The Champaign Economic Partnership website, launched about a year ago, will be updated early next year with more resources to help businesses locate and expand in Champaign County, said CEP Director Marcia Bailey. The CEP was designated Champaign County’s economic development agency in July 2015.
The CEP website, CEPOhio.com, will expand listings of available commercial land and buildings, information on economic development incentives and the CEP’s “playbook,” which is currently in development.
The playbook, expected to be completed early next year, will serve business developers as a resource guide through the process of beginning or expanding a business in Champaign County. The playbook will include information about the local and state resources critical to business success as well as contact information for these resources.
“As the economic development agency serving all of Champaign County, the CEP serves as the starting point for local business development,” Bailey said. “We will offer businesses our economic development playbook as an easy-to-use resource to help smooth the planning process and prevent missing any key steps along the way.”
CEP newsletter published
More details about the CEP playbook and other economic development news can be found in the CEP’s recently published fall newsletter, CEP Developments, the third quarterly edition of the publication, which launched in spring 2016. The newsletter can be accessed on the “news” tab of CEPOhio.com, and. visitors can subscribe to receive the newsletter by email.
Among other news covered in the latest edition: New local businesses; Manufacturing Day activities coordinated by the CEP and local manufacturers and schools to present high school students career opportunities in manufacturing; the CEP’s and local manufacturers’ display at the Champaign County Fair; and the Inventors Camp at the Champaign Family YMCA, where local manufacturers provided campers a taste of manufacturing.
Manufacturing careers have been a key focus of the CEP, as manufacturers locally and across the country are having difficulty filling skilled job openings.
Several workforce training initiatives have resulted from CEP’s partnership with manufacturers and local schools:
Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s advanced manufacturing program at Triad Local Schools and other Hi-Point satellite programs at Champaign County schools
New manufacturing and engineering programs at Clark State Community College
Urbana University looking at new workforce training opportunities
Development of training to help the existing workforce update skills to remain competitive
Job shadowing, internships and factory tours to expose local students to manufacturing careers
“Workforce initiatives like these are vital to current employers and will help us attract new businesses to Champaign County,” Bailey said. “Businesses are more likely to move to communities with a well-trained workforce.”
Ohio economic development newsletter
Champaign County and the CEP received prominent coverage in the November edition of the Ohio Economic Development Association’s Dateline newsletter. The article featured the continuing growth of the county’s largest employer, KTH Parts Industries, and the CEP’s role in helping KTH gain approval of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) application.
The CRA agreement grants KTH a 50 percent, 15-year real estate tax exemption on the company’s latest construction project, a 128,950-square-foot expansion expected to cost $6.7 million. As part of the agreement, KTH also pledges to add 20 new full-time jobs.
The company has experienced massive growth since opening in 1985. KTH started with 195 full-time associates in a 239,122-square-foot facility and now employs 914 full-time permanent and 223 temporary associates, who make automobile subassemblies in a 1,110,448-square-foot complex.