Wells Fargo Report: Cleveland Manufacturing Jobs Regain Footing

Region’s economic picture brighter as companies expand, relocate to Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND--()--Thanks to the expansion of many area companies and the relocation of other businesses to Northeast Ohio, Cleveland’s employment outlook is improving, according to a new economic report released this week by Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Certain sectors, in particular, are showing promise. Manufacturing is “regaining its footing,” and Northeast Ohio is poised to “benefit from growth in the region’s energy exploration business,” said Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo.

“Employment growth remains exceptionally modest today but appears to be taking a turn for the better,” Vitner said in his analysis of Cleveland’s economy. “The nearly simultaneous announcements that Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention and that LeBron James will rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team has lifted the spirits of the area and helped focus attention on the positive attributes of Northeast Ohio.”

To add to the good news, hiring in Cleveland factories has moderated more recently but is still up 1.1 percent over the past year. Manufacturing accounted for nearly half of all job gains during the first two years of the recovery, reflecting improvements in the region’s automotive and steel industries, Vitner said. More growth for Cleveland is on the way due to companies expanding and relocating to the area. Statistics from Team Northeast Ohio, a site selection consultancy group mentioned in Wells Fargo’s economic report, show a record of 16 new or expanding operations located in Northeast Ohio last year.

Many industries that faced serious setbacks during the recession are rebounding, including the financial services industry. Wells Fargo avoided the pitfalls and sizable layoffs faced recently by some in the financial industry, and instead grew its Cleveland Commercial Banking office to 19 professionals over the past 10 years and relocated to the Flat East Bank waterfront development at 950 Main Ave., where its lease extends until 2026.

In the Ohio market, Wells Fargo, whose Commercial Banking office in Cleveland recently marked its 10-year anniversary, has grown more than 60 percent in revenue and profit over the past five years, according to Jason Sutton, who heads Wells Fargo’s Commercial Bank office in Cleveland. That growth includes a 115 percent increase in loans to Ohio midsized companies, making Cleveland one of the larger Wells Fargo Commercial Banking offices in the country, he said.

“We’re committed to continuing to provide an array of financial services to the middle market businesses that are powering Cleveland’s economic recovery,” Sutton said. “This is an exciting time for Cleveland, for Wells Fargo, and for our middle market customers.”

Wells Fargo opened its Cleveland Commercial Banking office in June 2004 with just one banker, Don Hayes, who has since led the expansion to four additional Northeast Ohio locations and 41 total team members.

The key to Wells Fargo’s continued growth, said Sutton, has been the collaboration among business lines, such as Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Wells Fargo Securities, and private banking, among others.

Strong relationships with local mid-market customers, such as Fairmount Minerals Ltd., based in Chesterland, Ohio, illustrate the economic impact of Wells Fargo’s expansion. Fairmount Minerals is one of the largest producers of industrial sand in North America and was the first middle-market customer to come aboard when Hayes opened the Cleveland Commercial Banking office. Since, Fairmount Minerals has continued to prosper, expand, and cement its position in the nation’s growing sand market.

“We greatly value the long-term relationship that we have established with Wells Fargo, beginning with the opening of its Cleveland Office in 2004,” said Jenniffer Deckard, president and chief executive officer of Fairmount Minerals. “Wells Fargo has been a key financial partner to us in carrying out multiple capital strategies in support of our substantial growth initiatives over the past 10 years. As importantly, Wells Fargo has been a steadfast partner to Fairmount Minerals in our support of our Cleveland and Geauga County communities. We congratulate their success and thank them for the partnership.”

A copy of the Wells Fargo economic outlook report for Cleveland is available at wellsfargo.com (see Economic Commentary, State Reports) or by contacting Sutton at (216) 344-6955 or jason.w.sutton@wellsfargo.com.

About Wells Fargo Commercial Banking

With more than 140 offices in 38 states and three Canadian provinces, Wells Fargo Commercial Banking provides local service and decision-making for businesses with annual revenues of greater than $20 million. Asset-based lending, traditional secured loans, and capital markets provide access to working capital for day-to-day operations and growth. Expertise and services are available to specialty industries, including technology, food and agribusiness, healthcare, government, higher education, clean technology, and environmental services. Wells Fargo has the highest market share of middle-market company relationships in the U.S., according to the 2013 TNS Commercial Banking Momentum Monitor.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

Contacts

Media
Wells Fargo & Company
LaTrina Blair Shepherd, 312-630-2315
latrina.shepherd@wellsfargo.com

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Contacts

Media
Wells Fargo & Company
LaTrina Blair Shepherd, 312-630-2315
latrina.shepherd@wellsfargo.com