EATON — The Preble County Development Partnership said “thank you” and provided an update on recent successes during the annual PCDP Investor Celebration, held Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The event, held at the Olde Schoolhouse Vineyard and Winery in Eaton, was attended by representatives of several PCDP investors and board members, as well as Julie Sullivan from the Dayton Development Coalition and Mitch Heaton with JobsOhio.
The Partnership’s 2017 chair, Vectren’s Walt Hibner, welcomed everyone to the celebration, and introduced PCDP Economic Development Director Brenda Latanza.
Latanza thanked those in attendance and provided a snapshot of the successes made in Preble County in 2017.
- The PCDP and Preble County Chamber of Commerce hosted free workshops or business owners, including a PTAC workshop, Google for Business and Record Keeping for Small Business.
- The PCDP donated $1,500 to the Preble County Historical Society for Bridges Bikes and Blues, and Amphitheater events.
- The PCDP’s Workforce Development Committee organized a successful Manufacturing Days for area high school seniors.
- The Workforce Development Committee worked to establish bootcamp/internship opportunities.
- Preble County welcomed a new lumber yard — Gillman Home Center.
- At least 23 new businesses opened in Preble County in 2017, and Viking Powder Coating will open in January.
- Manufacturing continues to grow in Preble County. Henny Penny invested $6.3 million and added 63 new jobs. Bullen made a $3.5 million investment and added 30 new jobs. Dow made a $1 million investment. TimkenSteel made a $4.2 million expansion and added 15 new jobs. Parker added 45 jobs across its two facilities. Cargill announced at $50 million investment and addition of 12 new jobs. Neaton made a $6.8 million investment, and Silfex announced a $5 million investment and creation of 109 new jobs.
- Kettering Health Network and Medflight expanded critical air transportation with a permanent helicopter base in Eaton.
- The PCDP was a sponsor for the first Leadership Preble County class.
- Henny Penny hosted the first Regional Economic Development Forum, showcasing Preble County. Tickets went fast, and the event was standing room only.
- PCDP funded a lodging feasibility study and results show the county could support a new 66-room high-end hotel.
- The PCDP hosted a Small Business Resource Rally.
- The PCDP funded the Preble County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and Land Use Plan which was adopted in February.
- Two job fairs/hiring events were held.
- Preble County received the Ohio ACT Workplace Success Award, and is one of four semifinalists for the national award.
- The PCDP continues to work with officials and site consultants to help develop a 160-acre site in Lewisburg.
Latanza pointed out Preble County’s unique status as an ACT Work Ready Community — the only one certified in the state to date. This demonstrates PC has partnerships in place which support a “robust workforce development,” she noted.
ACT Work Ready certification is based primarily on National Career Readiness Certificates, which are portable, industry-recognized credentials identifying an individual’s skills by utilizing three ACT WorkKeys assessments, which include reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information.
According to Latanza, Preble County’s workforce has earned 1,518 certificates since 2016.
Preble County Development Partnership investors include Dow, Bullen, USBank, Reid Health, Grandview/Kettering Health Network, Preble County Commissioners, the City of Eaton, Henny Penny Corp., Lawn Plus, Simon Insurance, the Village of Lewisburg, DP&L, Sinclair Community College, Preble County Chamber of Commerce, the Village of West Alexandria, Vectren, Silfex, The Register-Herald, LCNB, Weber Body & Frame, Vonderhaar Farms, the Preble County Educational Service Center, and Miami Valley CTC.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.