SIDNEY — Local business leaders were updated, Thursday, on economic development in Shelby County and the wider Dayton region.
During a luncheon in the Moose Lodge, Mike Dodds, executive director of the Sidney-Shelby County Economic Patnership (SSCEP), and Jeff Hoagland, executive director of the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), discussed recent initiatives and future goals.
“Of the top 25 manufacturing companies in the Dayton region, three are in Shelby County,” Dodds told the group. He highlighted several firms that had expanded during 2016, including Polyfill LLC, Mutual Federal, Bensar Development Co., Airstream Inc. and Advance Composites. He also listed American Architectural Glass Inc., which moved from Clayton to Fort Loramie in March, Sapa, which plans an expansion, and the two industrial sites that were certified in the fall.
Dodds said the SSCEP’s 2017 goals are to promote those sites, review staffing requirements of the organization, visit with chief executives to retain and expand businesses, review the board structure, seek funding and explore a nonprofit charitable organization tax status, advocate for school and community initiatives and act on behalf of the business community to support political activity that enhances business opportunity.
“Did you know,” he asked, “that Shelby County has the highest percentage per capita of manufacturing employment in the state? Nearly 38 percent of the county’s workforce is employed in manufacturing.” Some 5,000 people who don’t live in Shelby County work in Shelby County each day and the largest manufacturing company in the Dayton region is here. It’s the Honda plant in Anna.
Hoagland outlined what the DDC does in a 14-county region that stretches from Warren County in the south to Auglaize County in the north, from the Indiana border to Clark County in the east.
He announced five targeted job-growth areas: aerospace and defense, advance materials and manufacturing, information technology and advanced data management, biosciences and logistics and distribution.
The DDC plans three initiatives: retain, expand and recruit jobs; research, development and commercialization; and advocacy.
“When it comes to retention, expanding and recruiting jobs, 80 percent comes from expanding existing businesses,” Hoagland said.
Having two sites certified in Shelby County is a “big deal,” he added. “Sometimes a call comes (from an agent looking for a site for a client) and you have to work really fast. We are competing globally (to attract business to the Dayton region).”
Hoagland discussed some growing initiatives in Dayton and said expects a spike in federal spending on defense, some of which may come to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He also expects a ballooning of hospital and nursing home construction as the boomer population ages.
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