August 2016 Archive

Two community nonprofits in Nelsonville to get expanded space

Four years ago the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) opened its new offices at 35 Public Square in Nelsonville. Having grown, FAO is now planning to renovate and expand from the second floor to the first at that location.

The project also will provide additional accommodations for the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), which is growing, too, and needs more space of its own.

Cara Dingus Brook, president and CEO of FOA, explained that the first floor of the former Peoples Bank building is currently empty. The space was left unaltered when FAO took ownership and moved in upstairs. But with a $250,000 grant from the state, work will be done to fix up the first floor.

“The state grant will cover a significant portion of the renovation, but both the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth and the Foundation for…

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Data points to economic growth

With the start of each year several agencies will released data, which is based on the previous year’s activities. Recent data released by the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) JobsOhio, and a number of other agencies, indicate economic growth in southern Ohio.

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Portsmouth to form Downtown Redevelopment District

The city of Portsmouth will form a Downtown Redevelopment District (DRD). The Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 233 on April 20, 2016 with an effective date of Aug. 5, 2016 allowing for the creation of a Downtown Redevelopment District which operates similar to a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District.

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Port Authority Discuss New Grant to bring More Jobs to the Community

City leaders held a meeting Wednesday to discuss a new grant that will bring more jobs to the community.

The Zanesville Muskingum County Port Authority was able to obtain a grant from Jobs Ohio in the amount of $775,000 for the revitalization of a 30 acre location at the Airport Industrial Park. Executive Director, Matt Abbott, said they’re excited to be able to develop a turnkey site.

“What this will allow us to do is to compact soils to solve some issues that exist from surface mining. It’ll put this 30 acre site and make it unique. Sites that are in our area, region and around the state as far as connectivity to the things that we offer here in Zanesville Muskingum County,” said Abbott.

Abbott said the site has had some looks in the past, however, they don’t know what business will be moving to the industrial park site at this time.

“We’ll…

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Fyda Freightliner Western Star Zanesville opens new dealership

Fyda Freightliner Western Star Zanesville opened for business on May 2 in Zanesville, OH. Sitting on 15 acres, the 46,000-sq.-ft. full-service truck dealership is located at 5005 East Pike, which is situated on I-70 at exit 160.

“It is our goal to always keep our customers first, and the opening of our newest full service dealership represents another step in that direction. Our Zanesville location was built to better serve our current customers within their home bases, while allowing us to expand our services to drivers who travel in the area between our Columbus and Pittsburgh dealerships,” said Gary Tiffan, general manager. “We are so pleased with the reception that we have received from the Zanesville community. It’s been a long process, and we are happy to have finally opened our doors to assist customers with their parts, service and truck sales needs.”

According to the company, Fyda Zanesville offers extended hours of operation six days…

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Barracuda Intruder Defense System

With the recent influx of violence and shooting acts in schools, one local man has come up with a very effective solution to prevent the loss of life in these situations.

The Barracuda Intruder Defense System was designed especially to prevent violent intruders from entering a room of people both in class and public places. The system is made here in Muskingum County, is very easy to use, and will securely lock a door in an emergency. Local inventor Troy Lowe says it took a lot of hard work to make it a reality.

“Patience. Having friends come over, teaching me the welding basics, and getting into making the correct business contacts, for example through MCBI.”

Sherry Stewart, Executive in Residence of Tech Growth Ohio, says it has been very exciting to work with Lowe on the project.

“I have grandchildren in the school system, and to know that something like this existed, for…

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Port Authority Receives US EPA Grant

The Port Authority is proud to report that it has received a $600000 US EPA grant in partnership with local West Virginia panhandle leaders. The grant will support Brownfield Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing throughout Jefferson (OH), Brooke, and Hancock (WV) counties. The Port is proud of this cross-state partnership to allow the Ohio Valley to compete for new investment….

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First Site Selection Best Practice Seminar Scheduled

The Port Authority will host its first site selection best practices seminar on September 19. All area government leaders and Port Authority investors will learn about and discuss the modern site selection industry as Jefferson County strives for significant new investment in coming years….

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WATCH: The smokestack explosion at FirstEnergy’s Belmont County power plant

Demolitions are fun on their own, but it’s even better when they mean something more.

A 854-foot concrete smokestack and 171-foot tall boiler house were felled by 450 pounds of explosives Friday morning in Belmont County.

It’s part of continued clearing of the former R.E. Burger power plant in Shadyside as Thai company PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd. prepares to make a final decision on building a $5.7 billion petrochemical plant related to the oil and gas industry.

The approximately 10 seconds it took for the structures to fall took three weeks of preparation, according to FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE), the Akron utility that owns the plant and land.

You can see a video of the explosion, taken along the Ohio River by Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland. He and other local and state government officials helped lure the company to the site, and his description of the video is telling: “Out with old…

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OU receives $2 million power grant to support regional economic development in coal-impacted communities

The Jackson County Times Journal

ATHENS— Ohio University has received a $2 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunities and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program to create a 28-county regional innovation network in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The goal of the program is to create 125 new businesses and 1,110 jobs and raise $25 million in company investments from public and private sources over the next six years.

“Throughout Ohio University’s 212-year history, we have witnessed the fallout from closures of coal operations, power production facilities and industrial suppliers across this great region. We recognize our responsibility to extend beyond our campuses to engage communities in economic development activities that create jobs and improve lives,” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis.

Ohio University’s Innovation Center, an incubator for small high-tech businesses, and partners from across the tristate region will work collaboratively on the Leveraging…

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Middleport celebrates $3.2M investment in Imperial Electric

Pleasant Point Register

MIDDLEPORT — Questions arose as to the value of investing in an outdated plant in southeastern Ohio after Nidec Corp. of Japan acquired Akron-based Imperial Electric Co. in 2012.

The Middleport facility needed state-of-the-art equipment and improvements to play a key role in the expanding elevator industry.

After careful consideration of factors such as the plant’s central location, its highly trained workforce, and support from government, business and community leaders, Nidec made the decision to keep the facility open.

Meigs County JobsOhio, a private nonprofit designed to drive job creation and new capital investment, and AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, were among the organizations instrumental in convincing Imperial Electric to make the needed investment with their commitment of grants for $200,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Nidec officials say their $3.2 million Middleport investment reflects Nidec’s commitment to establishing their reputation as a global leader in the production of elevator systems.

Pradeep Sood, president…

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Manufacturing plant starts small as it plans Monday reopening

This coming Monday is the day Samuel Thornton has been working toward for almost two years – the resuming of production at Athens Mold and Machine.

The tire mold manufacturing company closed in 2011 when business dried up but Thornton, the plant’s general manager, is convinced the time is right for a comeback.

The restart will be small, with just four workers out on the floor and one in the front office. And the output will be limited as they take it slow to make sure the equipment is in good working order.

But Thornton is optimistic he can grow the payroll “into the three digits.”

“The sky’s the limit,” he said Monday. “I definitely see that 100 employees” is possible.

“The majority of the jobs are machinists,” he added, and they “get paid pretty well…an average of $17 an hour.”

At first, production…

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Fluor-BWXT Grant Helps New Business in Jackson County Add Jobs

Oak staves may age up to four years before reaching the ideal moisture content for barrel making at Speyside Bourbon Cooperage in Jackson County. The refurbished cabinet plant also has kilns that can be used to expedite the drying process.

Oak staves may age up to four years before reaching the ideal moisture content for barrel making at Speyside Bourbon Cooperage in Jackson County. The refurbished cabinet plant also has kilns that can be used to expedite the drying process.

Last fall, Fluor-BWXT provided a new Jackson County manufacturer, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, a $48,000 business opportunity grant through their Community Commitment Fund.

The check came with a promise that Speyside would create 35 new jobs at the former cabinet-making facility on East Main Street. In the spring of 2016 the bourbon barrel maker met that goal and then promptly surpassed it by…

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Hillsboro PAS Technologies facility achieves PXP™ Gold certification

The Highland County Press

PAS Technologies announced Thursday that its Hillsboro facility has achieved gold status, the highest level of achievement in the Performance eXcellence Process™ (PXP™), the Company’s lean operating system.

PXP™ Gold certification signifies that the PAS Hillsboro facility, the first PAS operation to have achieved this accreditation, is operating at world-class standards for all aspects of the business—customer satisfaction, environmental health and safety, quality, on time delivery, financials and employee satisfaction.

Operating globally in six locations, PAS is a specialized provider of cost-effective original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products, services and solutions for the commercial and military aerospace, industrial gas turbine and oil and gas markets. The company’s highly engineered, innovative products are world-renowned for advanced technology and unsurpassed reliability.

The PAS Hillsboro facility is a proven provider of OEM engine-ready parts and MRO special processes and services, driving world-class performance and trusted to consistently deliver operational excellence. As a…

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Art meets industry

Portsmouth Daily Times

When it comes to art, the last thing that comes to mind for some, would be shoelaces. But Kelly Babcock of EBEE design has helped to revitalize an industry that’s been a staple of Portsmouth’s economy for over 100 years.

By redesigning the SoleChoice factory catalog, Babcock was able to attract new business to the company and create a piece of art.

Babcock worked alongside SoleChoice leaders Nelson Smith, Bryan Davis and Ryan Bouts to rethink the design and product catalogs, showcasing the products in a new manner for buyers and designers.

“Nelson, Bryan and Ryan were really integral in the whole project,” said Babcock. “They had their hands in it throughout. We all collaborated closely to create these new catalogs.”

Traditionally, these type of projects would be sent off-site to print houses.

“We went in with the intention of disrupting what had always been the norm,” explained Babcock. “At SoleChoice, they actually have a…

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Former R.E. Burger Plant’s Smokestack Comes Down Without a Hitch in Belmont County

The Intelligencer Wheeling News Register

DILLES BOTTOM — A sequence of detonations sent the 854-foot-tall stack at the former FirstEnergy Corp. R.E. Burger plant tumbling to the ground Friday morning in a process that demolition contractor Jim Redyke called “perfect.”

The president and CEO of PTT Global Chemical America called the stack removal an important step in his company’s efforts to bring thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of full-time jobs to the site via a planned multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker.

“We appreciate the cooperative relationship we have built with FirstEnergy as we work with all of our local, regional and statewide partners toward making this project a reality,” PTT President and CEO Toasaporn Boonyapipat said.

Officials with FirstEnergy have entered an agreement to transfer ownership of the Burger property to PTT if the Thailand-based company elects to proceed with its planned project. Before that can happen, however, FirstEnergy must complete demolition at the site, which includes removal…

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