MARYSVILLE - Honda associates on Tuesday celebrated the 40th anniversary of the historic start of production at Honda of America Mfg. Inc. in Marysville, in 1979, when the first 64 associates began producing the Elsinore CR 250 motorcycle, which began the rapid growth of Honda in America.
After Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build products in the United States, automobile production quickly followed on Nov. 1, 1982, at the adjacent Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. Honda now has five U.S. auto plants and in 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the United States were made in America. With 12 major plants in this country, Honda also produces engines and transmissions, ATVs and sideby- side vehicles, a variety of power equipment products and the HondaJet in America. Honda’s initial $35 million investment in the Marysville Motorcycle Plant has grown to more than $11 billion in Ohio, and an investment of over $21 billion in Honda’s U.S. operations. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at its 12 plants in America. Honda also has steadily increased its local purchasing of parts and materials with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America and cumulative parts purchases of over $440 billion.
“Honda’s success in Ohio has always been driven by the dedication and innovative spirit of our associates and this 40th anniversary milestone is a tribute to Honda associates, past and present, who have provided their energy, ideas and passion to create high-quality products for our customers,” said Mitsugu Matsukawa, president of Honda of America Mfg. “Based on the team we have in Ohio, and the opportunities ahead, I’m excited for the future of Honda in America.”
In addition to the commitment to local manufacturing, Honda has invested over $1.1 billion in Honda’s U.S. R&D operations, including major centers in Ohio, California, North Carolina and Florida. This year, Honda also marked the 60th anniversary of its business in the U.S., with sales operations established in Los Angeles, California, in June 1959.
Quick Facts: Honda in Ohio Since Honda began production in Ohio in 1979 …
· Employment has grown to 15,000 Honda associates in Ohio.
· Investment has surpassed $11 billion in its Ohio operations.
· Auto production totals nearly 20 million vehicles at Honda’s three Ohio auto plants.
· Engine and transmission production exceeds one million units per year.
· Purchasing of parts and materials has grown to $10 billion annually.
· Operations expanded to include R&D and parts procurement.
· Charitable contributions top $100 million to Ohio community organizations.
40 Years of Honda manufacturing in America
Honda marks its 40th anniversary of manufacturing products in America this month. Honda was the first Japanese automaker to produce products in America, beginning with motorcycles in 1979, followed by the start of automobile production in Marysville, Ohio, on Nov. 1, 1982.
Over the course of four decades, Honda has steadily grown its manufacturing capabilities in the region. Honda now employs more than 25,000 associates at 12 plants in America with the capacity to produce more than one million automobiles, three million engines, 400,000 power equipment products and 330,000 powersports products each year, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In 2018, nearly two-thirds of all Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were made in America.
Honda also manufactures the HondaJet advanced light jet and GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines in America. Cumulatively, Honda has invested more than $20.2 billion in its American manufacturing capabilities, including more than $5.9 billion over the past five years. The company also works with more than 600 original equipment suppliers in America with cumulative parts purchases of nearly $400 billion over 35 years.
Submitted by Honda of America Mfg. Inc.
She added that KTH has about 900 full-time associates, 130 of them “retirement eligible.”
The ESG team oversees the maintenance of KTH’s 1,100 robots and troubleshooting of mechanical and electrical issues.
Bernardi and Boggs are the first interns that KTH has assigned to work in the ESG department, though the company has had engineering internships for several years, Wead said.
In the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Triad, both interns completed classes in robotics, CNC, manufacturing operations and advanced manufacturing. Their Advanced Manufacturing teacher, Todd Bodey, made them aware of the internship opportunity at KTH.
“I’m not sure where this will take me,” Boggs said, “but the robotics will be very interesting. I’m looking forward to working with everyone here.”
Bernardi said he also is looking forward to working with the ESG team. “I love problem solving.”
The CEP has coordinated other job signing ceremonies for graduates and students at ORBIS, Bundy Baking Solutions and Rittal. The events, patterned after signing ceremonies that colleges conduct for new student athletes, are part of the CEP’s workforce development initiatives.
The CEP has been partnering with employers and local schools to better inform students about local employment opportunities and to help schools prepare students for the local workforce.
KTH Parts Industries Inc. makes underbody structural frame components for cars and is Champaign County’s largest manufacturing employer. KTH is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive components worldwide.
Caty Shoemaker, seated at center, signs her employment contract as an intern at ORBIS in Urbana. Seated at left is her manager, Laura Reed, materials manager, and seated at right is Shoemaker’s fiancé, Sam McGill. Standing from left are Dan Szklany, ORBIS plant manager; Maegan O’Connor, human resources representative; Tom Walker, scheduler; Sharon Cook, buyer/planner; Shelley Fuller, plant scheduler; Julie McGill, Sam McGill’s mother; Judy and Rodney McGill, McGill’s aunt and uncle; Cindy and Perry Shoemaker, Shoemaker’s parents; Jill O’Neal, Caty Shoemaker’s sister; Dean Ortlieb, Urbana fire chief and a cousin of the Shoemaker family; Karen Chuvalas of Urbana University; Ashley Cook, business liaison of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP); and CEP Director Marcia Bailey.
The Orbis manufacturing facility in Urbana held a May 10 signing ceremony for an Urbana University senior who has begun a scheduling and purchasing internship at the company, which makes reusable plastic containers, pallets, dunnage and bulk systems for industrial customers.
Caty Shoemaker, a West Liberty-Salem High School graduate who will graduate in December from Urbana University, was joined for the signing ceremony by ORBIS leaders, representatives of the university and Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), and family members, including her sister Jill O’Neal, a former member of the ORBIS team and now human resources operations manager at Weidmann Electrical Technology in Urbana and a member of the CEP Board.
The ceremony, patterned after signing ceremonies that colleges conduct for new student athletes, was coordinated with ORBIS by Ashley Cook, business liaison of the CEP.
Shoemaker is majoring in strategic management and minoring in accounting and marketing at Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University.
Karen Chuvalas, business development manager of the university’s UrbanaWORKS program, said that Christopher Washington, executive vice president and CEO of the university, is developing relationships with local companies to establish internships and co-ops. He wants all students to complete an internship or co-op before graduating.
Bundy Baking Solutions held a signing ceremony a week before for three local students who have joined their workforce.
Key development projects
Thanks to economic development investments by private businesses working with the CEP, Urbana – for the first time ever – ranked 41st in the Site Selection magazine’s 2017 list of top U.S. micropolitan communities.
Recent successes include the new Navistar distribution center, Memorial Health’s medical building, expansion of Weidmann Electrical Technology, opening of Nutrien Ag Solutions, Sutphen Corporation’s new Service, Parts and Refurbishment Center, expansion of Old Souls Farms hydroponic operations, expansion of Advanced Technology Products and purchase of the former Robert Rothschild Farm property.
Champaign County manufacturing jobs have grown from under 3,000 jobs in 2013 to nearly 4,000 in 2018.
Major projects for 2019 include:
The CEP is partnering with schools and businesses in numerous ways to help make sure Champaign County has the skilled workforce required by new and expanding businesses.
Results of these partnerships include:
For more information, call the CEP at 937-653-7200 or browse CEPOhio.com.
Makes good use of vacant building
Employers in Clark & Champaign counties have jobs to fill now
Amy Donahoe, director of Workforce Development with the Chamber of Greater Springfield, said the falling unemployment rate is an example of Clark County continuing to see businesses hire and grow.
“We are seeing individuals becoming employed right away when businesses are hiring,”
Donahoe said. “There is no reason for people not be working right now.”
Donahoe said the Chamber is focusing to tap into the workforce within Clark County to keep residents working close to home.
“We have a lot of people living here but working outside of the area,” Donahoe said. “We are working on keeping people here and helping people find work closer to home.”
Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm, said the unemployment rate for Clark County is good.
LaFayette said that Ohio DJFS does not seasonally adjust, or account for seasonal patterns that include summer hiring, major holiday hiring and school schedules.
State and national figures are adjusted for those factors.
Statewide, Ohio’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 4.4 percent, down 0.2 percent from February, according to the OJFS. The nationwide unemployment rate remained steady at 3.8 percent, continuing its downward trend.
“If we are looking at seasonally adjusted numbers, unemployment still went down from 4.2 in February, to 4 in March,” LaFayette said about Clark County’s unemployment numbers.
In Champaign County, the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in March, down from 3.8 percent in February.
Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said the county’s unemployment numbers are, “great news.”
“These numbers are great, but there is a flip side to this story,” Bailey said. “The other side is that there are still jobs that need to be filled and companies that are hiring right now.”
Companies across Champaign County are looking to fill positions right now, Bailey said.
“We want people to understand that there are jobs available and we encourage them to come and see us,” Bailey said. “We want to help everyone find their career.”
Contact this reporter at 937- 328-0329 or email Riley. Newton@coxinc.com.
March: 4.1 percent
February: 4.6 percent
January: 5.4 percent
March: 3.4 percent
February: 3.8 percent
January: 4.5 percent