Bryce Custer Provides Perspective on Harrison County Ohio’s Success

The NAI Ohio River Corridor office has served Harrison and surrounding counties for several years. It is exciting to see these counties once forgotten beginning to thrive with the advent of natural gas and the opportunities this industry brings. MarkWest’s decision to put its processing and fractionation plants there has been the spring board for the county’s success. MarkWest has spent literally billions of dollars in the county and it continues to expand its operations annually.

Harrison County will continue to experience substantial growth due to the hard work and dedication of APEG-JobsOhio team under the direction of Mike Jacoby, APEG President and Nicholas A. Homrighausen, executive director of Community and Economic Development in Harrison County.

According to Bryce Custer, Petrochemical and Energy Specialist with NAI Ohio River Corridor, “Harrison County is ripe for additional investment having one of the largest Federal Opportunity Zones in the state which encompasses over 100 square miles of land in the northeast corner of the county,” said Custer. “The 2017 Tax Reform Act created Opportunity Zones which are attractive investments for hedge funds, family offices and individual investors. NAI Ohio River Corridor can assist you with site selection in this area.”

The Harrison County Story

Harrison County has been identified as the fastest-growing local economy in Ohio, according to a recent analysis by financial news source Wall St. 24/7. The county recorded a 129.5% gross domestic product growth rate from 2012 to 2015, and a GDP amount of $732.2 million. Manufacturing was found to be the fastest-growing industry.

Wall St. 24/7 used Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data to analyze and identify the fastest-growing industry in each state, and information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to calculate the change in real GDP during that time period.

Harrison County sits at the northeast hub of the U.S. petrochemical industry, and has seen tremendous economic growth in the past several years.

The industry has provided new jobs, an improved infrastructure and an increase in tax revenues to the county. Between 2010 and 2015, $11 million in taxes were generated in Harrison County, and $31.4 million was spent to build or improve 54.75 miles of roads.

In late summer of 2018, EmberClear Corp. of Houston TX, developer of the $1 billion Harrison Power LLC power plant that is set to break ground in 2019, agreed to donate $31 million over the next 15 years to schools and government entities in the county.

The news came as no surprise to Nicholas A. Homrighausen, executive director of Community and Economic Development in Harrison County. “This is further evidence that businesses should be investing to take full advantage of the new global economy in Harrison County and the eastern Ohio region. I’ve said it before — the growth in our area is laying the groundwork for an economic powerhouse of the future. Right here in eastern Ohio, we find ourselves at the forefront of the new age economy. It is up to us to take full advantage of it, and this study from Wall St. 24/7 shows we are on the right track.”

Harrison County was in the top four in growth percentage in the United States, trailing only Roberts County, Texas; Laurens County, South Carolina; and Doddridge County, West Virginia. Of the fifty counties identified in the report, Harrison was one of only two regions to list manufacturing as the fastest-growing industry.