Skip to main content

Dayton Development Coalition's Second Innovation Index Shows Region's Growth and Resilience

DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Development Coalition released the second edition of its Innovation Index at its Annual Meeting + Economic Review, giving the community a comprehensive look at how the Dayton Region’s economy has changed since the first edition was released in 2014.

This edition of the i^2 drew inspiration from the words Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast shared at the DDC’s 2017 Community Leader Fly-In:

“When you connect, you innovate. When you innovate you create growth. When you create growth, you are unstoppable. If you have a collective vision for growth and innovation, you sit on a goldmine. No other community can do what you can do.”

At the event, Hoagland highlighted the Region’s 2017 growth. In addition to investing nearly $1 billion in the region, companies committed to create more than 2,000 new jobs and retain more than 10,000 jobs. The average pay for JobsOhio projects climbed approximately $10,000 since 2016. The numbers represent companies that worked with JobsOhio to expand or establish new operations in the Region.

The i^2 gives further insight into these trends, showing which industries saw job growth, tracking the region’s employment statistics and the impact of global trade.

“The Innovation Index gives us a snapshot of where our region stands in comparison to the state and the country,” said DDC President and CEO Jeff Hoagland. “It can help us refine our strategies for economic development and evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. It shows how our region continues to recover from the recession and gives us insight into how we can keep moving forward.”

Highlights include:

  • The Dayton Region continues to grow, adding more than 88,000 people since 2001.
  • More than 40,000 jobs have been added since 2010, bringing the region close to the number of jobs from before the recession. The pre-recession peak was 916,000, and 882,000 jobs were recorded in 2017.
  • Unemployment fell from 11.9 percent in Jan. 2010 to a low of 4.9 percent in May 2017. It is now at 5.4 percent.
  • Manufacturing still dominates the regional economy, accounting for 22 percent of the gross regional product.
  • The Dayton Region has a higher percentage of high school graduates, and workers with associate, bachelor’s, and advanced degrees than the state.
  • The Dayton Region also leads the state in the percentage of STEM workers in the total workforce.
  • Venture capital activity is rising in the Dayton Region.
    • The DDC’s Accelerant Venture Capital Fund helped generate an additional 60 cents in sidecar investments for each dollar the fund invested in local start-ups.
  • The Dayton Region continues to do well when it comes to SBIR/STTR funding, capturing about half of the deals and total contract obligations in the state.
  • The Dayton Region performed even better with contract obligations through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
    • In FY 2017, The Dayton Region received 92 percent of AFRL’s Ohio obligations.
    • AFRL’s obligations to business in the Dayton Region has increased every year since 2013.
  • Approximately 20,000 Dayton Region jobs are attributed to global trade.


The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) is the leading economic development organization for the 14-county Dayton Region. Working closely with public and private regional partners, its mission is to recruit, expand and retain jobs. The DDC and the Dayton Region ranked as the nation’s top metro for its size for economic development in 2008, 2009 and 2012 and runner-up in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. With the State’s largest single-site employer in its backyard, the DDC also focuses on advocating for the critical missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and supporting the work of the United States Air Force. The DDC was ranked as America’s top military community, and was presented with the 2015 Community Excellence Award from the Association of Defense Communities. It was designated as one of the ADC’s Great American Defense Communities in 2016 – a testament to the collaborative efforts in support of Wright-Patt, America’s #1 Air Force Base as ranked by the Air Force Times in 2014.

For any questions regarding the DDC, contact Shannon Joyce Neal by cell at (937) 231-5436.

We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.

We also use analytics & advertising services. To opt-out click for more information.