Manufacturers opening doors to high school students Friday
By Gary Schenkel
Eight local manufacturing companies are opening their doors Friday to allow about 150 Champaign County high school students to observe modern, high-tech manufacturing in action.
The Champaign County Manufacturing Human Resources Council and the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) planned the tours in conjunction with the national observance of Manufacturing Day, sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
“The county school superintendents have been helpful providing us direction on what students would like to learn from Manufacturing Day,” Jill O’Neal, member of the Champaign County Manufacturing Human Resources Council and CEP board member, said. “We heard that students would like to see not just the manufacturing environment, but a chance to ask questions about particular jobs, pay ranges and skills or knowledge required.” O’Neal is human resources manager at WEIDMANN Electrical Technology in Urbana.
Between touring manufacturing facilities in the morning and afternoon, students will gather at the Urbana University Student Center from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. There they will visit trade show-style displays set up by the manufacturers and talk with company representatives. They’ll also have lunch provided by the university.
Marcia Bailey, CEP director, said that parents interested in learning more about manufacturing careers for their children may attend the session at Urbana University. “Or they can contact the local manufacturers to schedule a visit with their students for a more personalized experience,” she added.
Each student will tour two facilities, including the Hall Company, KTH Parts Industries Inc., ORBIS Corporation, Rittal, Rosewood Machine and Tool Company, Sarica Manufacturing, Ultra-met and WEIDMANN Electrical Technology. Bundy Baking Solutions will join the others with a display at the university.
Urbana University, Ohio Means Jobs, Clark State Community College, the CEP, FASTLANE (West Central Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership) and Community Job Connect, Champaign County’s new online job posting and search board, will also set up displays at the university.
About 150 students will participate from Graham, Mechanicsburg, Triad, Urbana and West Liberty-Salem high schools. Triad offers Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s Advanced Manufacturing program.
Todd Bodey, who teaches Advanced Manufacturing at Triad, said the Manufacturing Day activities provide students a good introduction to manufacturing careers and technology. He added that a Manufacturing Day tour is what got Zack Zizzo, a 2017 Triad graduate, interested in manufacturing. “Zack toured ORBIS and became really interested in their injection molding processes.”
Zizzo is now interning at ORBIS, which is supporting his education in the two-year mechanical engineering technology program at Clark State Community College.
“I see students coming back with an interest in something, and the students see the enthusiasm people have for their jobs in manufacturing,” Bodey said. “I’m very pleased the manufacturers can accommodate this many students.”
Manufacturers to be honored
The CEP will honor local manufacturers at the Manufacturers Celebration Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Champaign County Community Center auditorium, 1512 S. U.S. 68, Urbana.
“Manufacturing plays a significant role in strengthening our local economy and making Champaign County a better place to live and work,” Bailey said. Local manufacturers employ nearly 4,000.
“Through efforts like our Manufacturing Day tours and partnerships with local schools, we are preparing the next generation for manufacturing careers and ensuring the future success of local industry,” Bailey said.
Gary Schenkel is records manager of Champaign Economic Partnership.
Perennial Theatre Company Presents "The Crucible" at The Champaign County Historical Museum this October
The Perennial Theatre Company presents Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", performed in collaboration with the Champaign County Historical Society.
October 13th and 14th @ 7pm
October 15th @ 2pm
October 20th and 21st @ 7pm
Regular - $12
Discount - $10 (For students, children under 12, veterans, seniors, and historical society members)
*This play will take place outdoors at the Champaign County Historical Museum (809 E Lawn Ave, Urbana, Ohio 43078) late in the evening. Please dress accordingly.*
About The Crucible:
"Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, focuses on the inconsistencies of the Salem witch trials and the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas of a divided population. Relevant now more than ever, The Crucible shows us just how dangerous fear and apathy can truly be."
About The Perennial Theatre:
"The Perennial Theatre Company is an award winning performing arts group that has been active since 2015. They strive to use theatre as a tool to teach love, kindness, and empathy to the community."
The company is also boosting its payroll and spending at least $500,000 in new equipment as part of an expansion valued at around $2.7 million, said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign Economic Partnership.
Weidmann, a Swiss-based company, produces specialty insulation for transformers. The expansion is expected to be complete by March next year. The company currently has about 140 workers.
“We’re looking at increasing our capacity within the facility,” said Mark Hunter, plant controller at Weidmann. “Since we opened our doors in 2011, we’ve gone from initially 75 employees and we’re expected to be around 164. We’ve just grown so much in terms of our business and because of that to be able to maintain increased sales, we needed to add more space onto our facility.”
Documents filed with local government entities show the company will add 20 workers as part of the expansion, but the manufacturer hired four additional workers just before making the announcement, for a total of 24 workers, Hunter said. The new jobs will include a variety of position, from forklift operators to maintenance technicians, as well as line workers and a safety coordinator.
The company will add a roughly $500,000 piece of equipment used to cut the paper produced at the company, in addition to the expansion and new jobs, Hunter said.
The company’s current payroll is a little more than $9 million and it will add about $835,000 as part of the expansion, Bailey said.
Local school districts and the city of Urbana approved a Community Reinvestment Area agreement that will provide a 100-percent property tax abatement for 15 years for the addition to the facility, Bailey said. The company will continue to pay its full share of taxes on its existing payroll and property, but will receive an abatement for the expansion.
The city and Urbana school district will split income taxes from the additional payroll evenly, she said.
OhioMeansJobs Champaign County will also work with the company to provide training for the existing employees who need additional training to operate the new equipment, Bailey said.
The company’s growth has been a bright spot in Champaign County’s economy, Bailey said. Weidmann initially took a leap of faith and pledged to provide jobs for 75 workers when the business moved into the former Neenah Paper Inc. site on West Court Street.
Neenah had closed a paper mill at the site in 2007, leaving about 180 workers without jobs. The property was a brownfield site, she said, and Weidmann’s decision to invest in the property reopened a site that could have become an eyesore.
“They’ve doubled the expectation from when they first came,” Bailey said of the company’s growth since it opened in Urbana. “They’ve kept the integrity of the historic building and they’ve been a great asset in the neighborhood as well.”
Along with the Weidmann announcement, the city also reached an agreement with a local developer this month to clean up the former Q3 and Johnson Manufacturing site that’s been vacant since 2008. True Inspection Services, an Urbana-based developer, will clean up and redevelop the 20-acre site at Miami and Beech streets.
City leaders have said the redevelopment of that property is expected to take two years and may begin as soon as next month.
The Springfield News-Sun provides award-winning coverage of jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign counties, including stories tracking local unemployment rates and digging into expansion plans at major employers like Honda.
By the numbers
24 — Total new jobs to be added, including 4 recent hires
2,600 square feet — size of the expansion
$834,000 — New payroll to be added
$9M — Company’s current estimated payroll
Demolition and cleanup of the former Q3/JMC Inc. manufacturing site in Urbana is ready to begin – a key step toward preparing the abandoned property for new industrial development and job creation.
Urbana Director of Administration Kerry Brugger announced at Tuesday’s Urbana City Council meeting that an agreement has been finalized between the city of Urbana and Urbana-based developer True Inspection Services (TIS), which will direct redevelopment work of the 20-acre site at 605 Miami St. and 200 Beech St. The property, zoned for manufacturing, has been vacant since Q3/JMC ceased operations in 2008.
TIS has been awarded a JobsOhio Redevelopment Pilot Program reimbursable grant of $883,947 to help cover the cost of the two-year project, which will involve demolition, environmental remediation, asbestos abatement, removal and disposal of waste, and site preparation.
The city gained title to the abandoned property in May and is providing $348,435 in matching funds. TIS is contributing $116,145.
Through a separate agreement with the city, Honeywell International Inc. is responsible for cleaning up groundwater contamination in an approximately four-acre section on the west side of the property, which had been used by Grimes Aerospace’s Plastic Research Products business. Honeywell became liable for the cleanup, having acquired Grimes Aerospace.
Brugger said that the Honeywell cleanup is targeted to begin in October. Barry Couts, TIS founder and owner, said his company will soon begin advertising for bids for demolition and cleanup of the site.
Once cleanup is completed and meets Ohio Environmental Protection Agency VAP cleanup requirements, title to the property will transfer from the city to TIS, Brugger said. TIS will prepare the site for development by a new owner.
The Champaign Economic Partnership will work with TIS to market the property for reuse, Marcia Bailey, CEP director, said. “Having a 20-acre greenfield in Urbana that is zoned M-1, for industrial use, will be extremely advantageous for economic growth and job creation in our county.” She added that the CEP will use its established network of local, regional and state contacts to market the property to businesses seeking space to expand or establish operations.
Bringing the project to this point has required cooperation of many parties, Bailey said. These include the city, Honeywell, JobsOhio, the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), TIS, the CEP and the Champaign County Board of Revision, which earlier this year approved transferring the property from the county to the city and directed the county auditor to cancel delinquent taxes on the property.
Bailey assisted with the private development agreement between the city and TIS. And last year on behalf of TIS, she wrote an application for the JobsOhio Site Redevelopment Pilot Program grant.
JobsOhio was encouraged by the number of community partners involved. “We want to see partners at the table,” said Kristi Clouse, executive director of operations for JobsOhio. “The community has to work together to help us market the site” to attract business development.
Using revitalization funds, JobsOhio created the Site Redevelopment Pilot Program to return properties in need of remediation to the commercial development market – and to help make up for a deficit of commercial properties ready for development and business expansion since recovery from the recession.
“Ohio didn’t have all the inventory we needed to attract job-creating companies,” she said. “Champaign County didn’t have available inventory for business development and was missing out on job-creation opportunities. And there was this site, right in Urbana, on U.S. 36, already with utilities on site. It has a lot of good attributes to it.
“We had multiple discussions with the city,” Clouse added. “The city has played a key part in the grant. This project has been a lot for the city to take on and not all cities would do this. But they recognized how important this site is for their community. They really stepped up to the plate.”
Sarah Custer, project manager at the Dayton Development Coalition, said, “Older industrial sites can present significant redevelopment challenges for communities, since they often need extensive remediation. JobsOhio’s Redevelopment Pilot Program will provide vital resources for the Q3/JMC property, allowing the community to plan for the site’s reuse and attract new users to bring new jobs and investment to the heart of Champaign County.”
“As a developer,” Barry Couts of TIS said, “you look at the end result of a development. This project will help add jobs. I want to bring development to the county and jobs to the community.”
A native of Urbana, Couts said, “I remember when this property was booming as Johnson Manufacturing. That’s another reason I want to see it developed. There’s a lot of history in it.”
Couts founded True Inspection Services in Springfield in 2007 and two years ago relocated to Urbana after redeveloping the vacant former Buckles Motors property at 871 S. Main St., Urbana, where TIS now operates.
By Allyson Brown - Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer
A Champaign County hospital will receive more than $3 million in changes as part as an effort to unify a large health care system that’s one of the biggest employers in Ohio.
Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana has been renamed Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital and is the latest health-care facility in Champaign County to make upgrades to its facilities.
Memorial Health in Marysville is constructing a $9 million outpatient medical center that will have an urgent care, lab testing services, rotating physician specialists, expanded primary care and other services. And Mary Rutan Hospital, based in Bellefontaine, moved its Urbana clinic to a larger building in July 2016 to offer more services.
Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital also made earlier a $235,000 renovation to create a Chronic Care Clinic in a previously vacant wing there.
The goal of the upgrades at Mercy Health-Urbana is to provide a safe, quality hospital in the community, said Jamie Houseman, president of Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital. [Read full article at http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/]
by Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen
For the second time since opening a clinic in Urbana in May 2015, Mary Rutan Hospital has expanded its outreach in Champaign County.
On Monday, the Logan County staple opened Mary Rutan Therapy & Sports Medicine, a 4,160-sq. ft. medical office located in the Walmart strip mall at 211 Lippincott Lane (formerly Cato).
Situated a stone's throw from the Mary Rutan Hospital Urbana Clinic, 1880 E. U.S. Route 36, the new office gives the hospital much-needed space for its physical therapy and sports medicine services, while allowing for new services to be offered to county residents who had been traveling north to Bellefontaine, said Laura Miller, Mary Rutan Hospital marketing and communications vice president.
"We were operating in about 500 square feet of space for our physical therapy and sports medicine services," she said. "Just in the short period of time we've provided these services (since mid-2016 when the clinic moved from 848 Scioto St. to its current location), we have outgrown the space very, very quickly."
With an additional 4,000 square feet of space at its disposal, the new Mary Rutan Therapy & Sports Medicine office will also offer other therapies: occupational, speech and language, and feeding, swallowing and voice.
Likewise, by moving physical therapy and sports medicine services to the new office, Mary Rutan Hospital was able to expand services at its Urbana clinic.
Along with offering adult and pediatric primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, X-ray and laboratory services, Miller said the Mary Rutan Urbana Clinic recently added the following services: urology, orthopedic, and ear, nose and throat.
Miller added that opening the new office created extra space for more exam rooms, etc., which means the hospital is able to bring additional providers to Champaign County to better serve its patients.
"It gives us more flexibility with scheduling by getting providers into the clinic and new office more often," Miller said.
To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (937) 887-0163.
Szklany says ORBIS will benefit from Zizzo’s internship. “We’ll have a new employee who has the skills we need to succeed and who understands our culture.” He adds, smiling, “and has new ideas to bring to the plant.”
Zizzo came to ORBIS endorsed by Todd Bodey, who teaches Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s Advanced Manufacturing program, which began at Triad High School in 2015, at the start of Zizzo’s junior year.
Before going into education, Bodey worked for a variety of companies, including Honeywell Aerospace in Urbana, so he knows what manufacturers look for in employees.
Advanced manufacturing program
The Advanced Manufacturing program at Triad is a product of a manufacturing workforce partnership formed by the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Champaign County’s economic development agency. The CEP worked with local manufacturers to form the Champaign County Manufacturing Human Resources Council. Local schools have also been brought into the partnership to help find ways to prepare students for skilled jobs that manufacturers are having difficulty filling.
Debbie Wortman, Ohio Hi-Point’s satellite director, got involved in the partnership. She said that representatives of local manufacturers told her, “We really need to do something to create a more prepared workforce. This can’t wait.”
And that’s how the Triad Advanced Manufacturing program came to be.
Zizzo is the second Triad Advanced Manufacturing student to intern with a local manufacturer. Kaleb Kaylor interned at the Hall Company in Urbana in the summer of 2016, after graduating from Triad and before beginning studies at Wright State University.
Bodey said 52 students are enrolled this school year in the three courses offered in the Advanced Manufacturing program – Manufacturing Operations for first-year students, Computer Integrated Manufacturing for second-year students and CNC Technologies for third-year students. Next school year, the fourth year of the program, Robotics will be added to the curriculum. And the program includes introductory classes for middle school students.
Many Advanced Manufacturing students will go directly from high school to manufacturing jobs, while others like Zizzo and Kaylor will obtain additional training and education.
Champaign County’s manufacturing workforce partnership has been promoting manufacturing careers in additional ways that include:
Part of the challenge in preparing a new generation for manufacturing careers, Szklany said, is helping students and their parents “understand that modern manufacturing is a great place to build a career, and plants are driving innovation. We’ve got great, talented employees who are working with new kinds of technology all the time.”
“It’s not factory work,” adds Zizzo, who has been working in machine maintenance and programming CNC machines at ORBIS. And when he graduates from Clark State, he’ll have two career paths to choose from at ORBIS, Szklany said: preventive machine maintenance or engineering/project management.
Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, said that manufacturing jobs can provide a good living. “The Dayton Development Coalition just reported that annual manufacturing salaries in Champaign County are averaging $64,000 in the third quarter of 2017.”