Coming off the heels of announcing a major investment in expanding broadband access throughout Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland and AT&T announce a $120 million investment in constructing a new mobility data center in Stow.

From the press release:

Ohio’s strong business climate and tax structure makes it easier for companies like AT&T to grow its business here today, and our regulatory reform through Ohio’s telecom bill will help us attract investments of the future,” Strickland said. “I want to thank AT&T for its partnership and commitment to laying a solid foundation for prosperity in Akron.”

The center is an integral part of AT&T’s plans to expand 3G service and begin the launch of 4G/LTE services, which is important to providing consumers with the highest quality and most reliable wireless network. 

The new center is at the same location as a former Ohio Bell Data Center which opened in 1985 and handled service orders and prepared customer bills. The Akron location has been retrofitted and will accommodate the latest in wireless network technology, once again establishing the building as a model for best-in-class technology centers.

The announcement of the Akron mobility data center establishes a wireless corridor in Ohio for AT&T, with the data center on one end, and the Youngstown mobility customer care center on the other. 

“I want to congratulate the work of Governor Strickland who has worked so hard to encourage this type of investment in Akron and Ohio,” said Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.   

The Akron site becomes AT&T’s ninth mobility data center, which will serve customers across multiple markets, states and regions. All mobility data traffic travels through one or more data centers which provide features such as visual voice mail for the iPhone, Blackberry messaging, text messaging, multimedia messaging, mobile TV and other wireless applications, including access to the internet via AT&T’s world-class tier 1 Internet backbone.

“With this new data center, AT&T is investing in the future of Akron and Northeast Ohio,” said Congresswoman Betty Sutton. “This ‘technology data hub’ will help bring other investments to Northeast Ohio, making Akron a high-tech jobs hub.”

“The investment in this new mobility data center here in Summit County will help consumers who are increasingly communicating on smartphones through data messaging,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry.

“Governor Strickland deserves to be applauded for his work to encourage investments like this one in Ohio,” said Tom Pelto, President of AT&T Ohio. “This investment is also a true testament to the hard work of policy makers to keep our state competitive and well positioned for investment.”  

The President of AT&T Ohio all but just endorsed Governor Strickland and his record in Ohio to put Ohio in the best position possible to recover from the Great Lehman Brothers’ recession. 

And he’s not the only business leader to say so.

Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, told [Joe Hallett] recently that Strickland has helped position Ohio for better days: “We’ve got a tax structure right now that beats anybody,” he said.”For the state level, we have the best tax structure for an export-oriented, goods-producing state in the country.”” [Columbus Dispatch 1/10/2010]

In other news, John Kasich had to buy a new Blackberry after randomly chucking his iPhone at a campaign office wall.  (Actually, that’s just a joke.  I seriously doubt Kasich is an iPhone user.)

The Ohio Manufacturers Association has always been a reliably Republican public interest group.  It has not endorsed in the race, nor has the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.  However, both organizations did endorse Governor’ Strickland’s last budget resolution to freeze the final installment of a five-year tax reform plan.

The notion that Strickland has no record, or that only labor unions believe he’s positioned Ohio to a best position Ohio to recover economically is just bunk.  As demonstrated by the comments of AT&T Ohio’s President and the President of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, Strickland has done much to position Ohio for a better future.  And John Kasich would walk away from that progress and take us down a road to bankruptcy.

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