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
By Kathy Fox, Urbana Daily Citizen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Representatives of Parker Trutec, on Upper Valley Pike, and Rosewood Machine & Tool Co., on Kiser Lake Road, said Honda’s plan to idle a second-shift production line at the Marysville assembly plant, as it slows production of Accords, may have little impact on their businesses.
Honda has said buyers’ interest in SUVs and small trucks is rising and interest in small cars is declining, hence the slowdown of the production line, which is to begin in August and may last a few years.
“The impact depends on the duration,” said Jeff Helman, a vice president of the Rosewood business.
Both local businesses manufacture products for Honda, but not only for its Accord line, and both businesses manufacture products for customers besides Honda.
“We do a lot of service parts for Honda not tied in with production lines,” said Brian Beatty, Parker Trutec plant manager. “We are unclear at this point,” he said of potential impact to his plant. “We need to research to see about the impact.”
He added, “Business is good otherwise.”
Beatty said he expects any impact to be minor for the plant, which has about 180 workers.
About 95% of Parker Trutec’s business is automotive, with orders coming from Honda as well as other vehicle manufacturers. “It can have an impact, but it’s not unprecedented,” Helman said. “They make these kinds of adjustments from time to time … “It’s no secret Accord sales are down … the public wants these little crossover SUVs.
“Honda’s been adept at changing tooling,” he added. “Their lines are designed to change to other models.”
He said the Rosewood business is a Honda supplier for tooling and equipment. “We make parts to make the cars.
“Honda’s been a very good customer, a good partner for us,” Helman said, adding that the local business manufactures products for Honda facilities besides its Marysville plant, as well as for businesses other than the automotive industry.
“Our objective has always been to be diversified,” he said, adding the company, which employs about 40 people, manufactures products for various types of customers, including those in the HVAC and food-processing industries.
“Honda has a huge impact on this area of the state,” Helman said. Noting that companies across the state manufacture products for Honda, he said it could take time for any impact to materialize.
“It’s not time to panic. It’s time to adjust to changes in the market,” he said, adding he thinks Honda has such a plan.
Honda has said there will be no layoffs, although voluntary buyouts will be offered.
Helman said if jobs are affected, people will find a “positive job market.”
“We’re all dealing with people shortages,” he said. “There are jobs out there. If we could find the right people, we could use a couple people.”
Although messages left at Honda supplier KTH Parts Industries Inc. were not returned, a June 2016 article in the Daily Citizen quotes a KTH spokesperson as noting consumers’ growing interest in SUVs over smaller vehicles and saying KTH, located on state Route 235, was making changes to adjust to this shift in interest.
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.
Workforce development is a major focus of the CEP, she said. Following are examples of how the CEP and its partners are strengthening the local workforce:
Business Liaison Ashley Cook, who teaches Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s Supply Chain Management program at Urbana High School, coordinates activities that bring schools, students and businesses together throughout Champaign County. This includes job fairs, in-school presentations by businesses and spreading the word about internships, job shadowing opportunities and job openings.
Nancee Starkey, human resources generalist at Bundy Baking Solutions, said that Cook helped her set up presentations at Graham, Urbana and Triad high schools. She added that a few Graham seniors are working second shift at Bundy while they finish their studies.
Ruhe added that Triad High School graduate Zack Zizzo, who was in the Ohio Hi-Point Advanced Manufacturing program, is now working at Orbis as a paid intern while he completes the two-year mechanical engineering technology program at Clark State Community College – with tuition assistance from Orbis. He will continue working at Orbis after he graduates in June.
Ruhe said that Orbis met Zizzo at a local Manufacturing Day event where he presented a 3D printing project he worked on at Triad.
Also, Urbana University is working with employers to: