The Mayor Tim Theakor said big things for Mansfield are in the works, yet its always Ontario grabbing the attention of his local paper?
ONTARIO – Two international companies — one in Turkey and the other in Israel — have expressed interest in locating their businesses in Ontario.
Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson and Mark Weidemyre, the city’s economic development committee chairman, Monday said they attended a two-day Select USA Summit in Washington, D.C., last week in an effort to bring international companies to Ontario.
Weidemyre said he and the mayor talked one-on-one with representatives from a baking operation located in Israel that provides frozen foods to Kroger and needs a manufacturing operation in the United States. The company, if located in Ontario, would bring between 50 to 100 jobs.
“They said they need a manufacturing operation here in the United States because they just can’t ship everything they need to ship from Israel anymore,” Weidemyre said.
The company plans a site visit to see the Ontario Business Park, the former site of General Motors stamping plant, in the near future.
The two Ontario leaders also met one-on-one with representatives from an aluminum manufacturer from Turkey who expressed interest in locating in Ontario. Although this company’s expansion could be about two years out, Hutchinson said the company would bring 200 to 350 jobs if they chose to locate here.
The marketing effort was fantastic, said Hutchinson.
“We’ve got to be proactive in getting out to sell our city and that’s the reason we went,” Hutchinson said.
Weidemyre said he was reading a Team NEO newsletter and saw information about the summit, a program of President Obama put on by the Department of Commerce where people, investors and companies, are invited to attend from all over the world.
“Tens of thousands of people were in attendance at the Gaylord Convention Center,” Weidemyre said. Obama was the speaker at a luncheon that they attended.
Weidemyre said he and the mayor talked to a lot of companies and made connections, including a pharmaceutical manufacturing company from India. Weidemyre talked directly to the economic development minister for Taiwan. “We made some very good connections there,” he said.
The twosome met with Department of Commerce officials too who put them in touch with various agencies. They also met with JobsOhio representatives who said they will come to Ontario to see how they can further help local officials market the city and Ontario Business Park and the entire city of Ontario, including the city’s new industrial park on Beer Road where FedEx just built a new 170,000-square-foot warehouse.
Hutchinson said he believes it is important to market the entire city of Ontario and Richland County.
“Some of the firms we talked to we spoke about the airport (Mansfield Lahm Airport). Whatever happens in Richland County benefits everybody,” the mayor said.
Hutchinson said they also formed a new partnership with the economic development officials and mayors from Stark, Portage and Summit counties to enable more networking. Everyone plans to meet quarterly.
“Council is on board with expanding our role in economic development,” said Weidemyre. “We’re looking at a couple other trade shows and putting together a booth. The mayor is looking at possibly me attending a trade show in Germany next year. This is the largest show (Hannover Messe) in all of Europe for manufacturing, a half a million people go to this show.”
Hutchinson said through Select USA, one-on-one “match making events” or appointments will be setup directly with manufacturers to pitch Ontario.
Richland County has a lot to offer, the city officials said.
Weidemyre said the mayor has worked hard to make Ontario business friendly when it comes to rules and regulations.
“The State of Ohio is becoming more and more known as very business-friendly,” Weidemyre said.
Weidemyre said a lot of companies were receptive to Ontario because of its location as well as the city’s tax incentives.
Hutchinson and Weidemyre said they plan to return to the next investment summit in 18 months, taking with them a contingent of officials from Richland County.
“We’re a global economy now and if you want to really grow the economy and you want to grow manufacturing, you’ve got to go out and get it,” he said.