According to information released from the Southern Ohio Port Authority, from November 2015-November 2016, there has been roughly $45.5 million invested into the community by area businesses and businesses coming to the area.
“From what I can tell looking at historic records, it looks like from 2004 to 2013 we had four significant economic development projects. In 2014 there was one significant economic development project. In 2015 we had three (economic development projects) and this year (2016) we had nine (projects),” Jason Kester, executive director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority said in an interview with the Daily Times.
He said there is already one project to be counted in 2017 figures.
Kester said in order for a project to be considered a significant economic development project it involves a business coming to the area that takes up at least 20,000 square feet, brings 20 or more new employees and has at least a $1 million investment.
The 2016 investment figures included eight companies throughout Scioto County.
According to information from the Southern Ohio Port Authority, Altivia Chemical was responsible for 75 jobs being retained. This project lead to the re-opening of Haverhill Chemicals. The project was supported by Fluor-BWXT Opportunity Fund, JobsOhio, Ohio Department of Transportation and the Scioto County Engineer and Commissioners.
Altivia Chemicals had a second project and resulted in the creation of 28 jobs and helped retain six jobs. The second project included dock, and rail improvements and the restart of Phenol II operations. The project was assisted by a grant from the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation.
Columbia Gas Regional Headquarters was constructed in New Boston, which resulted in 26 jobs being retained. This project was supported by the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio and the Southern Ohio Port Authority.
The Wiseman Brothers project resulted in 12 jobs being created and eight jobs being retained. This project resulted in the company expanding into a 96,000 square foot facility in the Balzer Industrial Buildings in Lucasville. The project was assisted by a grant from the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation and assistance from the city of Portsmouth.
Big Sandy Distribution project resulted in 160 jobs retained and 10 jobs created. The project includes the expansion of dock, transportation, and warehouse facilities due to expansion into Columbus market and on-line sales.
Appalachian Wood Floors II resulted in 20 new jobs created. The project allowed Appalachian Wood Floors to expand into a 50,000 warehouse in Portsmouth. The project also included expansion of the companies transportation and logistics as well as a new flooring line.
Other projects included an expansion by Mako that resulted in five jobs being retained and five jobs being created. This project allowed the company to expand into a 20,000-square-foot facility at the Scioto County Career and Technical Centers North Campus Building for diversification of product lines. The project was assisted by a grant from the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation.
Yost Engineering had a project that resulted to the creation of 27 new jobs and 14 jobs being retained. The company received a million dollar loan from the Ohio Third Frontier in addition to a million dollar investment from the Angel Capital Group.
Taylor Lumber had a project that resulted in 172 jobs being retained and 31 jobs being created. The project included the expansion of existing facilities to add new hardwood floor line.
When asked if these numbers are an indication of economic development in Scioto County Kester said, “I think it’s a good indication.”
In total, the projects in Scioto County resulted in the creation of 170 jobs, 466 jobs being retained and roughly a $45 million investment.
Kester said landing projects like these in Scioto County is due in part to a foundation the Southern Ohio Port Authority and its partners have been building over the last few years.
“We’ve had meetings with everybody from soil and water conservation to the Scioto Foundation, to the city, to the county, to the commissioners, to city council, and to Main Street Portsmouth. There are all kinds of people working towards one goal,” Kester said. “Overall I think the community is doing a good job right now, working together.”
For more information about the programs and activities of the Southern Ohio Port Authority visit www.sohpa.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter.