Ohio Approves State Incentives For UPS, Amazon and Other Projects

At its latest meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved state assistance for seven projects that are set to bring $193 million in investment and create 839 new jobs and retain 2,025 jobs statewide, resulting in $31.4 million in new payroll.

Ohio jobs

Ohio jobs (photo – americaspower/flickr)

Of these, two are Greater Cincinnati economic development projects involving headquarter expansions in the Ohio cities of Blue Ash and Springdale.

Advanced Testing Laboratory, Inc., which provides scientific sourcing solutions for the consumer products, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors, is expanding its corporate headquarters and contract laboratory facility in Blue Ash, OH.

The $6.5 million expansion by Advanced Testing Laboratory will result in the creation of 54 new jobs and retain 84 existing jobs, in the process generating $2.2 million in new annual payroll and retaining $4.6 million in existing payroll. To support the expansion, the Ohio TCA has approved a 1.156 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for this project.

Ultimus Fund Solutions, LLC, a provider of mutual fund services, is planning to support ongoing strategic growth efforts and ventures into new business segments at its Cincinnati headquarters located in Springdale, OH. The company is investing $100,000 into this project, and expects to create 100 new jobs and retain 140 jobs, in the process generating $6 million in new annual payroll and retaining $7.1 million in existing payroll. The TCA has approved a 1.547 percent, seven-year JCTC for this project.

Kimm Coyner, vice president of business development and projects at regional economic development organization REDI Cincinnati, said in a statement that “We know our regional economy thrives when a range of industries chooses to locate and grow here.”

Other projects that have been approved for state assistance by the Ohio TCA are as follows:

United Parcel Service, Inc. – A UPS expansion in Columbus, OH is expected to create 75 full-time jobs. The TCA approved a 1.232 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

Amazon.com.dedc, LLC – A new Amazon project in the City of Twinsburg, OH is expected to create 150 full-time jobs. The TCA approved a 1.113 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

Bleckmann USA, LLC – Bleckmann operates logistics and distribution services to the retail and e-commerce industries throughout Europe. The company’s new project in the Village of Johnstown, OH is expected to create 200 new jobs. The TCA approved a 1.178 percent, seven-year JCTC for this project.

Dollar Shave Club, Inc. – This online retailer’s new project in Grove City, OH is expected to create 185 full-time jobs. The TCA approved a 1.222 percent, seven- year JCTC for this project.

Pulse Flow Technologies, Inc. – This company, which produces compression therapy equipment, is undertaking a new project in the City of Willoughby, OH that is expected to create 75 full-time jobs. The TCA approved a 1.539 percent, five-year JCTC for this project.

Overland Park Spec Building in Toledo, Ohio Attracts $70M Dana Axle Manufacturing Plant

Dana Holding Corporation (NYSE: DAN) has announced plans to open a new high-tech axle manufacturing facility at the Overland Industrial Park in Toledo, OH.

Dana axle plant in Overland Industrial Park, Toledo, OH

Dana axle plant in Overland Industrial Park, Toledo, OH (photo – Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority)

Supported by the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, the Regional Growth Partnership, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Lucas County, and City of Toledo economic development incentives, the company is investing $70 million and plans to employ more than 300 associates by 2020.

This makes Dana the first tenant on the iconic site, previously home to Willys-Overland Motors, which developed the original Jeep. The location, adjacent to Interstate 75, is less than three miles from FCA US LLC’s Toledo Assembly Complex and is optimally located to support automakers throughout the geographic region.

James Kamsickas, Dana president and CEO, said in a statement that “The investment in this new manufacturing facility is another substantial example of Dana’s commitment to the city and our community.”

Kamsickas added that it is an honor for Dana to return manufacturing to the same historic site where Toledo’s automotive industry began more than 100 years ago. Dana plans to lease and expand a recently constructed 100,000-square-foot spec building on the property to nearly 300,000 square feet.

The Port Authority and NAI Harmon Group began construction on the 100,000-square-foot class A spec industrial building in June 2014, and held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility last October. The building was designed for warehouse/distribution or light manufacturing/assembly operations.

Without this existing spec building already constructed on the site, Dana would not have selected Overland Industrial Park for its new high-tech axle manufacturing facility.

Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, noted in a Port Authority release that “We knew it was a risk to construct the first building on the site without a tenant, but our vision for the site has clearly paid off. More than 300 new jobs are coming to northwest Ohio, and Overland Industrial Park will once again become a symbol of hope and promise for our community.”

Since acquiring the former Jeep Property in 2010, the Port Authority has invested approximately $14 million to redevelop the site. Upgrades done include remediation, site grading, installation of lighting and the completion of a new roadway to serve as the main entrance to the site while the I-75 interchange project is being completed. The property is served by Class I rail, and offers easy access to the interstate system.

James Tuschman, chairman of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board of Directors, added that “Dana has played a major role in Toledo’s manufacturing economy over the years, so it’s exciting that they will kick-off the renaissance at the former iconic Jeep site.”

Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson likewise noted in a statement that “This project illustrates the importance of having job ready sites available in Toledo.”

Apart from the massive local, state and federal investment in the Overland site redevelopment and spec building, additional Toledo economic development incentives for the project include a six-year Toledo Expansion Incentive equivalent to 30 percent of the Toledo income tax withheld from employees at the site. This incentive is estimated to be valued at $76,000 per year.

A property tax abatement for the project, offered through the City of Toledo Community Reinvestment Area, is estimated to be $1.6 million. The City is also providing engineering and planning support for water and sewer taps and the site plan, expedited permitting and approvals, and assistance in processing and finalizing agreements.

Ohio Approves State Assistance For Seven Projects Including SportsBrain Relocation

At its latest meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) approved assistance for seven economic development projects set to create 530 jobs and retain 536 jobs statewide. Collectively, these projects are expected to spur $24.1 million in investment across Ohio, and will result in $21,241,653 in new payroll.


SportsBrain (photo – sportsbrain.com)

One of the key projects in the lot is a Dublin economic development project that will bring the corporate headquarters of healthcare company SportsBrain LLC to Dublin, OH from its current Chicago location.

SportsBrain will create 17 new jobs with $1.6 million in new annual payroll in the Columbus Region, at a site in Dublin that is yet to be determined. The company plans to keep a sales office in Chicago.

Kristine Gross, president, SportsBrain LLC, said in a statement that “We made the strategic decision to locate our corporate headquarters in the Columbus Region because the area offers the right blend of proximity to sports organizations, a strong university system, a robust healthcare network and cost advantages.”

SportsBrain, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cognitive Ventures, LLC – a healthcare company making a difference in sports, military, corporate and healthcare sectors. SportsBrain promotes brain safety, and is a leader in concussion testing and comprehensive end-to-end concussion management plus cognitive therapy and performance programs.

The Ohio TCA has approved a 1.426 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for this project. Two other Columbus region economic development projects approved for state assistance include an expansion in the City of Columbus by Ball Metal Food Container, LLC and a new project by GENCO I, Inc.

Ball Metal manufactures packaging for food, beverage and household goods, and is creating 50 full-time jobs. The TCA has approved a 1.228 percent, six-year JCTC for this project. GENCO I, Inc. provides logistic services, and is 82 new jobs at this new facility in Columbus. The TCA approved a 1.153 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

Meanwhile, regional economic development organization REDI Cincinnati announced that two of its projects have also been approved to receive state assistance. Online estate sale company Everything But the House (EBTH.com LLC) plans to expand its footprint in the region, at a location that is yet to be determined.

EBTH.com’s $1 million investment and expansion plan includes the creation of 275 new jobs and the retention of 97 jobs. The TCA has approved a 1.259 percent, seven-year JCTC for this project.

The second Cincinnati project is Rotex Global, LLC, a subsidiary of Hillenbrand. Rotex provides high-quality screening machines to separate dry materials. The company is expanding its operations in the City of Cincinnati with a $400,000 investment and the creation of 20 full-time jobs, and retention of 165 jobs. The TCA has approved a 0.722 percent, five-year JCTC for this project.

Kimm Coyner, managing director of projects and JobsOhio liaison for REDI Cincinnati, said in a statement that “Seeing regional companies like EBTH and Rotex Global grow is always encouraging. When strong companies like these commit to growing and hiring people here, our regional economy thrives.”

The remaining two projects approved for state assistance are Risk International Services, Inc. and ATK Space Systems, Inc. The latter is consolidating its operations in the Ohio cities of Kettering and Beavercreek, and will create 68 new jobs as part of this process. The company has received approval for a 1.701 percent, seven-year JCTC.

Risk International Services, Inc. is expanding its operations in the City of Fairlawn, OH, and expects to create 18 new full-time jobs. The TCA has approved a 1.401 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

Four Greater Cincinnati Economic Development Projects to Create, Retain Over 1600 Jobs

At its latest meeting, the Board of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) approved state assistance for projects that are expected to create 670 jobs and retain 1,419 jobs statewide. Collectively, these projects are expected to spur approximately $134.8 million in investment across Ohio.

Ohio jobs

Ohio jobs (photo – americaspower/flickr)

One of these projects, also supported by Greater Cincinnati economic development organization REDI Cincinnati, is for an expansion by Club Chef LLC in the city of Sharonville, OH.

The company expects to create 355 full-time jobs and retain five jobs as a result of this $1.75 million expansion, generating $9.1 million in new annual payroll. Covington, KY-based Club Chef is the fresh-cut processing member of the Castellini Group of Companies, and is one of the largest regional processors of fresh produce in the United States.

Club Chef is developing a business to capitalize on an industry trend with a new to market concept for fully prepared meals for the retail produce, deli and fresh foods departments. The Ohio TCA has approved a 1.214 percent, eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) for Club Chef’s expansion project.

Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider StandardAero Component Services, Inc. is also expanding operations in Sharonville to meet the aerospace industry’s growing demands. The company is investing $10,500,000 and expects the expansion to create 120 new jobs while retaining 465 jobs. The TCA approved a 1.260 percent, six-year JCTC for this project.

Another projected awarded a 0.576 percent, seven-year JCTC is Fairfield, OH-based Tier 1 and Tier 2 auto parts supplier Pacific Manufacturing Ohio, Inc., whose clients include Toyota, Honda and Subaru. The company is expanding to manufacture several auto parts. This $50,100,000 project is expected to create 62 new jobs and help retain 540 jobs.

Another Greater Cincinnati economic development project announced for this month is an expansion by flavor and fragrance company MANE, Inc. at its Lebanon facility to expand its dry and seasoning product line. This $34 million project is expected to create 100 new jobs and help retain 435 jobs.

The TCA also approved assistance for two northwest Ohio projects. One is for a ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods, LLC expansion in the Village of Archbold, OH. This project, which is expected to create 107 full-time jobs, has been awarded a 1.121 percent, six-year JCTC.

The Worthington Steel Company has likewise been awarded a 1.214 percent, eight-year JCTC for an expansion project in York Township, OH that is expected to create 26 full-time jobs.

Texas, Kentucky Retain Site Selection Governor’s Cup

In its March issue, Site Selection magazine has declared Texas and Kentucky as the winners of its 2015 Governor’s Cups – Texas for the most number of total qualifying economic development projects and Kentucky for total projects per capita.


Texas (photo – state.tx.us)

Both Texas and Kentucky will retain their Governor’s Cups after having won it for their 2014 projects, but both states have also improved on their projects tally.

Texas racked up 702 projects in 2015, up from 689 in the previous year. Kentucky likewise had 285 in 2015, up from 258 the previous year.

One more continuing winning streak in the rankings was demonstrated by Ohio, which has retained its second place showing in the total projects category for four years running now. But it managed 517 projects in 2015, which is down from 582 the previous year. Also, Ohio dropped down to third place in the per capita category, with Nebraska jumping up from 28th place in 2014 to second place in 2015 for its projects tally per capita.

These rankings are based on Conway Inc.’s Projects Database. Qualifying projects must meet one or more of these criteria for inclusion in the database – a minimum capital investment of $1 million, 20 or more new jobs created, and 20,000 or more square feet of new space.

Based on these criteria, here’s Site Selection magazine’s list of the top 10 states by number of economic development projects for 2015:

  1. Texas – 702
  2. Ohio – 517
  3. Illinois – 413
  4. North Carolina – 300
  5. Kentucky – 285
  6. Michigan – 217
  7. Georgia – 211
  8. Pennsylvania – 202
  9. Virginia – 167
  10. Indiana – 166

Ohio also fared well in Site Selection’s listing of the Top 10 Metro Areas with the Columbus Region and Cincinnati in the top five among peer metropolitan areas with populations greater than 1 million, along with Chicago, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Other Ohio cities recognized in the top metro areas in other population categories include Akron, Dayton, Findlay, Lima, and Wooster.

Kenny McDonald, president and chief economic officer of Columbus Region economic development organization Columbus 2020 said in a statement that the Columbus Region’s continued rise on this list year after year is a testament to the tireless teamwork, effort and collaboration among state and local economic development partners. “This ranking puts the Columbus Region on center stage as one of the strongest and vibrant economies in the U.S.,” added McDonald.

See the full listings and details about the Site Selection Governor’s Cup, the top states for attracting projects, and the top 10 metro areas at siteselection.com.

Whirlpool Expanding Again in Ohio With $40.6M Investment and 50 New Jobs in Findlay

Whirlpool Corporation has announced plans for a $40.6 million investment for an expansion of its dishwasher manufacturing facility in Findlay, OH.


Whirlpool (photo – Wfords378/wikimedia)

Subject to approval of state of Ohio and Findlay economic development incentives, the expansion scheduled to break ground in the spring will add 86,400 square feet to the facility for additional assembly capacity and material space.

This latest investment will result in the addition of approximately 50 new jobs at the Findlay dishwasher plant, which assembles dishwashers for the company’s portfolio of brands, including Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air.

The expansion project also adds to Whirlpool’s considerable $1 billion U.S. manufacturing investment in new facilities and plant upgrades since 2010.

This includes a $40 million expansion of the company’s Greenville, OH manufacturing plant that is expected to add 400 new jobs by 2018. Whirlpool’s other recent investments in Ohio include a $200 million investment in the company’s Clyde laundry facilities as well as moving commercial front-load washing machine production from Monterrey, Mexico, to Clyde in 2014 that brought nearly 100 jobs to Ohio.

Jim Keppler, vice president of the company’s Integrated Supply Chain and Quality organization, said in a release that they are proud to employ more U.S. appliance manufacturing employees than any other U.S.-based appliance manufacturer, and this investment is consistent with Whirlpool’s leadership position in the industry.

There’s also the recent announcement of the $18 million Findlay Wind Farm project in which Whirlpool is utilizing two of five wind turbines, and expects to offset an estimated 22 percent of the Whirlpool Findlay plant’s electric consumption with clean, renewable wind energy producing zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the wind farm is financed by One Energy, Whirlpool Corporation has committed to create one $5,000 Megawatt Scholarship per turbine, to be awarded each year the turbine is in operation.

Referring to this latest $40.6 million investment, Dale Laws, plant leader at the Findlay facility, noted that this project is the result of their outstanding partnership with the state of Ohio, JobsOhio and local officials, who played a critical role in securing this project for the plant.

Lead Ohio economic development non-profit organization JobsOhio’s Managing Director Kristi Tanner said in the release “Today’s announcement of 50 new jobs at Whirlpool Corporation’s Findlay plant is exciting news for the state of Ohio, where this global manufacturing leader employs more 10,000 workers at six different facilities.”

Benton Harbor, MI-based Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is the top appliance manufacturer in the world following the acquisition of Maytag Corp, and is a Fortune 500 company with approximately $21 billion in annual sales, 97,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.

Cincinnati, Columbus Region Economic Development Projects Approved by Ohio TCA

At its latest meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) Board approved ten projects expected to create 1,227 jobs and retain 1,564 jobs statewide. Collectively, these projects are expected to spur approximately $96.3 million in investment across Ohio and generate nearly $50 million in new payroll.

Ohio jobs

Ohio jobs (photo – americaspower/flickr)

Greater Cincinnati economic development group REDI Cincinnati announced three projects (Quotient Technology Inc., Planes Moving & Storage Inc. and Reztark Design Studio LLC) that are expected to create 146 new jobs, retain 304 jobs and generate $4.75 million in capital investment.

Mountain View, CA-based Quotient Technology Inc. (NYSE: QUOT), formerly Coupons.com Incorporated, is expanding its Cincinnati operations and will open a new office in the Kenwood Collection in Sycamore Township, OH. Quotient has committed to create 100 full-time jobs over the next three years for a total capital investment of $1.5 million.

Steven Boal, founder and CEO of Quotient, said in a release that “We’re excited to be expanding our footprint in Cincinnati where we’ve had real success hiring top talent.”

Planes Moving & Storage is a relocation and transportation business that is a part of United Van Lines. The company is investing $3 million to expand its current headquarter facility and construct a new 65,000-square-foot warehouse in West Chester Township, OH. This project, which is creating 30 new jobs and helping retain another 229 jobs, has received TCA approval for a .693 percent, five-year Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC).

Reztark Design Studio, LLC is a full-service architectural and design firm that has outgrown its existing location in Cincinnati and plans to invest $250,000 for an expansion. This project, which is creating 16 new jobs and helping retain another 28 jobs, has received TCA approval for a .838 percent, five-year JCTC.

Kimm Coyner, managing director, projects team and JobsOhio for REDI Cincinnati, said they’re happy to kick off the year with growth across multiple sectors. “Greater Cincinnati’s diverse economy offers the right mix for each of these innovative companies to thrive here,” added Coyner.

Columbus Region economic development group Columbus 2020 likewise announced two significant expansion projects by Kenco and Ventech Solutions Inc.

Ventech is a Columbus-based SEI CMMI Level 3 software company specializing in public sector system integration and consulting services. The company is expanding its headquarters operations with the addition of an innovation lab and 75 new jobs to Ventech’s current staff of 65, along with an investment of $750,000 in workforce training. This project has received TCA approval for a 1.600 percent, six-year JCTC.

Ravi Kunduru, founder and president of Ventech Solutions, said in a release that “As we continued to expand, the Region’s innovative collaborative business climate, emphasis on advanced workforce development, and robust labor pool played a critical role in our decision to increase our presence in Columbus.”

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther likewise responded that “Columbus is proud to be called home to a company of Ventech’s caliber. We are committed to providing the resources and support necessary to help our businesses grow and succeed.”

Kenco Logistic Services, LLC is also expanding in the Columbus Region with a $2.1 million investment to lease and equip an additional 180,000 square-foot warehouse in Groveport, OH. This project, which is adding 63 new jobs to their existing 50 workers in the Columbus Region, has received TCA approval for a 1.310 percent, six-year JCTC.

David Caines, chief operating officer at Kenco, said in a release that “The Columbus Region has a robust logistics sector and its location advantages are unparalleled. We also continue to find a reliable and strong workforce, which has contributed to our growth.”

Jeff Green, the City of Groveport’s Assistant City Administrator, noted that “Kenco’s newest expansion is an example of Groveport’s commitment to growing companies that operate here, and we are happy to welcome new opportunities from an existing employer.”

DMAX Expansion in Moraine, Ohio to Create 150 New Jobs

General Motors has announced yet another investment at its DMAX plant in Moraine, OH for future Duramax diesel engine-related productivity improvements.


Duramax (photo credit @ General Motors)

Supported by Ohio and Montgomery County economic development incentives, DMAX Ltd. will invest $82 million and expects to create approximately 150 new jobs at the plant over the next three years.

The DMAX plant already has 576 employees who received more than $35.1 million in wages last year, and generated over $3.36 million in payroll taxes.

GM North America Manufacturing Manager Scott Whybrew said in a release that “This investment and job creation is a result of the hard work from our DMAX team and IUE-CWA Local 755, who have consistently demonstrated their commitment and dedication to building the best diesel engine possible for our customers.”

Established in 1998, DMAX is a joint venture that is 60 percent owned by GM and 40 percent owned by Isuzu Diesel Services of America, Inc. The plant has produced nearly 1.7 million engines since it first opened in 2000. The total investment into the 584,000 square foot facility since that time has reached $856 million.

This includes a $60 million investment that was made at the plant last year to make design changes for production of the 2017 Duramax 6.6L V-8 diesel engine. DMAX is already home to the Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel engine used in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Before that, the plant received a similar $69 million investment in Feb 2008 for production of the new 2010 Duramax 6.6-liter V8 diesel engine. However, the future of the plant was in doubt in between during the recession, and GM also shut down the nearby Moraine Assembly Plant in 2008, which at that time employed 2,400 people.

But even that has become a boon for Moraine economic development, since Chinese glass manufacturer Fuyao decided to locate its U.S. manufacturing plant at the former GM site. Fuyao has since announced an expansion of its original plant size and is now making a total investment of $360 million, and will hire a total of 1,550 workers.

Furthermore, the more than 500 jobs at DMAX were secured with the $60 million investment by GM last year, and this new $82 million investment ensures the continuing growth of the facility.

Shinichi Suzuki, president, CEO and chief operating officer for DMAX, said in the release that “It has been the successful partnership among GM, Isuzu and IUE-CWA Local 755 that continues to bring new investment dollars to our plant.”

GM mentioned in the release that this new investment and the resultant jobs being created are contingent on state and local incentive approvals. However, neither Ohio economic development non-profit JobsOhio nor Montgomery County officials have disclosed any such incentive application details.

This latest investment in DMAX adds to GM’s agressive U.S. facility investments plan which was initiated earlier this year. So far, GM has announced some $6.7 billion in U.S. facility investments this year that are creating 3,500 new jobs and helping retain 16,000 existing jobs.

Amazon Makes Official Announcement of Columbus Region Fulfillment Centers in Obetz and Etna, Ohio

Amazon has officially announced its plans to open two Ohio fulfillment centers in the Columbus Region in Etna Township and the Village of Obetz.


Amazon (photo – BCRP/flickr)

Supported by Ohio economic development tax incentives approved earlier this year in July by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, the company will be creating more than 2,000 jobs at these two facilities combined.

Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, said in a release that they are very pleased to continue investing in Ohio by building their first fulfillment centers in the state. “This investment will create thousands of jobs that will have comprehensive benefits on day one,” added Roth.

The more than 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Etna Township will be developed by Prologis. The more than 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Obetz will be developed by Duke Realty.

The Ohio TCA has approved a 75 percent, 15-year Job Creation Tax Credit for these projects. The over 2,000 jobs that will be created are expected to generate an estimated $60 million in annual payroll.

Kenny McDonald, CEO of regional economic development organization Columbus 2020 said in the release that “We look forward to working with Amazon and integrating them fully within the Columbus Region’s diverse logistics cluster, so that they can continue to successfully service their customers all over the U.S.”

Etna Township Board of Trustees President John Carlisle noted that this project further legitimizes Etna’s standing on the national stage in economic and community development.

Obetz Mayor D. Greg Scott likewise added that Obetz, and the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park region, continue to be the go to spot for global companies looking for the perfect logistics location. “We are excited about our partnership with Amazon and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship,” added Mayor Scott.

Ohio economic development non-profit organization JobsOhio President and Chief investment Officer John Minor said in the release that “These new Amazon projects will add more than 2,000 new jobs in Obetz and Etna and cutting-edge fulfillment centers in one of the nation’s premier logistics hubs.”

Apart from these two new fulfillment center projects, Amazon is separately investing $1.1 billion in Central Ohio for three data center projects in Dublin, Hilliard and New Albany. Last year, the Ohio TCA approved a 75 percent, 15-year JCTC, along with a 100 percent data center sales tax exemption for 15 years, for Vadata, Inc., a data center firm affiliated with Amazon which is setting up the company’s data center operations in Ohio.

EDA and DOD OEA Grant For Ohio State Pilot Project to Accelerate Manufacturing Innovation

The Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) has been selected for a pilot program that aims to create a new model for manufacturing and commercialization support for regional businesses.

Ohio State

Ohio State (photo – Nheyob/wikimeida)

The project will be funded through a $6.8 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment.

The EDA and DoD/OEA grant will support CDME’s work to foster economic stability and growth in central and north central Ohio by advancing the global competitiveness of existing defense and commercial manufacturing companies.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams said in a release that “EDA is pleased to partner with the DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment and The Ohio State University to support small and mid-sized manufacturers in the central Ohio region.”

The first part of CDME’s three-pronged approach to enhance economic vitality is to facilitate multi-industry collaboration to address critical manufacturing challenges and market opportunities. The second part is the commercialization of technological solutions from startup companies and university-based researchers. The third major component is workforce development, ensuring that workers are trained on emerging manufacturing technologies.

CDME Associate Director Nate Ames, principal investigator of the grant project, said in the release that CDME will connect major companies’ multi-million dollar needs with the tens of thousands of new technologies and patents that reside in small startup companies and universities in the region.

“It will have a compounding effect on the Ohio economy by stabilizing large enterprises, implementing game-changing manufacturing technology and increasing the success of local startup companies,” added Ames.

Established in 2014, CDME is located in a 100,000-square-foot multi-use facility on Ohio State’s West Campus as a center within the College of Engineering and the Office of Research.

Part of the federal grant funding will be used for procuring $2.2 million worth of specialized equipment. The grant also supports CDME’s execution of at least two multi-industry research projects in areas of critical need to Ohio’s overlapping commercial and defense manufacturing marketplace. Not to mention the addition of several staff positions, including engineers and student researchers, at CDME.

Ohio State Vice President of Economic and Corporate Engagement Matt McNair noted that the grant award will amplify their role as a catalyst for Ohio economic development.

“By bringing together our researchers, brightest students and corporate partners, CDME will deliver practical solutions that will benefit companies from startups to multinationals while training the next generation of innovators,” added McNair.

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