlier this summer provides a vision for how the sector will succeed in becoming a global leader in smart manufacturing in the next decade.”

Key insights from the report:

  • The 2021 largest occupations include traditional roles and technology talent needs:
    • Of the top 10 occupations, fabricated metal products top the list.
    • Computer & electronics and food manufacturing also make the top 10.
  • $46 billion GDP represents diverse subsectors:
    • Among the top subsectors in terms of output are chemical and fabricated metal.
    • Nontraditional subsectors, such as computer & electronics and food manufacturing, also make the top 10.
  • While Northeast Ohio’s post-pandemic change in manufacturing employment (2018-2025) will see some recovery, it is projected to remain 10% lower than pre-pandemic levels. On the other hand, GDP is projected to grow 8% by 2025.
    • The U.S.’s stronger employment (remaining 5% lower) and GDP (16% growth) projections may be attributed to the size of the economy manufacturing represents in Northeast Ohio versus the U.S.
  • General regional manufacturing employment projections through 2025 show a slight decline due to automation and technology advancement, however, beverage sector employment is expected to experience significant growth, at 12.3%.
  • Subsector GDP Projections also show several growth areas for the Northeast Ohio Region by 2025:
    • Traditional sectors such as primary metals and chemicals are projected to grow in output.
    • The nontraditional computer & electronics sector is projected to grow 33%.

The overall decline in employment can partially be attributed to the inability of manufacturers to fill open positions. Further, GDP can gain significant increases with implementation of innovative technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and additive manufacturing. The Manufacturing Blueprint seeks to engage manufacturers around four key pillars for growth – talent, transformation, innovation, and leadership – to address these challenges and ensure the industry’s success. The Smart Manufacturing Cluster, facilitated by Team NEO, is the platform to engage small- to mid-size manufacturers for each of the Manufacturing Blueprint’s four pillars.

“Since 2018, Team NEO’s Smart Manufacturing Cluster has convened manufacturers, solution providers, academia and others to accelerate the growth and competitiveness of our manufacturing community through smart manufacturing technologies and processes,” said Jay Foran, Team NEO senior vice president, industry and innovation. “We look forward to enhancing our efforts by fully leveraging the Manufacturing Blueprint in all our cluster efforts.”

Team NEO publishes the Quarterly Economic Review to provide a holistic picture of Northeast Ohio’s economy. The nonprofit organization uses this information to attract new businesses and jobs to Northeast Ohio and help those that are here grow.

Team NEO uses Moody’s, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and Ohio’s Labor Marketing Information to aggregate regional figures.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18 counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy –  one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient and prosperous. For more information, visit


MAGNET’s mission is to help manufacturers grow and compete in Northeast Ohio, especially the 98 percent of startup to medium-sized manufacturers that drive our economy. MAGNET rolls up its sleeves to provide hands-on support ranging from new product design to operations and brings education and business together to create tomorrow’s manufacturers. Visit for more information.