Economic Development
Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry Thrives in the FirstEnergy Region, Supported by Shale Gas and Network of Related Industries

The chemical industry has a large presence in each of the five states making up the FirstEnergy region, with Ohio ranking third in the nation for chemical manufacturing. Most of the region is located over major shale formations, which provide a ready supply of feedstock to the chemical and polymers industries. In addition, excellent highways, railways, waterways and international ports provide ready access to leading markets.

Polymer innovations constitute a large part of the chemical industry in this region. In addition, there are clusters focused on fertilizer and pesticides, and paint, coatings and adhesives. Other strong industries in this region are closely tied to the chemical industry, including the food industry (Pennsylvania), biopharmaceuticals (Maryland), transportation and logistics, and automotive.

Among other states in the region, West Virginia has assertively cultivated the chemical industry with the formation of the Chemical Alliance Zone (CAZ) and the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC). Two of only five accredited academic programs in plastics engineering in the U.S. are in Pennsylvania: Penn State Behrend Campus and Pennsylvania College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC).



people employed in the chemical industry*



average chemical industry wage*



new college graduates with chemistry-related degrees*

*In the FirstEnergy region
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The Chemical Industry in the FirstEnergy Region

The chemical industry has strong clusters in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as Northeast Ohio, but all five states in the FirstEnergy region have a significant number of chemical companies. Total chemical industry GDP in the FirstEnergy region is $42 billion.

Chemical Industry GDP by State (In the FirstEnergy region only)
New Jersey 14,200,000,000
Pennsylvania 14,000,000,000
Ohio 9,100,000,000
Maryland 3,080,000,000
West Virginia 1,600,000,000

Our Chemical Industry Team

Renee M. Nied
Economic Development Consultant