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Program seeks to boost profile of wood-products industry in SE Ohio

The wood-products business in Ohio contributes an estimated $22 billion a year to the state’s economy. While that may sound like a lot, Craig Rosenlund thinks the number could and should be higher… a lot higher.

Rosenlund works with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth in Nelsonville, where he is senior product associate for a program to boost the wood-products industry in a 32-county region. He has more than three decades of management and operations experience in the field, in both domestic and international markets.

Rosenlund is not the only person to think wood products in the Buckeye State have significant, untapped potential. The U.S. Small Business Administration believes the same.

The agency is putting money where its mouth is, to the tune of up to $2.5 million, for the Forest Products Innovation Cluster Initiative.

An SBA contract – awarded last…

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Chillicothe ranked 39th top micropolitan area in U.S.

CHILLICOTHE – In the scorecard of economic development, Chillicothe has put some more points on the board.

For the third time in the last five years and the second straight year, Chillicothe has been named to Site Selection Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Micropolitan Areas in the U.S. for its development performance in 2015. In order to be considered for the list, a locality must have completed individual projects that involved at least $1 million in capital investment, 20,000 square feet of space or created at least 20 new jobs.

In the Chillicothe area during 2015, a trio of projects — involving Mancor Industries, TYKMA Electrox and Vitatoe Industries — met the criteria and contributed to the city’s placement in a tie for 39th on the magazine’s list. Because that criteria involves only manufacturing, distribution, office and technology projects, the large investments in the Carlisle Building restoration and the Guernsey Crossing development did not contribute to…

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Scioto, Lawrence counties to partner

In recognizing the possibility for economic development along U.S. 52 in Scioto and Lawrence counties, the Southern Ohio Port Authority and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation have formed a partnership.

The two agencies have had a working relationship for a while, and their latest collaboration could result in the formation of an industrial park in Scioto County.

At its last meeting of 2015, the SOPA Board of Directors voted to purchase a 90-day option from Hadsell Development on an industrial park in Wheelersburg for $25,000.

Jason Kester, Executive Director of SOPA said having the option on the 522 Industrial Park fills a deficiency of the community.

“The number one deficiency of our community is a lack of available sites and buildings. Other than the five acres remaining in the Bob Walton Industrial Park, we do not have another industrial park in the county,” Kester said.

After meeting with the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, Scioto County Commissioners,…

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Belmont County Ethane Cracker To Bring Others, Official Believes

Most of the steel mills, glass factories and other plants that once employed tens of thousands along the Ohio River are closed, but officials believe landing the $5.7 billion ethane cracker complex in Belmont County would allow Ohio and West Virginia to become manufacturing powerhouses once again.

So plentiful is the oil and natural gas in the region that those discussing the matter in Wheeling Tuesday believe they are dealing with what can become known as “Shale Valley” – much like the San Francisco Bay area has become known as “Silicon Valley.”

“It’s a once in several lifetimes opportunity. If we get it right with the first facility, more will come,” John Molinaro, president and CEO of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, said during the discussion, which featured numerous elected officials, business leaders, labor representatives and members of the higher education community.

In September, officials with Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical agreed to…

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