Ashley Cook, Ohio Hi-Point’s new supply chain management instructor at Urbana High School, will serve as the business liaison 10 hours a week. She will coordinate activities that bring educators, students and manufacturers together.
Cook, who will report to Bailey in her role as business liaison, is an Urbana High School graduate and in 2016 received a bachelor’s in organizational leadership from Wright State University. Before becoming supply chain management instructor, she recruited students from 14 partner schools for Ohio Hi-Point’s main campus in Bellefontaine, launched the school’s first online application and led Hi-Point’s Student Ambassador program.
“Ashley will visit manufacturers to see what their workforce needs are, and she’ll be going to the schools to help make sure their curriculum is where it needs to be to prepare students for career opportunities,” Deb Wortman, Ohio Hi-Point satellite director, said.
Cook adds that she will help manufacturers spread the word to schools about internships and job shadowing opportunities, advertise open positions, and help coordinate job fairs, open houses and other activities where students can learn about career opportunities in local manufacturing.
In her roles as instructor and business liaison, Cook said, “I look forward to being in the business world and working with students to prepare them for successful careers.”
The company, the oldest continuously owned and operated fire apparatus manufacturer in the U.S., is establishing a new Service, Parts and Refurbishment Center at 49 N. Ludlow Road, Urbana. The company is recruiting service technicians and will initially provide 22 jobs at the Urbana facility.
The new location gives Sutphen room to expand its parts inventory and focus more on refurbishing fire engines, a side of the business with promising growth potential, says President Drew Sutphen, the fourth generation of his family to lead the 128-year-old company.
Sutphen recently attended a Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) Board of Trustees meeting with Todd Winnenberg, general manager of the company’s Service and Chassis Divisions.
Winnenberg said the new Urbana facility will enable the company to expand chassis assembly operations at Sutphen’s Springfield site. He added that the company will also use the new Urbana site to launch Sutphen University, a new program for training and educating customers.
“We’re so excited to welcome such an established and growing business to Champaign County,” CEP Director Marcia Bailey said. “And we’re grateful for the cooperative effort that has made this possible.”
She gives special credit to Terry Howell of Howell Brothers Development, which originally built Sutphen’s new Urbana location in 2012 for Pioneer DuPont. Howell has worked with Sutphen to modify the facility to accommodate the company’s specialized needs.
Howell said: “I really appreciate the County Building Regulations Department working with us and providing guidance in the project. It’s a great use of the facility, and Sutphen is a great company to have in Champaign County.
“They will be the largest employer, besides the schools, for the Triad school district – just a great addition to the community.”
Winnenberg said: “We are working hard to grow the service and parts piece of the business. It’s a good feeling to know that we have grown to the point where we need additional space and employees.” He added that the new location offers space for future expansion.
“In a time when we see so much change within manufacturers in the industry, it is refreshing to know that Sutphen is here. Still family-owned, still strong, stable and committed to the fire service, and continuing to grow,” Sutphen said.
“We have seen consistent growth in sales, and as a result of that, we can expand the business in ways that will allow us to continue to put out a great product and meet the increased demands we are seeing. It’s all about building a better experience for our customers, and that is what we are committed to.”
Sutphen, which is headquartered in Dublin, also is experiencing growth at other locations:
* Last year the company announced a new manufacturing facility in Scranton, Pa.
* The company’s Hilliard manufacturing facility recently created a new and improved customer final inspection area.
* Sutphen’s Dublin manufacturing facility will repurpose an existing building for pumper body assembly to meet demands and increase custom pumper output.
“Clark State is appreciative of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s further review and analysis of our proposed program,” said Blondin. “The additional time strengthened our application to ODHE. I am grateful for the hard work and leadership of Aimee Belanger-Haas and Clark State faculty to bring this to fruition. Clark State continues to hear from our regional industry partners about their interest in this program and how they hope this program is available to train their workers.”
READ MORE about Clark State's new degree program from The Springfield News-Sun.
The lab, which was delivered to Marion Technical College in Union County late last year, will be on display throughout much of the day at Triad during the job fair. The project’s primary goal is to provide a mobile training area for manufacturing firms throughout the region, Bailey said. In Champaign County, companies like KTH Parts Industries, Inc., Rittal and Bundy Baking Solutions contributed to the project, Bailey said.
“It’s meant to be shared with those employers for incumbent worker training,” Bailey said.
But it can also be used to give local students hands-on experience to encourage them to take a closer look at careers in the industry.
Technical colleges in Central Ohio submitted a proposal for a state grant several years ago to fund a portion of the project, said Robert Haas, chief strategy officer at MTC. The partners combined that grant and various other funding sources to pay for the lab.
One reason it took several years to get the lab running was manufacturers throughout the region were asked to provide input on the kinds of equipment the lab should offer. Instead of training equipment, it was clear the companies wanted real equipment typically used in a manufacturing environment, he said.
The lab includes a CNC milling machine, six control units at which students can learn to program the mill, room for nine students and an instructor and enough power to allow some electrical training. The training can be customized to a business’ needs.
“They tried to make it as broad as they could to cover different types of industries,” Bailey said. “The Hall company might not do robotic welding but they may have a need for CNC.”
Faculty from MTC will be able to provide the training, or companies with qualified staff can conduct the training on their own. Haas said the goal now is to make businesses more aware of the lab. He estimated it will be used for training about 80 percent of the time with the rest used to promote manufacturing careers for students.
“It’s meant to be an asset that can be used across the state, not just the Marion area,” Haas said.
The lab will be on hand at Triad most of the day on Tuesday. A job fair open to high school seniors in Champaign County will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the high school. A second job fair, open to the general public, will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the high school.
The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper previewed a job fair scheduled at Triad High School and explained how a new mobile lab will be used to train local workers.
If you go:
What: Two job fairs at Triad High School
Where: 8099 Brush Lake Roa, Woodstock
What: A job fair open to high school seniors in Champaign County, followed by a separate job fair for area residents.
When: A job fair for local students will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the high school. A second job fair, open to the general public, will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the high school.
“The zoning right now is for manufacturing,” Bailey said. “But we’re looking at whether it would make better sense on the east side to make it more of a mixed use environment because there would be space for retail, offices and manufacturing combined if that was the need.”
Once complete, Bailey said the complicated project will remove a property that was a nuisance to the city and local first responders. Once redeveloped, the goal is to use the property to attract more jobs and investment to the city. The abandoned Q3 site at Miami and Beech streets has been an eyesore in Urbana for years, creating concerns about safety, vandalism and drug use on the property. In 2015, a fire destroyed much of the building.
City officials took control of the property under the conditions that overdue taxes were cleared off the books and funding was secured to perform necessary demolition and clean up contamination at the site. The process to acquire the site and secure the necessary funding was a lengthy process, but once the work was underway, the project moved forward fairly quickly, said Kerry Brugger, director of administration for Urbana.
“The bulk of the demolition, the buildings that are going to come down, for the most part are down,” Brugger said. “They’re working on slab removal, and they’ll finish up and (do) soil remediation that needs to be completed.”
There is work left to do on the existing buildings on the site that will remain there. The city contracted with True Inspection Services, an Urbana-based developer, to clean up and redevelop the site. Other partners included Honeywell, with whom the city contracted to clean soil on the rear west side of the site.
Once the work is complete, the city will seek a Covenant Not to Sue from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. That designation will show the site is cleaned up and in good condition, a key to allowing the city to eventually transfer the property.
True Inspection Services will initially take over part of the property once the work is complete and work with the CEP to find candidates to occupy the site. The company is also renovating the remaining buildings for office space or warehouse space by next year.
“We anticipate the cleanup and remediation part of the project should be done in the next eight weeks,” said Joe Timm, vice president for True Inspection Services.
There are prospective tenants for the property, Timm said, but he declined to disclose them because the project is still months from completion. He said the company had previous experience renovating the former Buckles Motors dealership and converting it to office space and warehousing. Finishing the Q3 project will provide several benefits to the city, he said.
“It will add some jobs to the community and increase the tax base,” Timm said. “It will definitely be good for the community, along with getting rid of an eyesore.”
· Sandra Brasington, Gov. John Kasich’s regional liaison, addressed the governor’s initiatives to address the opioid crisis. About $1 billion has been directed to the problem, including prevention, education, treatment and recovery, and law enforcement.
· Lauren Bowen, public affairs liaison for Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, spoke about OhioCheckbook.com, a website created by the Ohio Treasurer’s office to provide taxpayers online access to state government spending data – to hold public officials accountable. Local government spending also is being added to the website. So far in Champaign County, spending records for Mad River Township, Goshen Township, St. Paris and Mechanicsburg have been published on the website. North Lewisburg, Christiansburg and Urbana City Schools will be added soon.
· Than Johnson, CEO of Champaign Residential Services, Inc., spoke on behalf of Ohio Sen. Matt Huffman. He said Huffman is working on a redistricting amendment that will be on the ballot this fall. He also is working with local school districts on legislation to improve current state regulations to assist in local school funding.
· Champaign County Commissioner Steve Hess said, “I can’t remember when there’s been so much new development in our county.” He gave as examples new Urbana school buildings, the Memorial Health medical center, the new Navistar/Damewood Enterprises warehouse, the new Crop Production Services facility and expansion of WEIDMANN Electrical Technology.
He said that the CEP’s mission is to “create the path of least resistance to help business develop in our county. If we can find a process to make development easier, that’s what we want to do.” He added that the CEP is partnering with manufacturers and educational institutions to prepare the next generation for the workforce.
To help guide economic and community development in the future, he said, Champaign County commissioners are working with the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission to create a new comprehensive plan that will cover the entire county.
· Urbana Mayor Bill Bean spoke about redevelopment of the former Q3/JMC, Inc. manufacturing site in Urbana – about 20 acres that are being prepared for new industrial development and job creation. He also mentioned a collaborative effort of the city, Urbana City Schools, the CEP and a developer that could create 50 senior citizen apartments in the Douglas Hotel in downtown Urbana and Urbana North and South elementary schools, which will close with the opening of Urbana’s new elementary and middle school. Also, he reported, the second phase of the city’s replacement of water lines will begin in the next year.
· Mechanicsburg Mayor Greg Kimball mentioned two projects that the CEP has assisted the village with – foreclosed downtown property that the village wants to return to productive commercial use and annexing the Advanced Technology Products manufacturing facility into the village.
Results of a five-county wage and benefit study conducted last summer are now available on the Champaign Economic Partnership’s website. The study was conducted to help local businesses improve their competitiveness in retaining and recruiting qualified employees and to strengthen local economic development.
The study results, released in September to businesses that participated in the survey, can be accessed from the Workforce & Talent tab on the top navigation bar of the CEP website.
CEP Executive Director Marcia Bailey said that the CEP helped organize the five-county study after members of the Champaign County Manufacturers Council said that wage and benefit data would help them and other local businesses retain and attract qualified employees.
Four reports of the study are on the CEP website: a regional results report, a Champaign County results report, a manufacturing report and a regional wages report.
The regional survey includes Champaign, Clark, Logan, Madison and Union County businesses and was completed through a partnership of the CEP and Manufacturers Council, Expand Greater Springfield, Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Madison County Future Inc., Union County/Marysville Economic Development, Ohio Means Jobs of Champaign, Clark, Logan, Madison and Union counties, and Gradwohl Consulting LLC, which conducted the study.
Comparative benefit data was gathered in an online survey completed in June by employers from the five counties. The Dayton Development Coalition provided wage data, which is collected regularly by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a consulting firm that supports workforce and economic development efforts.
“This study will enable local employers to see how their benefits and wages compare to similar businesses, so they can make adjustments, if needed, to improve their competitive position in retaining and recruiting qualified workforce,” Bailey said. “That’s especially valuable now, when unemployment is low.”
She added, “This information will also help us in our ongoing efforts to strengthen local economic development and attract new business.”
For more information, contact Bailey at 937-653-7200 or email@example.com.