The Wyandot County Office of Economic Development (WCOED) hosted a gathering of economic
development leaders from Northwest Ohio last Wednesday. The quarterly Regional JobsOhio Network meetings are facilitated by the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), an organization that serves as Northwest Ohio’s network partner for JobsOhio. The RGP offers a fullrange of traditional business development services, and works in collaboration with local economic development organizations across the region.
Among the 40+ people in attendance were representatives of NW Ohio economic development organizations, utility providers, state-level public and private entities, as well as economic and real estate consultants. The RGP asked Wyandot County to host the meeting due to the county’s heightened level of successful local projects over the past 12 months, and the speculative building development taking place in the county.
The meeting, which took place at Vaughn Industries in the Village of Carey, featured presentations on economic indicators, the industrial real estate market, and also included a brief overview of Wyandot County projects worked over the past 12 months and those in the pipeline. The RGP’s regional project manager covering Wyandot County, Chase Eikenbary, and WCOED Executive Director Greg Moon, provided a synopsis of how their close collaboration led to various forms of state assistance garnered for a number of local projects.
Tim Vaughn and John Barnes of Vaughn Industries then addressed the thought process behind constructing speculative buildings in the Village of Carey. Driven by a commitment to create local employment opportunities, and realizing the difficulty to bring a group of investors together for a speculative project, Vaughn Industries solely set out to establish a new industrial park on adjacent land under its ownership.
Mr. Vaughn noted that small municipalities are hard-pressed to find capital that will support local infrastructure for significant industrial projects. Knowing this, Vaughn Industries looked at ways to enhance and extend village infrastructure that would both support its business headquarters as well as serve future development within the industrial park. The result of the development of Arrowhead Commerce Park and the initial 100,000 square foot speculative building constructed was the attraction of Hanon Systems USA. Hanon will begin full production next year and will bring 139 new full-time jobs as a result.
Last on the agenda was an overview of Hanon Systems by its new Carey Plant Manager, Thomas Charnesky. After the overview, Mr. Charnesky provided a brief tour of the former speculative building, which is quickly transforming into Hanon Systems’ first Midwest production facility.