Feb. 8—The $20 billion Intel semiconductor chip manufacturing "megacenter" being built east of Columbus is just the start as the company looks to meet the need for more domestically produced chips, said Jim Brinker, president and general manager of Intel Federal on Wednesday.
"We are big advocates of made in the U.S.A., as you imagine we would be, and a U.S.-based supply chain," Brinker said at the Dayton Development Coalition's annual meeting. "Ohio is the poster card of that. It's the heart of the country. It's right where everything's happening."
Brinker and Bob Nelson, executive vice president of corporate services for American Honda Motor Company, answered questions about the two companies' big Ohio projects during the coalition's annual meeting and economic review held before an audience of 500 community and business leaders at Carillon Historical Park's Winsupply Center of Leadership in Dayton.
Honda anticipates creating more than 2,500 jobs as it spends $700 million retooling its Anna, Marysville and East Liberty plants for production of electric vehicles and at a new $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery factory to be built in Fayette County as part of a joint venture with LG Energy Solution.
"What we're guided toward is carbon neutrality and zero fatalities by 2050," Nelson said, adding that the company is working with its employees to train them to produce the next generation of Honda products.
Last year Intel broke ground for two semiconductor fabrication plants in Licking County. The $20 billion project is currently creating 7,000 construction jobs, 90% of them based in Ohio, Brinker said. Another 3,000 people will work at the plants in the initial phase once they open in 2025.
"At full build out they're predicting $100 billion, over the next decade, of infusion of capital into Ohio," Brinker said, noting that there is room on the site for eight of the plants, known as "fabs."
Brinker said the company employs about 30,000 people each at semi-conductor plants in Oregon and Arizona.
"If you begin to look at the way Intel has set themselves up they really begin to build their ecosystem around their large fab environments. So I think 3,000 is probably just the beginning within that," he said.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Ohio has drawn Intel and other companies by creating a good business environment, a great workforce and investing in technology and innovation.
"We've had two of the biggest years in the state of Ohio as far as economic development projects," Husted said in comments after the meeting. "Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of Intel, (called) Ohio the 'Silicon Heartland' because we are going to build not only an Intel plant but an entire semiconductor chip supply chain here in our state."
Dayton region development
Major gains in companies' pledged jobs, payroll and capital investment in the Dayton region also were touted at the meeting.
"This is our time to double down," said coalition President and CEO Jeff Hoagland. "We are building an incredible local economy."
He said the development "pipeline is bigger than ever."
"We want people across the country to talk about these jobs, and we want them to learn how easy it is to build a fulfilling life here in the Dayton region," Hoagland said in a news release issued before the meeting. "We want to create an economy so vibrant people move here to be a part of it. We won't be a fly-over and drive-thru state. We are a destination."
In 2022, companies expanding or coming to the area committed to creating 5,943 new jobs and retaining 6,865, according to data provided by the coalition, which is the western regional partner for JobsOhio, the state's privatized economic development arm.
Those projects by companies that worked with the coalition and JobsOhio to expand or establish operations made new payroll commitments totaling $357.5 million.
Companies pledged capital investments totaling $5.5 billion, far exceeding annual investments in previous years in the west region, which includes Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Fayette, Greene, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.
The new job and payroll pledges also topped annual commitments made in every year since 2011, when JobsOhio was created, according to the coalition.
Major projects announced in 2022 include Honda and SEMCORP Advanced Materials Group, which is building a battery materials manufacturing plant in Sidney that is expected to employ about 1,200.
Sierra Nevada Corp., TJX Digital Inc., Loc Performance Products LLC, Epsilon C51, Inc., P&THE Manufacturing Acquisition LLC, Abbott Laboratories, Conagra Packaged Foods LLC and Radiance Technologies Inc. also all announced projects last year, according to the coalition.
"Projects are moving at a faster pace and greater scale than ever before. We used to have 18 months to two years to land a project. Now those decisions are being made in six months or less," coalition Board of Trustees Chair Doug Compton in a news release. "Work to prepare sites for development, including the work with Wright-Patt to manage growth around the base, will set the stage for our continued regional growth. Our workforce and talent attraction efforts must align with that growth."
Also on Wednesday the coalition announced its annual awards.
Husted received the Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award.
"Today's honoree is one of the Dayton region's most important allies in economic development. He has spent decades dedicated to strengthening our state's economic foundation and diversifying our economy," Hoagland said in a news release.
Husted said he was honored to receive the award and noted that he got his start in economic development working with Patterson at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.
"There's never been a better time to live, work and raise a family in Ohio than right now, and I'm proud of the work we have accomplished and look forward to many more years of economic success for our state," Husted said in a news release.
The other annual awards presented were: — 2022 Research & Development Project of the Year: Plastilene Group for its plan to establish a sustainable food packaging initiative and facility in Washington Court House. — 2022 Aerospace & Defense Project of the Year: Sierra Nevada Corporation for the aircraft maintenance and repair facility it built on 16 acres at the Dayton International Airport. — 2022 Project of the year: Honda for its electric vehicle and battery production projects.
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See our four-part 2023 regional economic outlook series
Part 1 — Dayton region economic outlook for 2023 is positive though tinged with recession worries
Part 2 — Regional economic outlook: Mild to moderate recession possible in 2023, local experts say
Part 3 — Regional economic outlook: Residents, businesses will still feel sting of inflation and higher interest rates in 2023
Part 4 — Regional Economic Outlook: Attracting and keeping skilled workers remains top issue for Dayton region in 2023