October is National Manufacturing Month
“We are fortunate to have such diversity of manufacturing in Champaign County,” said Marcia Bailey, CEP Director. “We want our young people to understand the career choices that exist in manufacturing and having this opportunity helps them gain first-hand knowledge. We have approximately 3,700 people working in manufacturing in our community and many companies are looking for skilled employees.”
Last year, the CEP, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Urbana University, and manufacturers from around the area created the inaugural Champaign County Design Challenge. After a successful first year, the design challenge is returning. For the second year in a row, approximately 90 students from Graham, Mechanicsburg, Triad, Urbana, and West Liberty-Salem are participating.
The student teams were challenged to design a mousetrap race car within a series of criteria and constraints under the guidance of an industry mentor. Each school participating can have up to four teams with five students and is open to middle or high school students. For the challenge, the mousetrap car must include five simple machines and four wheels with the goal of the car going 20 feet. The teams cannot purchase or 3D print materials.
The mentors for the teams are Steven Brandeberry from JWP, Zack Zizzo and Stephen Oser from Orbis, Mike Wagner from Navistar, Colin Turcu, Hayden Gephart, and Ethan Hess from KTH, Jeff Helman from Rosewood Machine and Tool, Jacob Schmitt from Ultra-Met, Dan Yohey from Rittal, Tyler Bumbalough from the Urbana City Engineering division, and Steve McCall from Champaign County Engineer.
“The goal of the design challenge is to expose students to local manufacturers, interact with professionals, and use their creativity to complete a project,” said Allison Koch, Ohio Hi-Point Satellite Supervisor. “The groups are being judged on their collaboration and their ability to explain their successes and challenges.”
The teams compete at their school district and the winning team from each school district advance to the countylevel competition held at Urbana University on November 1. All participants are invited to listen to the finalists present each team’s design to the judges.
During the event, students are also able to participate in a tradeshow with local manufacturers.
“Design thinking happens at the intersection of art and science. Designers direct our lifestyle, create our products, and shape the environments where we live, work, and play,” said Dr. Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President and CEO of Urbana University. “Urbana University is proud to host the Champaign County Design Challenge event for young designers in our region.”
The Champaign County Design Challenge trophy is currently housed at last year’s winning school, Triad High School.
For more information about manufacturing programs for students, please visit www.ohiohipoint.com or www.urbana.edu.
After sharing the classified design with Ultramet and asking for a proposal, the engineering team managed to reduce the cost of production by 90 percent. The Department of Defense accepted the proposal and sent the company orders. Cordonnier said Ultra-met has been manufacturing the advanced armor piercing component approximately 16 months. He said he is not certain whether Ultra-met is the exclusive manufacturer.
“I am very proud of the team’s work on the Department of Defense project for advanced armor piercing components,” he said. “We were able to support our fighting men and women of the armed forces with a component that vastly improves the performance of existing ammunition against battlefield threats that are using the most advanced body armor.”
According to Cordonnier, the new ammunition design is an improvement on the old one because Tungsten has minimal environmental impact, unlike depleted uranium.
Ultra-met has 122 employees on three shifts to run the mostly automated process of manufacturing these items, but seeks more employees. Cordonnier said that the company offers full training and that the manufacturing floor is clean and climate controlled.
Ultra-met was founded in Urbana in 1965 and has seen a 900 percent growth in the last 25 years. The company produces about a million pieces a month for use in transportation, aerospace, general machining, oil and gas, mining, and power generation industries, and ships all over the world.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at email@example.com or 937-508-2304
TIRC to recommend tax agreements remain in place
First Posted on UrbanaCitizen.com: March 13th, 2016
By Joshua Keeran - firstname.lastname@example.org
Under the leadership of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), the combined city of Urbana and Champaign County Tax Incentive Review Council (TIRC) on Thursday voted in favor of recommending the city and county continue all current enterprise zone, Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) and Tax Incentive Fund (TIF) agreements.
In enterprise zones or economically depressed areas where business growth is encouraged through tax relief, the TIRC unanimously voted in favor of continuing agreements with KTH Parts Industries, the American Pan Company and the Ultra-met Company.
Marica Bailey, CEP economic development director, said the deal with KTH, 1111 state Route 235 N. in St. Paris, is a 100 percent tax abatement for 10 years (through Dec. 31, 2016) in which the company agreed to commit over $3 million in real property and retain 92 positions.
“They have a total investment of $23 million at this point,” she said. “Everything so far is above what they have anticipated.”
Champaign County Auditor Karen Bailey reported the amount of taxes forgone to date as a result of the agreement is $1,265,606.
The American Pan Company, 417 E. Water St. in Urbana, is receiving a 75 percent tax abatement for 10 years (through Dec. 1, 2022) in return for the creation of 33 jobs and the retention of 154 jobs.
“American Pan has met their agreement regarding their employees,” Marcia Bailey said.
To date through the agreement, the company has invested $2.2 million, while $103,547 in taxes have been forgone.
Under the enterprise zone agreement with Ultra-met, 120 Fyffe St. in Urbana, the company agreed to invest $510,000 in real property, $1.5 million in personal property, create 22 jobs, and retain 30 jobs in return for a 75 percent abatement for 10 years (through Dec. 31, 2020).
“At this point, they have reported 11 new jobs created, and the investment is on track,” Marcia Bailey said.
To date, the deal has resulted in a tax abatement of $23,140.
TIRC members were also informed that an enterprise zone agreement with Parker Trutec, 4795 Upper Valley Pike, expired at the end of 2015.
Marcia Bailey said during the length of the 10-year agreement, the company received a 45 percent reduction in real property taxes in exchange for creating two positions and retaining 88 employees.
“They are now at the 88 retained and have maintained the two new employees,” she said, noting the company invested $2.1 million during the agreement.
The total amount of taxes abated over the length of the deal was $289,830.
CRA, TIF agreements
TIRC members unanimously agreed that CRA agreements, tax exemption deals benefiting property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings, should continue with Gerald Shiffer and White’s Service Center.
The deal with Shiffer, which involves a hangar at Grimes Field, is a 50 percent tax abatement for 15 years (through Dec. 31, 2016) in return for a real property investment of $325,000 and the possible retention of two positions.
To date, $75,868 in taxes has been forgone.
“Everything is on track as specified with the agreement,” Marcia Bailey said.
The CRA agreement with White’s Service Center, 1325 N. Main St. in Urbana, is a 50 percent tax abatement for 10 years (through Dec. 31, 2019). During the length of the agreement, the company has pledged to invest $250,000 in real property and $2,500 in personal property, create one new position, and retain one position.
“They did hire a new person and have retained the other,” Marcia Bailey said. “They haven’t requested any taxes be abated as of yet, but the agreement will remain in case they decide to do so at a later date.”
TIRC members also unanimously voted in favor of continuing the 10-year TIF agreement set up by the city of Urbana to help fund the Scioto Street Improvements Project through 2021.
To date, the six businesses involved in the agreement have paid the following amounts into the fund: Aaron Rents ($35,375), Clark Station ($14,549), Midwest Dialysis Center ($32,756), McDonald’s ($38,410), Sonic ($18,516) and Family Dentistry ($28,611).
Marcia Bailey said the TIRC’s recommendations will be presented to both the Urbana City Council and Champaign County Commission on Thursday for final approval. Council will vote on city agreements only, while the commissioners will vote on county and township agreements.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.
First Posted on UrbanaCitizen.com: March 10th, 2016
The Ultra-met Company, Urbana, on Wednesday announced that J. Neil Cordonnier is the company’s new president and CEO.
He comes from Hartzel Air Movement where he served as Vice President of Operations and Product Offering Manager. Prior to Hartzel he was president of Ernst Metal Technologies.
Cordonnier has over seven years of top management leadership experience and over 17 years of experience in the metal cutting and fabrication industry. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters degree in Operations Management from Kettering University.
He and his wife live in Bellbrook with their three children.
The Ultra-met Company has been in business over 50 years and is a manufacturer of tungsten carbide products for use in a wide range of industries such as the automotive, aerospace, medical, petroleum, and woodworking industries. The manufacturing process involves the use of powder metals, pressing, forming, sintering, and grinding operations. It is a locally owned, privately held company.
Submitted by The Ultra-met Company.
Local manufacturers took center stage on Tuesday at the county Community Center during a “Manufacturers Thank You Breakfast” hosted by the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP).
The event, attended by state and local officials and representatives from some of the county’s 18 manufacturing companies, was organized by the CEP to “honor and thank the employers for their dedication to Champaign County.”
“Almost everybody that is represented in this room on the manufacturing side has either had growth this past year – whether it be employees, expansion or new investment in equipment – or is getting ready to,” said CEP Economic Development Director Marcia Bailey.
The list of manufacturing companies in the county includes Bundy Baking Solutions, WEIDMANN, KTH, Ultra-met, The Hall Company, Rosewood Machine and Tool Company (RMT), Advanced Technology Products (ATP), Sarica Manufacturing, ORBIS Corporation, Desmond-Stephan Manufacturing, Hughey & Phillips, Parker Trutec, Rittal, Johnson Welded Products (JWP), Robert Rothschild Farm, Colepak, International Fiber Corporation and Honeywell Aerospace.
Bailey remarked that even with an ever-growing list of manufacturers in the county, no one is in stiff competition with the other and, in some cases, local companies are helping one another.
“The uniqueness is still there in that none of you make the same product and some of you are each other’s customer, so we want to continue that,” she said. “We want to continue the diversity that we have and bring more people here.”
Three local manufacturers were highlighted during the event for reaching anniversary milestones in 2015.
Urbana Mayor Bill Bean and Champaign County Commissioners Steve Hess, Bob Corbett and Dave Faulkner jointly presented Ultra-met (50 years in business), JWP (45 years in business) and KTH (30 years in business) with “Keeping Champaign County Strong” proclamations in recognition of their “long-standing dedication and service to the community.”
“We thought it was unique that three companies are celebrating anniversaries all in the same year,” Bailey said.
Representatives from the three companies were also presented with pumpkins from the CEP painted by local artist Vicki Deere-Bunnell. Each pumpkin was decorated with the company’s logo and fall scenes.
Also in attendance was Sandra Brasington, the western Ohio regional liaison for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s office, who presented each manufacturer with a proclamation signed by Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
“On behalf of the governor’s office, we want to thank you for your investment in Ohio as businesses in manufacturing,” Brasington said. “You guys are the ones making it happen, so we really want to thank each of you.”
Brasington also thanked the county’s manufacturers for “changing lives” for the thousands of workers they employ.
“You are making a difference,” she said. “You guys are doing a great job here in Champaign County, and we want to recognize that.”
Bailey presented data showing job creation is on the rise. In 2013, Champaign County manufacturers employed 2,928 people, and by 2014, the number rose to 3,487. As of September of this year, Bailey said, the number of employees working in the county’s manufacturing sector stands at 3,832.
“We’ve had over 900 jobs created in a three-year time period just here in Champaign County in manufacturing,” she said.
(Pictured above: Champaign County Commissioner Steve Hess presents Lilli Ann Johnson, president of Johnson Welded Products (JWP), with a “Keeping Champaign County Strong” proclamation during Tuesday’s “Manufacturers Thank You Breakfast” hosted by the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) at the county Community Center in Urbana. From left are Urbana Mayor Bill Bean, Hess, Johnson and Rachel Lewis, CEP administrative assistant. )
Manufacturing firms in Champaign County have added jobs and had a greater economic impact as the economy has begun to recover, local officials said Tuesday.
Both private and government officials have worked more closely together in recent years, and are working together to address issues like workforce development, said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign Economic Partnership.
Representatives from several area manufacturing firms met Tuesday morning as part of a manufacturer’s council in which local companies gather with education and government officials and discuss ways to address workforce issues.
Some signs indicate those efforts are already paying off, Bailey said. Information provided by the Dayton Development Coalition shows the industry provided jobs for about 2,900 workers in 2013, and that has grown to about 3,800 jobs this year.
Several manufacturers have worked together to attract younger workers, Bailey said, including hosting displays and a booth at the Champaign County Fair. Drawing younger workers is important because much of the current workforce is aging and there are now too few people in the pipeline to replace them.
“It’s going to take a lot to turn it around,” Bailey said.
The council also recently hosted a manufacturing day, offering tours at Honeywell sites to area high school students. Bailey also pointed to a new program developed by Trial Local Schools and the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center that started this year to teach manufacturing skills to students in the district as early as middle school.
Making sure there are students interested in the field will be critical to fill vacant jobs as manufacturing becomes more advanced, she said.
The industry accounted for $319 million, or about 33 percent of Champaign County’s gross regional product in 2013. That figure represents the goods and services produced in the county. By last year, manufacturing’s impact had risen to $399 million, or 36 percent of the gross regional product.
In the past, the city of Urbana had provided much of the funding for economic development in the county. But several companies and government agencies recently formed the CEP, which includes funding from both private and government entities. That should benefit manufacturing firms because it will provide more resources and coordination for economic development, said Todd Michael, president of the Champaign Economic Partnership.
“It’s a whole different attitude than we’ve had in the past,” Michael said.
Bailey also recognized three local companies that have a long history of providing jobs in the county.
Ultra-Met, which makes parts for the aerospace, defense and biomedical industries, has its 50th anniversary this year. Johnson Welded Products in Urbana, which makes parts for the heavy truck industry, has been there for 35 years. KTH Parts Industries Inc., in St. Paris, will mark 30 years as a parts supplier for Honda.