Ohio’s forest and wood products industry contributes more than $24 billion annually to the statewide economy and, in 2014, employed 116,321 full- and part-time workers. The supply chain that creates this robust economy begins with standing timber. Once cut, the wood starts a global journey of transformation becoming thousands of products made by domestic and international manufacturers.
Ohio’s Annual Economic Contribution
Forestry and Wood Products
The Forest Base is over 8 million acres, 31 percent of Ohio’s land surface. Hardwoods make up 96 percent of Ohio forests; oak and hickory are the predominant species followed by maple, beech, and birch. All state forests are FSC certified through 2020 as are many private timberlands.
Wood Products encompasses a wide variety of sectors including pulp and paper, logging, sawmills, and millwork and architectural products (kitchen cabinets and counters, shelving, flooring, windows and doors, and burial casket manufacturing).
The largest remaining hardwood furniture manufacturing sector in the United States; Amish businesses in the Appalachian region represent a significant part of this sector. Ohio harvests 300-400 million board feet of wood each year and grows one billion board feet annually.
Ohio wood industry economic impact information was developed for the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth by the Ohio University, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Innovation Cluster initiative.
Appalachian Ohio’s forest and wood products are a $5.23 billion industry.
The forests of Southern Ohio produce hardwoods which are highly valued around the world. In the eastern counties of the state primarily Amish furniture making companies represent one of the largest remaining hardwood furniture manufacturing sectors in the nation.
REGIONAL INNOVATION CLUSTER
In 2015 the Appalachian Partnership’s wood products initiative was selected to receive Small Business Administration Regional Innovation Cluster funding. The work is a continuation and expansion of a focus on region’s wood products industry that was begun under a Make It In America Challenge grant.
The initiative serves Ohio’s 32 Appalachian-designated counties by creating an “ecosystem of support” for regional hubs of small businesses. The goal of the project is to bring wood products manufacturers together and make it easier for them to succeed.
APEG received $500,000 (renewable for four additional years) to provide Technical Services Support and Export Assistance for small businesses in the wood manufacturing supply chain and to create a searchable, online database of Ohio Forest and Wood Products companies.
Ohio University, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, is the research partner for the initiative.