KTH is an auto parts maker for Honda that specializes in metal stamping and welding operations. The company is one of the region’s largest employers and invested more than $3.7 million to develop a research center in late 2015 as auto makers faced higher fuel economy demands and crash test standards.
The research and design center has 19 employees who develop new ways to blend materials and new manufacturing processes. There are plans to add some additional employees by the end of the year.
“We wanted to separate ourselves from the like suppliers,” said Rob Hayes, senior vice president of engineering, quality and production at KTH.
Federal fuel efficiency requirements are pushing automakers to develop vehicles that can achieve 42 miles per gallon by 2020 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Trump administration has announced plans to re-examine those requirements, but KTH officials said automakers will likely continue to push for safer, more efficient vehicles regardless of the federal requirements.
Read More at SpringfieldNewsSun.com.
By Matt Sanctis - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Ethan Snyder was selling vegetables at farmer’s markets throughout the Columbus area when his dad offered a suggestion that led to the creation of a growing business in St. Paris.
Old Souls Farms, a hydroponic produce farm in Champaign County, has been in business for two years now. But the business is preparing for an expansion this fall after steadily adding clients at restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Columbus area, including Whole Foods. The big change, Snyder said, came when his dad suggested switching from farming outside to growing hydroponic lettuce in a quarter-acre greenhouse.
“My dad came to me and said, ‘I think I have a better idea,’” Snyder said.
For the past two years, Snyder and high school friend Vic Kaczkowski have been studying hydroponic farming techniques to provide lettuce, basil and other herbs to their clients year-round. They went to high school in Delaware County, but built the business in Champaign County in part due to its proximity to other markets like Cincinnati and Dayton. The biggest challenge, Snyder said, was breaking old habits about how to grow produce.
Joshua Keeran | Urbana Daily Citizen, Employees of SVG Motors and Trenor Motors gathered in the Scioto Street dealership Friday during the announcement of a change in ownership. Pictured in the center shaking hands are SVG Motors President Steve VanGorder, right, and Trenor Motors President Roger Tehan Jr., left. VanGorder said the plan is to keep as many former employees of Trenor Motors as possible while also hiring additional staff to join SVG Urbana.
by Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen
One of the Urbana’s oldest operating businesses is no longer. Trenor Motors, family-owned and operated since 1926, was acquired Friday by SVG Motors.
Headquartered in Dayton, the SVG auto group consists of two new and used car dealerships – SVG Chevrolet in Greenville and SVG Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Eaton – along with SVG Motors, a used car dealership in Dayton.
Steve VanGorder, president of SVG Motors, said he has been in talks with Roger Tehan, owner of Trenor Motors, for the past two-and-a-half years about the possibility of acquiring the Urbana dealership.
“I’m very appreciative of Roger Tehan and his family for affording me this opportunity to be able to do this,” VanGorder said. “This is an honor to be a Chevy, Buick and GMC dealer. I’m living my dream. This is what I’ve always wanted, and I’m on top of the world right now.”
He added the plan for the 90-plus-year Urbana staple is for it to continue to operate as a Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership under the name of SVG Urbana.
“We feel this is a great community, and there is no reason why this store can’t sell and service a lot of cars,” he said.
“In my opinion, (this location) is the best piece of real estate in the county – in between the two most traveled roads (routes 29 and 36) going through the county.”
VanGorder said the dealership will tie in perfectly with his other stores, which will allow SVG Motors to continue to be home of the “Superior Value Guarantee (SVG).”
“(The dealership) just seems like it fits what we are doing with the synergies of all our other stores with our marketing and advertising,” he said. “It will allow us to have a larger footprint digitally and on television. We will also be able to offer our customers bigger discounts because we have multiple locations.”
Changes In Store
[READ MORE at UrbanaCitizen.com]
By Liz Winhover - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
Kiser Lake State Park in Champaign County is set to receive new rustic log cabins by early spring of 2018.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently requested funds from the Controlling Board in order to purchase construction materials to construct and install wooden cabins in several state parks, including Kiser Lake.
“The addition will improve attendance to the lake,” Alyssa Beaty, campground attendant, said, adding that the cabins will be able to hold bigger families.
The two cabins will come about through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The cabins are made from hardwood cut from Ohio state forests and are assembled by state prisoners.
The partnership between the two departments began last year.
They’re called Sherman Cabins after Camp Sherman, an Ohio Army National Guard training site near a Chillicothe prison.
Kiser Lake currently has two cabins and during the summer they see turn over every week, Beaty said.
Sites 3 and 4 at the lake will be closed beginning late October or early November to begin construction.
Beaty is excited for the addition because the two cabins they currently have are a hot commodity and suggests calling to rent a cabin three to four weeks in advance because they’re so popular.
The two new Sherman Cabins are expected to be available to the public by May 2018.
The state will install the log cabins in eight other state parks — Alum Creek located in Delaware County; Barkcamp in Belmont County; Beaver Creek in Columbiana County; East Harbor in Ottawa County; Hocking Hills in Hocking County; Kelleys Island in Ottawa County; Mohican in Ashland County; and Tarr Hollow in Ross County.
Employers from Champaign and four neighboring counties are encouraged to complete an online employee benefits survey June 5-24. The survey is part of a wage and benefit study that will help employers in the participating counties benchmark their wages and benefits against county and regional averages. The study also will provide useful data to promote economic development.
Employers who complete the survey will be the first to receive a summary of the final study report in September, Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said. The report also will include wage data for Champaign, Clark, Logan, Madison and Union Counties. The Dayton Development Coalition will provide the wage data, which is collected regularly by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a consulting firm that supports workforce and economic development efforts.
Employers that do not complete the survey will not have access to the final report until January 2018.
Read more about the survey in the Urbana Daily Citizen.
URBANA — A historic, vacant building in the heart of downtown Urbana might get new life if tax credits are approved by the state.
The building that once housed Little Nashville, a bar just south of the roundabout, has been empty for two years and investor John Doss with Dye and Doss Insurance wants to change that.
“I didn’t really see any prospects of anybody doing anything with it,” Doss said as to why he decided to take up the project. “And besides that, in the ’40s and ’50s, my grandfather owned it. So it’s kind of a sentimental place.”
His insurance office is just south of the old bar. An application for historic tax credits filed with the Ohio Development Service Agency shows the total cost to renovate the 4,475-squarefoot building will be about $222,000. The building will house one office inside and have two residential spaces on the second floor.
Doss has requested $31,000 in tax credits, which are sold to investors to provide money for the development. He said he hopes to have the project completed by next summer.
“The historic tax program is a pretty good deal and it is really nice for small buildings,” he said. “The tax credits makes this project a viable thing.”
Putting buildings to use in downtown Urbana helps everyone in the community, said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign County Economic Partnership.
“We have a beautiful downtown with our historic overlay,” she said. “The more we can preserve and restore those buildings, the better our downtown will be.”
She took a tour of the building with Doss after he bought it about a year ago and said it has a lot of opportunity.
“Any new business is more than welcomed,” she said. “The foot traffic will benefit every business in downtown Urbana.”
READ MORE from staff writer Parker Perry at the Springfield News-Sun.