Business leaders tout region’s job momentum

Dayton is “back in a big way” with thousands of new jobs committed to the region in 2014 and more to come this year, the Dayton Development Coalition’s Jeff Hoagland said Monday.

Hoagland, the coalition’s president and chief executive, addressed more than 600 area business leaders at the organization’s annual meeting at the Schuster Performing Arts Center downtown. He cited 2014 job “wins” from Fuyao Glass America, Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool Corp., Emerson Climate Technologies, Dole and Speedway among the region’s successes.

“This is an exciting time in the Dayton region. Outside of the 2005 BRAC, I really can’t think of another time that we are on the cusp of some very great things in every part of the region,” Hoagland said.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio’s largest single-site employer, remains the coalition’s primary focus. Job growth at Wright-Patt is up 30 percent since the 2005 BRAC, despite federal spending cuts, he said.

Dayton-based PSA Airlines Inc. was touted as an example of future job growth. PSA, the only commercial airline headquartered in Ohio, is putting three new aircraft into service every month into 2016, said PSA President Dion Flannery, the meeting’s keynote speaker.

PSA plans to grow its fleet to 126 aircraft by 2016, up from 49 aircraft in 2013.

The regional carrier, wholly owned by American Airlines and headquartered at the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, added 1,100 new employees last year. PSA is now hiring 60 pilots and 60 flight attendants each month, Flannery said.

Currently, PSA has 1,900 employees, with about 800 in Dayton.

“In 2015, PSA will hire more pilots than our parent and the world’s largest airline, American Airlines. That is a substantial feat and underscores what we’ve got going on here in Dayton,” Flannery said.

PSA’s new pilots and flight attendants all start their careers in Dayton. The airline also has crew and maintenance facilities in Charlotte, N.C.

Derek Porter, Dayton Power & Light president and chief executive, was introduced at the meeting as new chairman of the development coalition’s board of trustees.

“We need to continue to work together to continue the momentum” of Dayton’s resurgence, Porter said.

Pamela Morris, CareSource president and chief executive, was presented with the coalition’s 2014 Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award.

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