SIDNEY — In a custom that began several years ago, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst hand-delivered proclamations to company officials at several local manufacturing firms Friday in observance of National Manufacturing Day. National Manufacturing Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in October since the day was first observed in 2012.
This year, Barhorst visited SELMCO Metal Fabricators, Emerson, SMT Industries and Valence Industrial. While he generally has chosen companies he has not previously visited on National Manufacturing Day, he made a return trip to Emerson in celebration of the centennial of Copeland brand products.
“Sidney has more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other municipality in Ohio,” Barhorst said in the proclamations he delivered at each stop. “In fact, every day, Sidney has a net inflow of more than 5,000 people who come into Sidney to work – it’s almost as if the entire populations of the county seats of Monroe and Ashtabula Counties move into Sidney each day to work, and then returned home after their work is finished for the day.
“Many residents don’t realize it, but Shelby County is the home of Emerson and Honda, two of the top three manufacturing employers in the Dayton Region,” Barhorst said. “Manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other major economic activity. Every $1 spent in manufacturing generates an additional $2.79 in economic activity in the community.
“Perhaps most importantly, a vibrant manufacturing base not only leads to more research, development and innovation, but greater productivity, exports, and middle-class jobs,” Barhorst said. Manufacturing helps raise the standard of living more than any other sector of the economy, and we’ve certainly witnessed that first-hand here in Shelby County.
“I generally let those I’m visiting set the tone for the visit,” Barhorst stated, “so each visit is a bit different. “While SMT Industries President Ron Duval and Valence Industrial Operations Manager Chuck Warner provided tours of their facilities, I met privately with SELMCO Operations Manager Lynette Ross. At Emerson, Human Resources Vice President Ann Runner met me with a delegation of company officials and we posed for photos after I read the proclamation.”
“Last year, I visited Sidney Manufacturing, Derby Packaging, iVEX Packaging, and Monarch Lathes,” Barhorst said. “Eventually I hope to visit every manufacturer in Sidney.”
Barhorst flew solo again this year. In past years, he has generally been accompanied by a delegation that included the city manager, the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership executive director and the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce president. Last year, because of the pandemic, he made the trip by himself as he did again this year.
“Hopefully we can return to traveling with a delegation next year,” Barhorst said. “Because of the low vaccination rate in Shelby County (33.49%) and the increasing chances of dying from COVID (now 1 in 458), some employers were reluctant to schedule visits this year.
“One of the things I learned from my visits to Ohio’s county seat mayors earlier this year is just how fortunate we are locally,” Barhorst said. “We have nationally known companies other communities would love to have.
“Sidney is the home of the largest manufacturer of air conditioning compressors, the largest soybean processing plant this side of the Mississippi River, and America’s number one refrigerated pizza. Manufacturing is in our DNA and looking back through history, has been nearly since the beginning. We make things in Sidney and are proud of that long tradition,” Barhorst said.
National Manufacturing Day provides the opportunity for the country to celebrate those who make the products manufactured in America. Americans continue to develop products and unlock new technologies that grow our economy. It is promoted by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International.