- peperoni - / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has received a $99 million U.S. Air Force research contract. It’s the biggest contract in UD’s history. 

UDRI will study technologies like 3-D printing and sensors that could save the U.S. Air Force money on maintenance for an aging air fleet.

“If the planes are spending more time in maintenance, they are not available for the job,” said Sukh Sidhu, head of UDRI’s Energy Technologies and Materials division.

Kenyatta Chandler with Ohio Development Service talks with minority  business owners st the Dayton Job Center.
Jerry Kenney

For the first time ever, the state of Ohio says it has reached its goal of supporting minority-owned businesses. State officials met with minority business owners at the job center in Dayton to tout the achievement and talk about increasing the number of businesses eligible for state contracts.

Surpassing its 15 percent goal, the state says 19 percent of all goods and services purchased this year have been through minority businesses. That equates to more than $228 million dollars spent with those businesses, up from $165 million in 2014.

A Soft Steel Market Takes Its Toll On Ohio Employment

Mar 3, 2015
Rona Proudfoot / Flickr Creative Commons

The United Steelworkers union is awaiting word this week on exactly how many hundreds of people will be at least temporarily laid off in Lorain. U.S. Steel plans to shut down its Lorain tubular operations and lay off as many as 600 workers next week. It’s a drastic change from three years ago, when it seemed like projections for making steel tube couldn’t go high enough.

Patrick Gallagher, whose United Steelworkers district covers all of northern Ohio, says a soft oil-drilling market, strong dollar and ongoing battle over imports has changed a lot.

Partners Jeff Opt and Erin Vasconcelos hope to turn this room in the Old Yellow Cab Building into a "maker Space."
Jerry Kenney

Dayton’s "old" Yellow Cab Co. building could be the location of a manufacturing site that would offer people the chance to design and build their own products. 

The idea behind FabSpace is to give local residents and entrepreneurs access to high-tech digital, manufacturing equipment, like a laser cutter, or 3D printer. Project organizer, Jeff Opt, says it’s part of a new industrial revolution.

“It’s very good confluence of both technology and community working together," he says.

A retired Air Force drone is used in the classroom at Sinclair Community College.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Supporters of drone development are anxiously awaiting a first draft of Federal Aviation Administration regulations expected to come out soon. Right now hobbyists can fly drones—the industry term is unmanned aerial systems or UAS—but companies are prohibited from flying them outdoors unless they have special federal authorization for individual flights. The FAA said it would release a proposed rule by the end of 2014 to regulate commercial drones in U.S.

Columbus Businessman Revving Bronzed Baby Shoe Popularity

Dec 23, 2014
nedrai / Flickr Creative Commons

Back in the 1930s, a Columbus kindergarten teacher had a dream. Violet Shinbach went door-to-door selling the idea of bronzed baby shoes. The idea was a hit with Americans coast-to-coast. The company she founded is still in business under the able leadership of her grandson, Robert Kaynes.

After college graduation, Bob Kaynes considered a career in banking.  But he says, "I interviewed with a few banks and it seemed boring and I saw an ad in the paper to sell pots and pans. "

Kaynes answered the ad but left in the middle of the interview to make a phone call.

Jerry Kenney/WYSO

As refurbishment of the old GM Moraine Assembly plant takes place, new tenant, auto-glass manufacturer Fuyao, will begin a series of information sessions for people looking for employment there.

Wednesday morning at Sinclair Community College, representatives will be on hand to provide information about the company and help applicants file resumes.

The company is working with OhioMeansJobs and Montgomery County to launch a major hiring effort that will fill more than 400 jobs by next spring, and hire close to a thousand employees by year end.

Columbus Area Agency Fails To Make Nationwide Loan Payments

Oct 17, 2014
Mike Small / Flickr Creative Commons

The complex deal to use casino-tax money to buy Nationwide Arena has hit a snag: there’s not enough money to make loan payments. Officials expected to pay off the loans with taxes from the new Columbus casino. But casino tax revenues are below projections. The city and county have not made a single loan payment for the arena.

A little history

To keep the Blue Jackets from leaving town, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority bought Nationwide Arena and gave the team free rent.

 27 foot 1987 Airstream Sovereign built at the Jackson Center Ohio Airstream factory.
Tdenton/Wikimedia Commons

The trailer company Airstream has announced a major expansion at its facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, 56 miles north of Dayton. The company is investing $5.9 million dollars in the project, and its parent company, Thor Industries, says the millions they’re putting into the expansion will allow them to increase office capacity and production of their famous silver travel-trailers by 70%.

Airstream is Jackson Center’s biggest employer, according to Village Administrator Bruce Metz.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Airbus Vice President of Procurement David Williams and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10) at the National Composite Center in Kettering at the fourth procurement conference held between Airbus and more than 90
Jerry Kenney

State leaders are making a push to increase business between the state’s aerospace industry and aircraft manufacturer Airbus.  Toward that effort, state officials says they met with more than 130 representatives from 90 Ohio businesses this week. 

In 2013, Airbus spent $6.1 billion in Ohio. That puts the state at the top of the list for the company’s US spending, and Vice President of Procurement for Airbus Americas, David Williams says they want to buy even more of their parts and supplies here in Ohio.