LIMA — Seen by some as less important than large state military facilities such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and NASA Glenn Research Center, the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center may finally be getting the state recognition some say it deserves.
Lima’s JSMC is a larger part of the recently released Ohio Federal Military Jobs Commission final report than it was of the commission’s draft, released in April, largely because the plant now has a representative on the commission.
Denny Glenn, retired from the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, was appointed to the commission in August to make sure the Lima tank and military vehicle production facility is included in commission discussions. He also serves on Task Force LIMA, a group of local leaders committed to keeping the JSMC open.
“Prior to us being able to get on the commission, JSMC was not even thought about,” Glenn said.
Created by Ohio legislation in September 2014, the commission was formed to “protect, serve and grow federal military jobs” in the state, and was born out of concern that there would be another BRAC, or defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
The 108-page report, presented to state legislators and the governor’s office on Friday, focuses on four main areas: workforce, education, facilities and small businesses.
It lays out a plan to keep good-paying jobs in the state, train the future workforce for military jobs, include more small businesses in federal work and keep and expand federal facilities in the state.
The commission’s report draft, released in April, had almost no mention of Lima’s JSMC, causing Lima Mayor David Berger and others to meet with commissioners in June.
“People absolutely had a right to be concerned that JSMC wasn’t mentioned in the draft,” Glenn said. “Once I was able to get appointed I helped to remind the rest of the commission. Some had heard of JSMC but didn’t know JSMC supplied products to not only the Army, but the Marine Corps, the Navy as well as foreign military sales.”
“They had no true knowledge of what JSMC did,” Glenn said.
JSMC is important to the state and “raises us up a notch” when it comes to value of state military facilities overall, Glenn said.
Now, the commission is waiting on direction from state legislators and the governor’s staff on where to go next, Glenn said. It is also waiting to hear whether any commissioners will be reappointed.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.