SIDNEY — Continued growth and prosperity was significant in Shelby County during 2016. One obvious indicator of growth was the decrease in the unemployment rate for Shelby County.
“The January 2016 unemployment rate was 5.1 percent; by November, the unemployment rate dropped to a remarkable 3.6 percent. Over 28,000 people are employed by business and industry in Shelby County,” said W. Michael Dodds, Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership executive director.
His report continues:
While low unemployment is good, many of our local companies cannot fill open positions due to lack of job seekers with necessary qualifications. This is a challenge locally as well as regionally. New business development and expansions become difficult if not impossible when the company cannot find new employees. Our Workforce Partnership continues to work with county students to research various careers and skills needed in those careers. Hopefully, students will have a better understanding of the great job opportunities that exist right here in Shelby County. Students can then pursue the necessary skills and education to enter into these careers. This program will assist our companies with their future employment needs.
During 2016, several companies increased capacity to accommodate growth in their businesses. The following are a few examples:
• American Architectural Glass Inc. moved into a 17,000 square foot facility at 62 Elm St. in Fort Loramie. The new building is over double the size of its previous facility in Clayton, Ohio. The company fabricates and installs commercial aluminum storefronts, curtainwalls, and aluminum doors and frames for major construction projects
• Polyfill, LLC announced plans to expand its Sidney, Ohio facility and add 30 new jobs. Polyfill President Andrew Meshew said Sidney’s central location, the region’s dedicated skilled workforce, and Ohio’s favorable business environment led the company to expand in Sidney.
• Mutual Federal opened a new Banking Center. The new building contains a 3,564 square foot state-of-the-art facility located on the west side of Sidney at 2601 Michigan Street.
• BENSAR Development Company has nearly completed construction of a new 480,000 square foot building to accommodate growth in the Sidney-Shelby County industrial market. The new warehouse is located on Howard Street behind Menards. The massive industrial building encompasses 11 acres under one roof. It is one of the largest buildings in size compared to industrial buildings recently constructed in both Shelby County and the Greater Dayton area.
• Airstream, Inc. broke ground on another major building expansion at their Jackson Center complex. The project involves the construction of a new 50,000 square foot expansion to their paint facility. The additional space is needed to meet the ever growing demand for their recreational vehicles. Airstream will invest nearly $3.86 million in the new building.
• Advanced Composites added 60,000 square feet to their manufacturing facility on Fourth Avenue in Sidney. New production equipment will be placed into service in the spring of 2017.
• Sapa is again expanding its Sidney site to accommodate new growth in the company and expand production capacity. The current expansion includes the addition of 18,000 square feet. This expansion comes on the heels of a recent 35,000 square foot expansion at the site.
The Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership was recognized for having the first two Certified Sites in The Dayton Power & Light Company service area. The newly certified sites include the Sidney Ohio Industrial Park and the Amos Industrial Park. The Sidney Ohio Industrial Park is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Millcreek and Kuther Road contains 237 acres located in the city of Sidney, and is zoned for industrial development. The Amos Industrial Park is located north of Russell Road, west of state Route 29 and east of Interstate 75. The Park contains 177 acres. These sites will provide ample space for new industrial development.
Based on current conversations with local companies, 2017 will be an excellent year for new projects and employment in Shelby County.