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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.

The South Central Power magazine, “Country Living,” recently profiled two Fairfield County Development sites. The article talks about the intense process for independenly certifying Rock Mill Industrial Park in Lancaster and Canal Pointe Industrial Park in Canal Winchester. The story goes on to explain why the Ady-Austin certification is a valuable piece of the marketing approach for these two sites.

To read the entire article, written by Lisa Hooker, CLICK HERE and scroll to page 21.