Ohio is drawing more interest from companies wanting to locate here, particularly after Intel’s announcement that it will build two massive semiconductor production facilities near Columbus, said Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in comments made during Wednesday’s Dayton Development Coalition annual meeting.
“It’s not very often that Ohio is in global economic news for something that is as big as the most important semiconductor company in the world announcing they are going to build their largest facility in our state,” Husted said in comments to reporters outside the meeting. “That made people go, ‘Wow, if Intel is coming there, what else are we missing? Why shouldn’t we be there?’ And we are seeing a lot of uptick because of that.”
The Intel project, which is projected to create 3,000 jobs, could eventually be four or five times as big as what was already announced, Husted said.
Credit: Lynn Hulsey
Credit: Lynn Hulsey
“And the ripple effect will effect Ohio in such a positive way it is hard to describe,” Husted said before an audience of 500 at Carillon Historical Park.
The meeting also included an announcement that the Dayton region last year set a record for the number of new jobs committed by companies building new facilities or expanding here.
The Dayton region is building an aviation technology future, Husted said, including electric flying car technology being developed at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport and the announcement this week that Sierra Nevada Corp. will build aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facilities for U.S. Air Force aircraft at the Dayton International Airport.
“We think that will be a catalyst for more investment to come our way in the modernization and maintenance of aircraft,” Husted said. “At the same time we think we can build the manufacturing future of these new types of aircraft that are battery-powered, that are autonomous, which are really the next generation of air transportation. We can build it right in the state of Ohio.”
He said Intel will be “a magnet” drawing people from all over the world to work there, but the state, communities, individuals and companies will need to make sure there is an educated workforce ready for these jobs.
“We have to build opportunity in Ohio. So through our high schools, we’ll be soon announcing projects or programs where students can get educated to take the kind of jobs that Intel will create,” he said. “Through our community colleges and through our universities, Intel will invest $100 million directly in our educational institutions to train the kind of people that they need.”
Political instability around the world and the tangled supply chains that have been a hallmark of the COVID-19 pandemic create a perfect opportunity to bring back companies — and jobs — that left the U.S., he said.
Ohio has a low-cost of living, high quality of life, great educational institutions and a large workforce, that will draw companies and their employees here, he said.
“I’m optimistic that there are going to be future announcements in the Dayton area,” Husted said. “We still have a little work to do but I feel like we’ve got some other good things in the works.”
Credit: JIM NOELKER
Credit: JIM NOELKER
The annual meeting included the announcement that companies committed to creating more than 4,264 new jobs in the Dayton region last year, and to retaining more than 3,298, according to the coalition’s 2021 annual report.
“As the Dayton Region continued to emerge from a global pandemic, the region set records for jobs committed and number of projects. The region had the second-best year for payroll and capital investment,” according to a news release issued Wednesday in advance of the meeting.
The highest number of jobs committed previously was 3,880 in 2018 and the most projects were 45 in 2012, according to the coalition.
“After two years of a pandemic, our community has been transformed in more ways than we realize,” said Jeff Hoagland, coalition president and CEO. “We’ve had to adapt to changing circumstances, including the way we do business. In 2021, we saw companies tap into opportunities to transform not just their operations, but how we travel, how we manufacture, how we shop, and how we communicate.”
New projected payroll in 2021 totaled more than $165.5 million and pledged capital investment totaled $854.8 million. All of the companies worked with the coalition and JobsOhio, the state’s privatized economic development arm. The coalition represents the 14-county JobsOhio West Region.
The largest job creators among the 64 projects in 2021 were:
- Amazon.com Services LLC, which promised 1,600 new jobs at a new fulfillment center in Union and a “last-mile” delivery facility being built on Lightner Road in Dayton, both near the Dayton International Airport.
- Gabriel Brothers Inc., a West Virginia-based department store chain that pledged 833 new jobs at a distribution center it is building in Springfield to serve Gabe’s stores in Beavercreek and across the country.
- Legrand North America LLC, an electrical and digital building infrastructure company, which promised 261 new jobs and 41 retained jobs for a new facility in Union.
The coalition said many of the projects were by companies new to the region, helping further diversify the economy.
“2021 transformed our community. We began to see companies re-shore essential operations, adapt and incorporate digital technology, and find new ways to leverage the changes in consumer behavior,” said Doug Compton, chairman of the coalition board of trustees. “The Dayton Region stands ready to leverage these transformations in 2022, supported by new JobsOhio programs, efforts like the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program, and a commitment to attracting and retaining the nation’s best talent.”
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