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Senate race in Ohio is ground zero for hopes of more manufacturing jobs: Long-term decline may be plateauing, but there are limited signs of factory renaissance

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The transformation of American manufacturing that is unfolding here promises to reshape the nation’s economy and its politics, with new solar energy, electric vehicle and semiconductor plants sprouting in faded factory towns.

Talk of industrial revival already is starring in the race for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat, as both Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democrat, and Republican J.D. Vance seek to embed themselves in the state’s comeback narrative.

In interviews, Ryan embraced the Biden administration’s use of generous government subsidies to encourage creation of new manufacturing jobs while Vance touted former president Donald Trump’s import tariffs and said faster development of the state’s energy resources could spark a boom.

“Our goal needs to be: how do we position ourselves to be in front of as many growing industries as possible? Electric vehicles, cars, trucks, batteries … hydrogen, natural gas, nuclear solar, aerospace. How do you lay the groundwork where we have an industrial policy for all of these?” Ryan said. “There’s an opportunity for us to dominate these industries of the future.”

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