Page 12 - Discover Magazine 2019
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The combination of a skilled workforce, strong schools, and available land for growth throughout Shelby County make the area attractive for new business. There are two certified, shovel-ready sites – the Sidney Ohio Industrial
Park and the Amos Industrial Park. Based on criteria set forth in the Site Evaluation and Certification Program sponsored by the Dayton Power and Light Company, there are over 400
acres free of detriments and zoned for industrial development. The certification process ascertains that these sites have the necessary infrastructure, zoning
and due diligence studies completed and approved by the various regulatory agencies making the sites immediately available for construction.
The Sidney-Shelby County Economic Partnership is a not-for-profit organization composed of business
and community leaders dedicated
to furthering economic growth and prosperity in Shelby County. The Partnership works closely with the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber
of Commerce, the Shelby County Commissioners, and the City of Sidney to provide incentives that help nurture
a business-friendly environment for organizations looking to locate or expand in the region. The Partnership assists new and expanding businesses by directing them to available real estate, revolving loan funds, tax abatement programs, investment and job creation tax credits, and customized training programs.
In June of 2013, the Sidney-Shelby County Economic Partnership, Sidney- Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, and local government officials combined efforts to establish the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County. The goal was to build a strong workforce for Shelby County businesses by making area students aware of career opportunities in the region.
The Workforce Partnership enlisted support from over 40 business partners from the community to promote this career awareness program with middle school and high school students. A special curriculum was developed and the Workforce Academy was then piloted
at Sidney High School in the fall of 2014. Now in its fifth school year, the Workforce Academy has expanded to include other schools throughout the county, supplementing career readiness curriculums and educating students about local industries and the skills they will need to succeed in the future job market of the Shelby County area.
Whether a student plans to enter the workforce directly out of high school or attend college, the mission is to open the doors between businesses and students, educate them on the local careers and pathways, and instill the professional skills needed to be a successful
employee. Shelby County boasts a
strong manufacturing presence, and many skilled trades and manufacturing positions are available that offer competitive wages and advancement opportunities. State-of-the-art classrooms and a traveling Mobile Career Lab have been implemented to house the skills development programs that are preparing local students to be strong, workforce- ready adults. The program recently received a $5,000 Community Possible grant from U.S. Bank to continue its work.
From recreational vehicles to salad mix, Shelby County is home to a diverse collection of manufacturing companies. Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer for over 80 years, has made its home in Jackson Center since 1952. The Shelby County location has been Airstream’s sole manufacturing facility since 1979,
and to meet increasing demands for
its sleek, well-known motor homes, Airstream completed a 95,000-square foot expansion of its manufacturing facility in the fall of 2015 and another 55,000-square foot expansion in
2017. The company also consolidated its administrative offices into a new 16,000-square foot building, and added a 5,000-square-foot fitness center for employees.
Airstream is now starting construction on the most significant plant expansion in its history. The $40 million project to create a new 750,000 square-foot facility, which will be
completely powered by renewable energy credits, is expected to be completed in 2019. The expanded capacity will allow Airstream’s craftspeople to further the company’s commitment to innovation and quality control. Additional associates will be hired, bringing total employment to approximately 1,200.
The new factory will include a state- of-the-art training facility which will provide Airstream and dealer associates with a hands-on shop floor environment for earning certifications, learning new skills, and mastering new production and maintenance techniques. “There
is no place else in the nation where we could find the workforce, the village, the county or the state to support our continued growth,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler, praising the Jackson Center community.
Local employers like Airstream
are responsible for 80% of the region’s recent economic growth. “The announcement of Airstream’s expansion is still more proof that Shelby County is a manufacturing stronghold in Ohio,” said Jim Hill, Executive Director of the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership.
The current 255,000 square-foot travel trailer plant will be converted
to allow for production of Airstream’s motorized touring coaches, supporting a growing line of products that appeal to a broad spectrum of RV enthusiasts including Basecamp and Nest. With
the new expansion, frequent visitors
to the plant will also be able to tour a new Airstream Heritage Center that illustrates the company’s 87 years of inspiring adventure. Plans call for displays of numerous classic Airstream products including those that document the company’s relationship with NASA, the Caravan Club International, and Airstream trips and rallies.
Plastipak Packaging, also in Jackson Center, manufactures plastic containers for food, beverages, and household products. A global company based in Plymouth, Michigan, Plastipak keeps billions of plastic bottles out of landfills each year with its recycling efforts and eco-friendly initiatives to reduce waste.
Another Jackson Center company, EMI Corporation, is the nation’s leading supplier of high-quality, industrial-grade products and services developed to
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