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Key Industries

Greater Akron is rich in history, commerce, industry and culture. While the region built its fame on rubber and tire production, it has since transformed itself into a world-class center for research and development in a variety of high tech industries, including the polymer industry, liquid crystal development, and more.

Aerospace Industry

Ohio has an unbroken legacy of aerospace and avionics dating back to the Wright brothers.


  • The state has investment of $10B in research and development, growing to $4.3B in Gross State Product.
  • Ohio ranks 1st among 12 comparable states in value-added aerospace manufacturing.
  • 7 of the Top 10 Aerospace companies in Ohio are located in Northeast Ohio:
    • Transdigm Group
    • Parker Hannifin
    • NASA Glenn Research Center
    • PCC Airfoils
    • B.F. Goodrich Aerospace Corporation
    • Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation
    • Lockheed Martin Corporation

Automotive Industry

With more than 580 automotive manufacturing companies in Ohio for vehicle production, research and development, and automotive supply, Northeast Ohio accounts for 23,000 trained automotive workers in the automotive sectors: 3,371 in the Greater Akron Region.


  • 70% of North American light vehicle production happens in Ohio or within 500 miles of our borders.
  • Ohio ranks 2nd in the U.S. for the number of 348 Tier-1 automotive supplier companies.
  • Ohio original equipment manufacturers produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year.
  • 19 Fortune U.S. 1000 or Global 500 motor vehicle industry companies in northeast Ohio, three have global headquarters: Eaton, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Parker-Hannifin.
  • Motor Vehicle Brochure

BioMedical Industry

Ranking 5th in the world for neurotech healthcare and 6th in the world for neurodevice companies, biomaterials are big business in Greater Akron!

Recognized globally for innovation in polymers, materials science and medical research, the City of Akron created the Akron Biomedical Corridor to support and grow such endeavors. Connecting downtown Akron with the campuses of three world-class hospitals: Summa Health System, Akron General Medical Center, and Akron Children’s Hospital the Corridor borders the University of Akron and benefits from its proximity to biomedical research taking place at hospitals, University of Akron, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), and Kent State University.

This unique location offers biomedical businesses opportunities for strategically located development sites as they work to advance innovative technologies, products, and services, as well as conduct clinical tests and preliminary test marketing. In Northeast Ohio, there are over 230,000 healthcare and bioscience workers employed by over 600 biomedical businesses.

Austen Bioinnovation Institute of Akron (ABIA)

The Austen Bioinnovation Institute of Akron (ABIA) is a collaboration of world experts in polymer science, biomedical research engineers, physicians, and healthcare professionals who have access to world-class resources to research and solve medical device innovations and provide medical simulation training. The people at ABIA work together to complete extensive research and think with entrepreneurial skills to create specific scientific innovations.

Akron Biomedical Corridor

Biomedical Industry - Northeast Ohio

Distribution Industry & Logistics Industry

Northeast Ohio plays a pivotal role in logistics and distribution for the Midwest as a whole while bridging the U.S. and Canada. Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) provides additional information at their website.


  • Five of Ohio’s major interstate highways are located in Northeast Ohio.
  • Three Class 1 railroads are located in Northeast Ohio.
  • Four of the seven major airports in Ohio are located in Northeast Ohio.
  • Maritime freight can reach Europe via six deep-water ports.

Manufacturing Industry

When Akron was founded early in the nineteenth century, it quickly became a leader in the manufacturing industry. The city’s vitality continued to emanate from manufacturing, primarily the automotive industry and rubber industry. In the early 1900’s, Akron reinvented itself as the Rubber Capital of the World. Today, Akron has once again reinvented itself as a leader in polymers. And with that comes a wide variety of manufacturing. History has left Akron with a solid reputation for taking the past and inventing the future. It is also providing the workforce and education needed to compete and succeed with global markets.


  • Primary metal manufacturing is up 35% with metalworking industries expected to grow revenue through 2025.
  • Ohio is ranked 2nd in the nation in terms of tons of steel poured annually.
  • 65% of the state’s steel is produced in Northeast Ohio.
  • Seven of the top ten manufacturing companies are located in Northeast Ohio.
  • Six of those companies are headquartered in NE Ohio.
  • Fabricated metals make up 25% of the manufacturing sector.
  • Plastics, rubber and chemicals (17%) and machinery (15%) round out the top majority of manufacturing clusters.
  • Metalworking and Machinery Brochure 

Polymers Industry

A mixture of technical expertise, experienced workers, heritage, vision, and early roots in tire production in combination with the regions full support for the auto industry, Akron became the center of America’s polymer industry and other advanced materials including:

  • Polymers
  • Plastics
  • Rubbers
  • Paints
  • Sealants
  • Adhesives
  • Inks
  • Advanced Composites
  • Advanced Energy
  • Bio Products
  • Flexible Devices
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polymer Processing
  • Polymer Brochure

Ranking as the #1 state in the nation for manufacturing plastics machinery, the polymer sector of plastics, rubbers and resins manufacturers contributed more than $50 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Ohio, the most significant level for any state in the nation.


  • Polymer exports exceeded $1.3 billion in 2009, and employment topped 80,000.
  • 140,000+ people work in Ohio’s plastics and polymers industry at nearly 1,400 plastics manufacturing establishments.
  • 29 of Fortune magazine’s U.S. 1000 or Global 500 companies have polymer operations in Ohio.
  • 7 of those 29 have their world headquarters in Ohio:
    • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
    • A. Schulman
    • Cooper Tire & Rubber
    • Eaton Corp.
    • Owens
    • Parker-Hannifin
    • PolyOne

Liquid Crystal Industry

Established in 1965, The Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI) at Kent State University is a premiere center for basic and applied liquid crystal research. The LCI promotes the industry through cooperative research efforts and by preparing graduate and undergraduate students with the knowledge and experience necessary for successful careers in the expanding liquid crystal display field.

Institute achievements include:

  • Discovery and characterization of new liquid crystalline phases.
  • Invention of new types of liquid crystal devices.
  • New applications such as:
    • Display Tablets
    • Optical Shutters
    • Variable Transmission Windows
    • Projection Display Devices
    • Improvements for Active Matrix Displays
    • Flexible Displays
    • Beam Steering Devices

Advanced/Renewable Energy

Ohio’s strategic location, comprehensive energy supply chain, world-class manufacturing capabilities, innovative research and public-private partnerships are here to help businesses in advanced energy industries. Ohio ranks first in the nation in the creation of new energy projects, including renewable and advanced energy- bringing in more new renewable energy facility projects than any other state.

Ohio’s advanced and renewable energy industry encompasses solar, wind, biomass, fuel cells, hydroelectric, geothermal and storage facilities that promote better utilization of renewable energy resources. The state has many programs in place to fund and promote the development of new technology for advanced energy solutions and Ohio’s manufacturers have utilized these programs to retool their facilities and workforce to meet the world’s growing demand for renewable energy supply chain parts, equipment and labor.