Area company’s growth hailed as state readies to celebrate Intel Friday

Ohio governor calls Quality Quartz Engineering ‘a great Ohio story’

For a short time Tuesday, a long list of federal and state officials made a medium-sized Beavercreek manufacturer, Quality Quartz Engineering, the center of the universe, all pointing to the company as an example of the commercial potential unleashed by Intel’s $20 billion plans in Ohio.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted joined three congressmen, a senator and officials with JobsOhio, the Dayton Development Coalition and others to tour QQE.

“We must be doing something right,” said Ryan Kelly, QQE president and chief executive.

The attention was tied to Friday’s scheduled groundbreaking for Intel’s two planned Licking County semiconductor fabrication facilities. But state leaders see the positive consequences of Intel’s plans as immediate and, they hope, long-lasting.

QQE describes itself as one of the largest companies in the United States that specializes in the manufacturing and fabrication of high purity quartz products for the semiconductor industry.

The company moved its headquarters to Dayton from California in 2020, shedding locations since then on Stanley Avenue and near Dayton International Airport to make an Orchard Lane plant and offices its center of gravity for a workforce of 130 employees.

That workforce is expected to grow, especially with Intel coming on the scene, Kelly said. The company has room to expand in Beavercreek and intends to launch a local expansion in the next 12 to 18 months, becoming what Kelly pledged will be the largest quartz machining plant in the U.S. when all is said and done.

“We definitely see continued expansion,” the CEO told the Dayton Daily News. “This is a stepping stone on a journey for us.”

DeWine called QQE “a great Ohio story.”

“There are not only suppliers (to Intel) in Ohio, but there are also suppliers to (Intel’s) suppliers in Ohio,” the governor said.

Those on hand Tuesday spoke of Silfex in Springfield and Momentive and Materion in the Cleveland area as examples of companies that stand to benefit from what they envision as a new “Silicon Valley” taking root in Ohio.

Intel’s Columbus-area plant groundbreaking has a visit by President Joe Biden on the agenda. Intel has been moving earth at the site for some two months.

The project is expected to draw some 7,000 jobs just in construction.

“There’s a whole ecosystem that grows up around that,” said Sen. Rob Portman.

State officials and others say they have seen some 40 companies move from the coasts to Ohio in the past two years. And the “re-shoring” of jobs back to America is another trend they’re hoping to encourage.

From 1985 to 2014, U.S. semiconductor manufacturing lost 35% of its employees, according to a 2017 Walden University study. Semiconductor firms began offshoring product manufacturing because of the lower cost of labor and facilities, that study said.

In 1990, the U.S. and Europe made more than three-quarters of the world’s semiconductors. By late 2020, they made less than a quarter.

Intel’s Ohio plans are seen as a sign that will begin to be turned around.

“This is a story about jobs that are abroad that are coming here,” U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said Tuesday at QQE.

“We are extremely excited to see Intel commit to the state of Ohio,” Kelly told the Dayton Daily News in January 2022 shortly after Intel first announced its plans. “We see significant growth for the semiconductor industry over the next decade and love that our home state is embracing this growth. QQE looks forward to supporting Intel and the fast growing semiconductor industry in the future.”

QQE traces its history back to Behm Quartz in Dayton, a company it acquired in 2009. The company also has a plant in Boise, Idaho.

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