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Phoenix Electrotek LLC hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house June 11, 2014 to celebrate its grand opening. The new $2M facility is located at 890 Mill  in the Rock Mill Industrial Park in Lancaster.

The Canadian based company first began operations in the U.S. in 2008. Ontario company Phoenix EDT Inc. bought Electrotek, which was then owned by Gandee Precision Machine. At the time, Electrotek had a 10,000 SF operation and leased an additional 5,000 SF of space on S. Ewing St. The new 30,000 SF facility houses almost 20,000SF for manufacturing. The rest of the building houses offices and warehouse.

As shared with Carl Burnett Jr. of the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Duane Astraukas, CEO of Phoenix Electrotek said “we had great support from the contractor, from city officials and departments like the building department with permits, and the banks.”

Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber President Travis Markwood added  “it’s a great example of what a facility and company can do here.”

The workforce has increased from nine employees in 2008 to 28(twenty-eight) employees currently. “The employees have also been very dedicated, are reliable and do good work,” Astraukas added.

Mike Pettit, Lancaster Economic Development Director was pleased the company decided to reinvest in the community. “These are great industrial jobs and it is important for us to keep as many of these as we can here.”

For the complete story as reported by the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette  click here.

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Employees of Phoenix Electrotek at the new facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony on June 11th

KEMBA Financial Credit Union will open its ninth and tenth Central Ohio branches in late 2014 and early 2015. The Credit Union’s first Fairfield County location is set to open between Refugee and Diley Roads at 941 Hill Road North in Pickerington this fall.

“We’ve been eager to serve Fairfield County, and are pleased to offer Pickerington residents a banking alternative,” said Gerald Guy, CEO. “We have a solid base of members currently living in Pickerington, plus we have seen steady growth in membership across the area, and want to make a commitment to this strong Central Ohio community,” he added.

KEMBA’s tenth branch will follow in Gahanna next spring at 110 North Hamilton Road between Havens Corners and Clark State Roads. The company’s corporate office has been located in Gahanna since 2006, and employs more than 80 associates at that location, with nearly 200 company-wide.

“Gahanna is a natural fit for us. We’ve been in the community for a number of years, and are excited to bring our full suite of services to the area,” Guy said. “Timing is perfect, as development of the Hamilton Road corridor continues and the city draws more and more residents.”

KEMBA will open these branches as part of its goal to better serve Central Ohio residents, and employees of its more than 250 select employer groups across Central Ohio. “It’s important for us to be in the communities that support our membership,” Guy added. “Adding these brick and mortar locations will provide an outlet for our members to conduct business close to their homes, while adding employment opportunities to support the local economy.” KEMBA offers a full range of services to its members, including savings, checking, home, student, and auto loans, business loans and services, and more.

KEMBA offers a full range of financial services to its members, including savings, checking, retirement, investment, home, student, and auto loans, business loans and services, and more. Established in 1933, KEMBA Financial Credit Union is the largest Credit Union in Central Ohio with assets of nearly $896 million and more than 70,000 members, serving more than 250 Select Employee Groups in addition to residents of Fairfield, Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Logan, and Union Counties. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, KEMBA is committed to actively serve each person within our field of membership. KEMBA offers complete online and mobile banking services, an automated telephone service, more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs and over 5,000 shared branching locations nationwide. For more information, visit www.kemba.org.

Kenny McDonald, CEO of Columbus 2020, addressed the Fairfield 33 Development Alliance’s second quarter Board of Trustees meeting June 13, 2014, at the Fairfield Career Center.  The Alliance partners with Columbus 2020 as one of 11 county regional members.  McDonald presented the goals of Columbus 2020, success indicators to date, and actions being taken by 2020 to create a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

 He outlined the goals set by the organization to reach by  the year 2020:  to add 150,000 net new jobs, increase personal per capita income by 30 percent, add eight billion dollars of capital investment, and be recognized as a national leader in economic development.  To date, 2020 has added 81,487 jobs, increased per capita income by 11%, and added $4.19 billion in new capital investment. 

 Columbus 2020 has been in the process of extensive outreach, visiting every county in the region, and gathering feedback from communities on opportunities and threats to the region’s economic stability. They plan to present a CEDS document to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for approval in order to be  recognized Economic Development District.  It will make the regional communities eligible to apply for federal funds under EDA’s Public Works or Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs. 

 The Alliance will participate in this process by identifying its top economic development projects, workforce training needs, or transportation projects to be included in the submitted CEDS document.  Other economic updates were provided by partners in the Alliance including Fairfield County, Cities of Canal Winchester, Lancaster and Pickerington.

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Patty Huddle, Columbus 2020 and                                                        Pat Spires and Commissioner Dave Levacy
Dennis Mingyar, Buckeye Power attend Alliance Meeting                          Alliance Board Members                 

The Fairfield 33 Development Alliance is an organization tasked with marketing the economic development of the US Route 33 corridor. The Alliance is a private/public organization that works with multiple partners in the region to promote economic growth in the corridor.

At the end of last year, the Alliance shared a list of 28 projects that its members have worked on since its inception in 2007. The projects have created 2,198 jobs, resulting in $219.95 million in investments.

Some of the more recent initiatives have included a Website transformation which provides easier updating and navigational capabilities, along with new and refreshed content.

The Alliance also purchased two billboards at each end of the 33 Corridor to capture the attention of both the 78,000 daily drivers that travel in the northern portion of the county and the 3.2 million annual visitors to the Hocking Hills area in the southern portion of the county. The billboards point out our low cost of doing business, which means more return on investment for companies. They also direct people to our updated website to gain more information about our certified industrial sites, incentives, and general information about the area.
The Alliance is in the process of creating a new promotional brochure that will introduce individuals to the 33 Corridor and provide testimonials that will complement a business attraction video completed late last year. The color trifold brochure’s testimonials are from companies located in the Corridor about their experiences in doing business in our friendly community. We have also been hitting the road to promote the Alliance.

Alliance members, Mike Pettit and Lucas Haire, recently returned from the IAMC exclusive site selector’s conference in North Carolina. The Alliance was a premier sponsor of this event, allowing our team restricted access to some of the fastest growing companies and site selectors in the United States.

All of these efforts would not be possible without our investors who believe in our mission of promoting additional economic activity for our region. You can find a complete list of major investors on our website at fairfield33.com.

The next Alliance Board of Trustees meeting will be held Friday, June 13, at 8 a.m. We will be hosting Kenny McDonald, CEO, Columbus 2020, who will be discussing the regional efforts in establishing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), in order to create an Economic Development District. To attend this event, or to learn more about the 33 Alliance, please call the Fairfield County Economic Development Department at 740-652-7160.

The Fairfield 33 Development Alliance is an organization tasked with marketing the economic development of the US Route 33 corridor. The Alliance is a private/public organization that works with multiple partners in the region to promote economic growth in the corridor.

At the end of last year, the Alliance shared a list of 28 projects that its members have worked on since its inception in 2007. The projects have created 2,198 jobs, resulting in $219.95 million in investments.

Some of the more recent initiatives have included a Website transformation which provides easier updating and navigational capabilities, along with new and refreshed content.

The Alliance also purchased two billboards at each end of the 33 Corridor to capture the attention of both the 78,000 daily drivers that travel in the northern portion of the county and the 3.2 million annual visitors to the Hocking Hills area in the southern portion of the county. The billboards point out our low cost of doing business, which means more return on investment for companies. They also direct people to our updated website to gain more information about our certified industrial sites, incentives, and general information about the area.
The Alliance is in the process of creating a new promotional brochure that will introduce individuals to the 33 Corridor and provide testimonials that will complement a business attraction video completed late last year. The color trifold brochure’s testimonials are from companies located in the Corridor about their experiences in doing business in our friendly community. We have also been hitting the road to promote the Alliance.

Alliance members, Mike Pettit and Lucas Haire, recently returned from the IAMC exclusive site selector’s conference in North Carolina. The Alliance was a premier sponsor of this event, allowing our team restricted access to some of the fastest growing companies and site selectors in the United States.

All of these efforts would not be possible without our investors who believe in our mission of promoting additional economic activity for our region. You can find a complete list of major investors on our website at fairfield33.com.

The next Alliance Board of Trustees meeting will be held Friday, June 13, at 8 a.m. We will be hosting Kenny McDonald, CEO, Columbus 2020, who will be discussing the regional efforts in establishing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), in order to create an Economic Development District. To attend this event, or to learn more about the 33 Alliance, please call the Fairfield County Economic Development Department at 740-652-7160.

The Fairfield 33 Development Alliance recently stepped up their marketing and attraction efforts with a new video. See how three local companies received the help they needed to start and expand in Fairfield County. They share their insights on workforce, permitting and much more. 

The Fairfield 33 Development Alliance held their Annual Meeting December 13 at the Lodge in Lancaster to review 2013 and present plans for 2014. Howard Sniderman, Chairman, welcomed board members, investors and guests. A resolution to increase the numbers of board members from 20 to 25 was approved. Sniderman also received approval for the slate of officers for 2014 and confirmation of board members.

Serving the Alliance in 2014 will be: Howard Sniderman from Fairfield Medical Center as Chair; South Central Power’s Brad Markwood as Vice-Chair; Helen Mayle of the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce as Secretary; and Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber President Travis Markwood will serve as Treasurer. The approved Board of Directors for 2014 include Amanda Lemke (Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce; Scott Reed (Fairfield National Bank); Pat Spires (Fairfield Homes); Ron Collins (Bremen Bank); Jeff Beard (Standing Stone National Bank); Dean DeRolph (Kumler Collision); Tim Kaylor (Glimcher Realty); Cathy Bitler (Lancaster Area CIC); Mayor Michael Ebert (City of Canal Winchester) , Bill Vance (City of Pickerington); Carol Moore (Bloom Township); Dave Levacy (Fairfield County) , Mayor David Smith (City of Lancaster); Gary Weltlich (Violet Township); Jon Buck, (AEP); and Jason Baker (Peoples Bank).

Treasurer Markwood reviewed the financials for 2013 and presented the 2014 budget for approval.

Sheena Metzger, Project Manager for Jobs Ohio was the guest speaker. She shared a brief history of the JobsOhio and how it has been more responsive to site selector needs and is working well with regional partners, including Columbus 2020. She highlighted the fund/loan incentives that are available for hard assets, workforce training and development and revitalization.

Growth coming from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is on the rise across multiple industry sectors including manufacturing, auto, and IT. Ms. Metzger talked about the opportunities to match work force needs of employers with education. When questioned about the issue of “Right to Work”, Metzger shared that this is not the important factor that is once was.

Joe Henderson, Alliance Operations Team Member, introduced the new business attraction video produced by Innerphase Video. This video will be used for marketing purposes and will become an integral part of the new Alliance website. The video included testimonials from SRI of Ohio, Olan Plastics and Volunteer Energy.

Lucas Haire, Alliance Operations Team Member, shared some on the new projects that were announced or completed in 2013 including: NIFCO, Lucky Bones, CAM Logistics, Cyclone Power and Phoenix Electrotek. For a more complete list of projects in the area since Alliance inception please click here. Haire also brought up the importance of the pending US 33/Carroll Interchange project. This ODOT project, scheduled to begin in 2015, will alleviate the traffic problems in that area and increase traffic flow.

Bob Clark, Alliance Operations Team Member and Director of the Alliance, looked ahead to 2014. A new website will be in place, allowing for ease in updating. Corporate calling will be done with identified business sectors. With FDI increasing, the team is planning some international travel. The Area Development summer conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio and will be attended by all the ED Directors.

Clark thanked all the investors for their continued support of this public/private partnership, adding that there continue to be opportunities for additional investors. For more information on the Fairfield 33 Development Alliance please call Clark at 740.652.7160 or visit the website at www.fairfield33.com

The Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has approved $792.7 million for Central Ohio transportation projects in the final 2014-2017 Major/New Projects list as part of Governor Kasich’s Transportation and Jobs Plan, which includes funding for phases of projects stretching to 2024.

Major/New Projects include transportation projects that have a total project cost greater than $12 million and which add transportation capacity, and are critical to the mobility, economic development, and quality of life of the citizens of Ohio.

Each year MORPC evaluates and prioritizes transportation projects seeking state funding.

TRAC committed its funding to seven Central Ohio projects prioritized by MORPC:

• ODOT District 6: Columbus Crossroads (I-70/I-71/SR-315) Project in Columbus ($552M)
• ODOT District 6: I-270/US-33 in Dublin ($51.5M)
• ODOT District 6: I-270/SR-315/US-23 in Franklin County ($143.1M)
• ODOT District 6: Far East Freeway in Franklin and Fairfield Counties ($6M)
• ODOT District 5: US-33/Carroll Interchange Improvements in Fairfield County ($36.1M)
• ODOT District 6: South Outerbelt in Franklin County ($6.6M)
• ODOT District 6: Bixby Road (Franklin/Fairfield US-33) in Franklin County (retained for project development)

“All of the projects approved by the TRAC are critical to creating and retaining jobs and advancing economic prosperity in Central Ohio,” said Robert Lawler, MORPC Transportation Director. “They are vital to our region, our local governments and our residents.”

Logistics jobs help make Central Ohio the fastest growing region in the state. The logistics industry relies on freeways to move trucks, and both Columbus Crossroads and the North Outerbelt are major nodes for logistics and commuters. MORPC has committed $15 million to help fund remaining phases of the Columbus Crossroads.

“I-270 and its interchanges with US-23 and SR-315 are important arteries for our region and we are pleased to have seen the North High Street portion of this complex of interchanges go to construction earlier this month,” said Matt Greeson, MORPC Secretary and Worthington City Manager. “We would also like to thank TRAC and ODOT for the $143.1 million committed to other portions of these interchanges.”
Project descriptions can be found at www.morpc.org

We hope you feel the increasing energy in Fairfield County and the larger Columbus Region. As the economy grows, available, qualified labor must be in place to meet employer demand. To that end, your assistance with a very important initiative, a regional workforce assessment, is needed.

This regional comprehensive workforce assessment will be a valuable resource to most regional stakeholders, providing insight into many facets of the labor shed thereby allowing us to take advantage of areas of strengths and realign areas in need of attention. The overarching goal is to strengthen and grow the region’s economic base

Fairfield County is partnering with Columbus 2020, which has retained Site Selection Group, to undertake a first-ever Columbus Region workforce assessment. This exercise will require the input of local businesses, community leaders, education institutions, government agencies, and the general population. We hope you will cooperate and contribute to this cause aimed at the betterment of the economy.

The Columbus Region workforce assessment will be a current- and near-term evaluation of the labor market. The data collected will be used to recommend strategic resource deployment, marketing, and stakeholder collaboration. Going forward Columbus 2020 hopes to conduct a regional workforce assessment on a regular two to three-year schedule.

Will you please take a moment to forward the appropriate contact to participate in a workforce 30-60 minute phone interview? Please share the contact information or any questions you may have with Patty Huddle, VP Existing Business Solutions, Patty_huddle@columbus.org or David Ellis, Dellis@siteselectiongroup.com. The work has commenced and your insights and experiences are vitally important.

The business interview is one source of data being collected. Another important source of information is the worker, or potential worker. All individuals 18-years-old and older are encouraged to take the web-based anonymous 5-10 minute survey. Survey participants may choose to enter a drawing to win and iPad. Please take a moment to complete the web-based survey online survey and Please share the link with your employees and your networks.

Phoenix Electrotek will break ground on May 8, 2013 for a new manufacturing facility in Lancaster’s Rock Mill Corporate Park. The facility represents a new home for the company that has been located on S. Ewing Street since 2008. Construction is expected to take five months.

“This project will allow us to continue to grow in Lancaster,” said Duane Astrauskas, President at Phoenix Electrotek. “We’re happy for the opportunity to keep 25 jobs in the community and look forward to the chance to grow the employment base.” The company currently leases a 15,000 square foot facility. The new facility will be twice that size and is designed to allow for future expansion.

“We’ll be able to better meet customer demand from the new facility,” said Astrauskas, who added that Rock Mill Corporate Park was selected for the new facility due to growth in the general area and easy access to U.S. Route 33. Headquartered in Canada, Phoenix Electrotek manufactures wiring harnesses and cable assemblies for a variety of industries.

Lancaster’s Economic Development Director, Mike Pettit, said he’s pleased to see the company stay in Lancaster. “Those 25 jobs are important in our community,” said Pettit. “In 2008, the company employed 9 people so Phoenix Electrotek has enjoyed tremendous growth in a short time.”

Lancaster-Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce will host a Ground Breaking Ceremony on May 8th at 1:00 p.m. on site.