Dayton-area manufacturing saw explosive growth, thanks to EV/battery investments

Last year ‘really broke the trend,’ analyst says



In a 14-county Western Ohio area, manufacturers invested or committed to an investment of nearly $6 billion in 2021 and 2022, the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) says in a new annual report analyzing the impact of manufacturing in the region.

“We have seen significant growth in manufacturing in the Dayton region over the past several years and that trend continued in 2023,” DRMA President Angelia Erbaugh said. “The industry is trending up in terms of number of employees, average, number of companies, and gross regional product.”

The report says manufacturers expanded (or committed to expand) 74 facilities in the 14-county region, building or planning to build 7 new facilities, while creating 6,710 jobs in 2021 and 2022.

According to DRMA and the Dayton Development Coalition — which gathers data for the DMRA, along with JobsOhio and JobsOhio-aligned organizations — the last two years have seen explosive growth in manufacturing, mostly tied to the automotive and electric vehicle sectors.

About $3.5 billion of the $5.9 billion in regional manufacturing growth is tied to the Honda/LG Energy project near Jeffersonville and SEMCORP’s plans in Sidney. SEMCORP is the largest manufacturer of lithium-ion battery separator film in the world, a component that supports the phones, computers, and EV industries.

“It’s significantly higher than seen in previous years,” said Matt Shimp, manager of research and analytics for the Dayton Development Coalition. “A typical year in the region would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, generally not breaking the $1 billion threshold.

“Last year really broke the trend,” he added.

Earlier this year, Honda said its new joint venture EV battery plant would employ about 2,200 workers.

Some 1,200 workers are expected by 2025 at the Sidney SEMCORP plant.

The DRMA study “reinforces the region’s manufacturing industry as one of the largest, most highly developed centers in the United States,” Erbaugh said.

DRMA says its 330 members continue to be a force behind the region’s recent growth in the number of manufacturing companies, employees, and earnings as well as being an overall contributor to the region’s economy.

In all, 2,466 manufacturing companies in the 14-county Dayton area have a total of 130,222 employees, with an annual payroll totaling $10.9 billion, the report says.

DRMA also points to a gross regional product reaching $21.6 billion in manufacturing.

The report can be downloaded at

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