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May 8th, 2019

New Research to Explore Columbus’ Readiness for the Smart City Jobs of the Future

The Ohio State University commences research sponsored by the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, Smart Columbus and the United Way of Central Ohio to identify skills needed for careers of tomorrow


COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 9, 2019 – Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, in partnership with Smart Columbus and United Way of Central Ohio, announced today that it has commissioned research by The Ohio State University’s Ohio Education and Research Center (OERC) to examine future job opportunities for central Ohio residents brought about by technology and innovation. The research will seek to identify future jobs in industries related to intelligent transportation systems, electrification, internet of things, financial services and healthcare. It will also address the skills needed to fill those jobs, and gaps in current local training programs. 

“Transformative change happening in the mobility industry has the potential to help our residents get to work more affordably and reliably. It also has the potential to create more jobs in our region,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This research is an important component of the Smart Columbus initiative that will help us identify the jobs of the future and the necessary training and skills needed to connect our residents to those jobs.”

OERC has partnered with Bill LaFayette of Regionomics and Sarah Lee, Esq., of Essentia Strategy Group to provide additional research identifying current and future gaps between the supply of qualified workers required to meet the employment needs of area businesses. 

The Future of Smart Work research is funded through the Smart Cities Challenge grant awarded to the City of Columbus by the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, United Way of Central Ohio, and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio. Findings from the report is slated to be released in late fall. 


About Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio 
The Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio is a nonprofit organization serving as the Strategy and Policy Board for Ohio Workforce Area 11, Columbus and Franklin County. The Board assists in-demand sector employers with developing a talent pipeline and jobseekers with acquiring the skills and credentials for in-demand careers. To learn more visit

About Smart Columbus 
The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more. For more information, visit the Smart Columbus website,

About Ohio Education and Research Center
The Ohio Education Research Center (OERC) was founded in 2012 by a group of researchers from Ohio universities and independent research organizations. The initial charge for the OERC came from the Ohio Department of Education’s Race to the Top program (RttT). This project focused on the role of the OERC to develop and implement a coherent P-20 education research agenda in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Board of Regents (now the Ohio Department of Higher Education).To learn more visit

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