The presidential candidates talk a lot about how they’ll bring jobs back and restore the nation’s once-mighty manufacturing sector.
Jason Kester has been trying to do that every day for more than three years.
As executive director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority, Kester is charged with spurring economic development in Scioto County, Ohio. The county, which sits just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, was a thriving manufacturing hub decades ago, but its industries and many of its remaining factories are mere shells of their former selves. The area lost thousands of jobs — and residents — as companies closed or moved operations overseas. Businesses continue to downsize, leaving Scioto County with a 8.8% unemployment rate.
Kester is not deterred. He, along with his counterparts in three neighboring counties, are actively recruiting companies by showcasing their central location, experienced workforce, low tax burden and proximity to railroads, highways and the river….
The impact of one business on a community is often compared to a drop of water in a puddle as it ripples out. In the case of MIBA Sinter, in Morgan County, the ripples started small when the MIBA Bearings business came to town, in 2004, by obtaining a small bearings plant just north of McConnelsville, with approximately 200 employees. Another MIBA component, MIBA Sinter, opened in 2010 with 40 employees and now has 250 employees, with plans for an additional 100 people to be added to the workforce with a coming expansion.
This kind of footprint in the community and the economic impact in the county were honored by the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance, at the annual meeting, held last week in Walnut Creek. Carl Raines, Executive Director of the Morgan County Improvement Corporation, presented the honor of being Large Business of the Year, as named by EODA, to MIBA…
CHILLICOTHE — When Chillicothe’s paper mill employees reported to work on April 4, 2006, they arrived to find new flags flying on the property, members of their new corporate management team on site and a new sense of optimism as Pennsylvania-based Glatfelter assumed the reins of the mill from NewPage.
“The feedback has been extremely positive,” John Blind, divisional vice president for what was then the printing and carbonless paper division, said at the time. “Everyone’s looking forward to a new beginning.”
Now, 10 years later, the mill is undergoing another new beginning that current mill manager Sean Wallace said represents a commitment by Glatfelter to the long-term presence of the operation in Chillicothe. That commitment — a $31 million conversion of its two coal-fired boilers to natural gas in response to changes in federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations — has already started with Columbia Gas running new lines to the mill but should begin in…