SIDNEY — Shelby County experienced significant growth and prosperity during 2017. Continued low employment and increased construction activity continue to be obvious indicators of growth. Over 28,000 people are employed by business and industry in Shelby County.
“With the low unemployment rate, many of our local companies cannot fill open positions due to lack of job seekers with necessary qualifications,” said Mike Dodds, executive director. “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.”
His report continues
During 2017, several companies increased capacity to accommodate growth in their businesses. The following are a few examples:
• Wayne Trail, a Lincoln Electric Company constructed an addition that will increase the facility’s square footage by 85% to support larger-scale projects, future growth, and improved operational effectiveness. They anticipate creating 50 additional full-time, advanced manufacturing positions.
• Aunt Millie’s began construction of a building addition for bake and freeze operations consisting of 14,000 square feet.
• Freshway, a division of US Foods, announced an expansion at their location at 601 N. Stolle Avenue in Sidney. The expansion includes 35,000 sq. ft. of additional production space, and will create 25 new full-time jobs over the next five years
• Loves Travel Stop announced a new truck stop is coming to Sidney along Interstate 75 near the Fair Road exit in 2018. Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores plans to break ground at the intersection of Vandemark Road and the southwest corner of Fair Road at the beginning of April 2018 with completion in November 2018.
• Everyday Manufacturing started construction of a new 40,000 square feet addition to its Sidney facility. Once complete the company will have doubled its local fabricating & manufacturing footprint.
• Francis Manufacturing completed construction of a 20,000 square foot expansion to their facility in Russia, Ohio
• Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio announced construction of a new office consisting of an 11,000 square foot facility located at the corner of Third and Michigan Street. Construction will be completed soon and the expected opening date is March 1, 2018.
During 2017, Shelby County joined Hometown Opportunity, a job posting – job search website for Shelby, Darke, Mercer and Auglaize Counties. Hometown Opportunity’s mission is to connect seekers of all ages with local businesses. The program is designed to steer high school, college students and adults toward the appropriate education and/or training that can lead to a career that is available locally. Job seekers can post their resumes on the HTO website and browse through current job openings. Employers from the four counties will post job opportunities and have the ability to review resumes posted on the website at HometownOpportunity.com
In addition, students who leave our communities for college or jobs outside the area will be able to view job opportunities available locally. Hopefully, these individuals will consider moving back to the area to fill job vacancies here. Hometown Opportunity also has a proactive marketing program that reaches out to regional college graduates who may be searching for job opportunities.
Current indicators show continued growth for 2018 with several new projects being discussed.