Despite the flagging economy, 2007 was a growth year for jobs in the Cincinnati region, according to the Cincinnati USA Partnership, the economic development initiative directed by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

The region experienced 184 new or expanded business investments last year, generating $2.71 billion in capital investment and creating or retaining 20,931 jobs for a total of $5.7 billion in economic impact.

That’s according to the “Cincinnati USA Regional Growth Report,” which includes data compiled by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center for Education and Research. Manufacturing led business growth with 38 percent of total investment, the office/service industry accounted for 33 percent, and the medical/hospital and distribution industries both came in at 14 percent.

The report points out that Hamilton County is a leader in Ohio, with $1.13 billion in new investment in 2007. Butler County came in at $973 million and Warren County had $403 million. In Kentucky, Boone County generated $72 million in new investment and Kenton County had $58 million. Business investment in Clermont County increased from $36.1 million in 2006 to $63.7 million in 2007.

The Partnership reported it contributed to 10 development projects that resulted in 2,000 new jobs and more than $500 million in total investment.

Twelve companies were recognized with Growth Awards at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s annual meeting: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Paul Hemmer Companies, FirstGroup America, Multi-Color Corporation, The Ford Motor Co., Omya Industries, Sogeti USA, Toyota Boshoku America, Stress Engineering Services, Vandercar Holdings, Tata Consultancy Services and WILD Flavors.

Ali Fischetti is the West Chester Chamber Alliance’s new marketing director. She assists with the Chamber’s newsmagazine and web site, e-mail updates, the Welcome Center, press releases and marketing.

The Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission named the North College Hill Planning Commission the winner of the 2008 Frank F. Ferris II Community Planning Award for its North College Hill Comprehensive Plan.

The last undeveloped section of the former Dudley Farm on Tylersville Road in Butler County is being developed into a $16 million retail center anchored by an LA Fitness health club. Midland Atlantic Properties is planning 77,000 square feet of retail space, spread over several buildings. It will be called Tylersville Farm.

Defense company BAE Systems, which has an armoring operation in West Chester, added more than 300 local employees to its 1,200 total in 2007 alone, and is expanding its space by more than 50 percent. will add 500 employees to its three distribution centers in Northern Kentucky. The positions include management and support roles.

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