SIDNEY — A steady economic recovery for Shelby County continued in 2015.
“One indicator of growth was the decrease in the unemployment rate for Shelby County,” said Mike Dodds, Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership executive director. “The January 2015 unemployment rate was 5.5 percent; by December 2015 the unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent. Nearly 900 jobs for Shelby County workers were created or reinstated during that time. The increase in jobs was due to an increase in workload within a number of the County’s business and industry partners.”
His report continues:
Several companies increased capacity to accommodate growth in their businesses. The following are a few examples:
During 2015, Airstream, Inc. moved into a major building expansion at their Jackson Center complex. The project involved the construction of a new 94,000 square foot expansion to the travel trailer manufacturing facility. The additional space is needed to meet the ever-growing demand for their recreational vehicles. Airstream invested nearly $6 Million for the project including $4.8 Million in building costs and $1 Million in machinery and equipment costs.
EMI completed the construction of a new facility in Jackson Center which is needed to accommodate the dramatic growth the company has experienced. The new building will provide 105,000 square feet for office and manufacturing space and is located at the west end of the Village on West Pike Street (State Route 274). The company will invest $5.1 Million in the project, create 10 new jobs and retain nearly 100 current jobs in Jackson Center. Ferguson Construction Company in Sidney is the general contractor.
The Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership is participating in a Site Certification Program sponsored by Dayton Power and Light. The Site Certification Program is designed to identify industrial sites that are ready for development. Companies looking to build new facilities want sites that are ready to go and relatively “risk free.” As a result, communities who are seeking to recruit projects need to be prepared to market their sites with a wealth of site-related information and data on their community. Companies are not willing to wait for a community to find an appropriate site and determine its suitability for development.
Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) retained McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC), a site selection consulting firm based in Greenville, South Carolina, to assist with the certification process. MSC has executed a number of similar programs around the country.
Currently, the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership (SSEP) is preparing documents to certify a 250-acre site and a 150-acre site in Sidney. The certification process requires completion of various studies of the site including environmental, endangered species, archeological, wetland and geotechnical. While the process is very detail oriented and time consuming, the site, if certified, will become much more marketable and ready for immediate development.
Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) leased the former THECO building in Jackson Center. The company has made modifications to the existing structure to make chassis for Airstream Trailers. LCI has been making frames for Airstream at a facility in Indiana. Due to transportation costs, LCI deemed it advisable to move the operation closer to Airstream. In addition to trailer chassis, LCI manufactures a number of metal fabrication parts for the RV industry. LCI has hired a number of welders and metal fabrication specialists at the Jackson Center facility.
Tooling Technology, LLC completed construction of a new addition to their facility in Fort Loramie, Ohio to make room for the additional growth and production the company is experiencing. The expansion includes the construction of a 20,000 square foot addition to the existing 86,000 square foot facility with an investment of nearly $1.5 Million.
The Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership provided information to over 19 companies considering a location in west central Ohio.