Dodge stresses county economic development


Speaks at “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update

By Greg Smart - gsmart@civitasmedia.com



Among the speakers at the Chamber of Commerce “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update from left to right are Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge, Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer, Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Susan Gunnell and Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mark Bruns. Not pictured is Representative Michael Henner (R-District 40).


Photos by Greg Smart

Judy Dodge


Photos by Greg Smart

HUBER HEIGHTS —Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge recently spoke at the Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update emphasizing economic development as “Investing in People.”

She said that the business landscape has changed in the Miami Valley, affecting local businesses especially during the downturn of 2007-2009.

“Our region lost a lot of its, what I call, legacy manufacturing,” said Dodge. “As county commissioners though, we focused on diversifying the economy and growing our assets…We don’t just lay around and whine, we pick ourselves up and we’re just going to move on here and diversify our economy and not count on cars being made here in Montgomery County.”

Dodge said one of the assets commissioners have focused on is technology.

“By investing in the commercialization of technology we can grow small businesses to retain and create more jobs,” said Dodge. “Our small local companies are very important.”

Dodge cited two of these small businesses in Huber Heights: K.E. Rose and Enman Tool & Die.

Dodge indicated that the nationally recognized Business First Program (Businessfirstdaytonregion.com) is one of the best examples of county, local jurisdictions and the business community learning how to work together to meet the needs of growing businesses and noted that Huber Heights is a participant in this program. She said this is a business friendly resource with a website with over 600 resources from accessing capital to workforce, sustainability and marketing. She said that Trisha Reents, the Huber Heights Economic Development Assistant, is very familiar with this program and could assist businesses with related information.

Dodge said that the county website at mcohio.org has multiple data points to reflect a picture of how the Dayton region stacks up against other parts of the country in terms of economic development and said this is a real time gauge to show the county’s effectiveness.

Dodge cited four areas of the county’s economic strategy: aerospace, logistics and distribution, a strong regional core and the I-75 growth corridor. She said at the Air Force Research Laboratory, there is groundbreaking technology in the areas of alternative fuels, unmanned vehicles and hypersonic vehicles. She indicated that Sinclair Community College recently opened the National UAS Training and Certification Center and will attract students from around the world learning to fly unmanned aerial systems.

Dodge said the county has partnered with multiple businesses, universities and organizations in the expansion of aerospace technology. She said Sinclair Community College is now using technology from an Israeli company called Simlat, a direct result of the Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance (DRITA), made up of the county, city of Dayton and the Dayton Development Coalition. She also cited the success of Projects Unlimited Aerospace and Electronics Division that designs and manufactures a variety of products from missile communications and controls with the county’s ED/GE program helping to fund a cable and harnessing division in that business.

Dodge said the county is an ideal location for logistics and distribution companies with the “Crossroads of America” at I-70 and I-75, which she said is a huge selling point for businesses that need to move products. She cited Aida in Huber Heights as a recipient of over $200,000 of ED/GE funding for a total of 159 jobs created and retained over the past several years.

Dodge discussed the strong regional core with an “extraordinary return” on the investment of $700,000 in ED/GE funding for Fuyao Glass America and $500,000 ED/GE funding for the Water Street Development in Dayton. She said Fuyao will be the largest glass manufacturer in the northern United States and has invested over $360 million in their new facility and will employ up to 1600 people at sometime next year. She called this “an investment in people.”

Dodge said the Austin interchange is the “stake in the ground” for the I-75 growth corridor and called it an example of regional cooperation between the county, Miamisburg, Miami Township, Springboro and RG Properties. She said for companies wanting to go south, this provides an alternative to Butler, Hamilton and Warren counties to retain some of these companies in Montgomery County.

Dodge said that as part of improving efficiency, two entities were combined into the Montgomery County Development Services to better address the needs of job seekers and employers.

Some businesses she cited were PSA Airlines with a new 69,000 square foot hangar at the Dayton International Airport with 446 jobs retained and 42 new jobs and White Castle in Vandalia with 100 jobs and $19 million investment. She also cited Procter & Gamble’s $90 million investment and with 800 plus jobs and Caterpillar’s 670 jobs and $83 million investment.

“So, we’re trying to touch each and every industry and corner in Montgomery County,” said Dodge.

Dodge also stressed the importance of the Summer YouthWorks program with an annual investment of $1 million to employ youth between the ages of 14 and 17, giving them valuable work experience and job readiness skills at 450 places of employment.

Among the speakers at the Chamber of Commerce “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update from left to right are Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge, Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer, Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Susan Gunnell and Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mark Bruns. Not pictured is Representative Michael Henner (R-District 40).
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2015/12/web1_C_4.jpgAmong the speakers at the Chamber of Commerce “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update from left to right are Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge, Huber Heights City Manager Rob Schommer, Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Susan Gunnell and Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mark Bruns. Not pictured is Representative Michael Henner (R-District 40). Photos by Greg Smart

Judy Dodge
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2015/12/web1_C_Dodge.jpgJudy Dodge Photos by Greg Smart
Speaks at “Spotlight on Huber Heights” Annual Community Update

By Greg Smart

gsmart@civitasmedia.com

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com

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