Columbus on the Map: The Midwest’s New Tech Powerhouse

November 8, 2023

Headshot of Sean Hart


A recent article published by Construction Dive entitled “Columbus embraces its role as ‘Tech Capital of the Midwest”, delves into the rapid growth of Columbus, Ohio, and its emergence as a tech hub in the Midwest. The article highlights the resilience of Columbus throughout the years, such as during the economic downturn of 2008-2009. While initially known for its construction activities in healthcare and education projects, the city has strategically shifted its focus towards extensive industrial and technological developments.

Columbus Grows from Small Town Atmosphere to Tech Hub

Home to Ohio State University and headquarters for major corporations such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Nationwide, and Big Lots, Columbus’ appeal to businesses lies in its unique blend of a small-town atmosphere and its growing urban status. Several businesses have taken advantage of this growing metropolis and are contributing to the transformation of Columbus into a tech hub. This includes:

  • Intel’s colossal $20 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility
  • Google’s multimillion-dollar data centers
  • A $2 billion airport terminal expansion
  • And a $1.9 billion hospital project

State and local governments have also played a pivotal role in attracting global corporations, such as Intel and Amgen, further facilitating the establishment of major factories and operations in the city. In 2022 alone, an impressive 75 groundbreaking projects commenced in the semiconductor, electric vehicle, and life sciences sectors.

The Challenges of Rapid Growth

Even though the city is seeing major developments, Columbus’ rapid expansion has also posed some challenges. Just like other cities across the country, construction companies are grappling with a shortage of skilled labor as they compete with other employers for the same workforce. Additionally, there is a noticeable scarcity of qualified instructors and inspectors for construction-related training programs. To address this labor crisis, the industry is investing heavily in training and continuing education for its workforce.

The Pursuit of Innovation & Progress

The surge in construction activity and the rise of Columbus as a prospective tech hub have prompted the city to warmly embrace its newfound status as the “tech capital of the Midwest,” a distinction acknowledged by the state’s Lieutenant Governor. This construction upswing, characterized by big-ticket projects, highlights Columbus’ promise to become a city for innovation and progress.

While facing the looming challenges of a limited construction workforce, Columbus’ journey from a small-town gem to an expanding tech epicenter is a testament to its unwavering determination and adaptability, offering countless opportunities for both businesses and residents alike.

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Headshot of Sean Hart