Under Construction

Yellow Springs packs its downtown twice a year for the street fair.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The village of Yellow Springs, on the surface, is hopping economically. Property values are headed up, and downtown vacancies are low. Antioch College is growing and just opened a renovated fitness and wellness center. But just below the surface, the village has a lot of the same issues as other parts of the region. A lack of well-paying jobs means it’s becoming more of a bedroom community.

An airplane at the Vectren Dayton Airshow, a yearly event at the Dayton Airport.
eawortman / Flickr/Creative Commons

Janet Bednarek, a professor of history at the University of Dayton, specializes in airports—and in the idea of the airport as a hub for economic growth. She thinks airports bring a lot of potential, but there are also limitations; ultimately, she says, corporations decide where they want to go, and an “if you build it, they will come” approach can backfire.

“Dayton has always tried to capitalize on the fact that we’re at the intersection of two major interstates,” says Bednarek. “It just seems like the ability to capitalize on that hasn’t seemed to happen yet.”

View of Cincinnati from the mouth of the Licking River. Economist Richard Stock says more and more people are taking the trip down I-75 for work.
Robert S. Donovan / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ohio’s unemployment rate for April came out late last week, and it’s as low as it’s been since 2008 at 5.7 percent. It’s also nearly half a percent lower than the rate reported for March, despite relatively slow job growth.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The City of Moraine is asking voters to approve a .5 percent increase to its municipal income tax in the Tuesday, May 6 primary election. Moraine City Manager David Hicks says the south Dayton town is in a tough spot financially—and still dealing with empty buildings and polluted superfund sites years after the departure of industry that created it.

Alex Grodkiewicz / UpDayton

Dayton’s got a problem with brain drain—young people get an education here, then leave to use those skills somewhere else. The organization UpDayton was created in part to combat that, and it’s now in its sixth year and holding a summit this Friday.

Jeff Hoagland, CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition,
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

This week on Under Construction we’re talking accountability: how are public funds for economic development spent and how are they tracked? Dayton Daily News investigative reporter Lynn Hulsey recently found the Dayton Development Coalition isn’t forthcoming with that information. The coalition, which is a nonprofit, funnels millions in government funds to local development projects.

Catherine Crosby heads the Dayton Human Relations Council.
Dayton Human Relations Council

People in West Dayton and Trotwood, among other parts of the Dayton area, have seen scores of businesses boarded up, from banks to grocery stores to Best Buy and Target.

Immigration reform might be dead in Washington for now, but some local advocates are still on the case. One of those is long-time conservative activist and teacher Carl Ruby. He’s part of a new initiative called Welcome Springfield—a takeoff on Welcome Dayton—to work on making Springfield a more appealing place for immigrants.

Target Trotwood city council big box closures
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

In January, Target announced plans to close its store in the northwest Dayton suburb of Trotwood, prompting a strong reaction from many residents and city leaders. The larger picture for Trotwood is that this inner suburb has lost nearly 11 percent of its population in a decade, and the majority of its big box stores—once the mainstay of the town—have packed up and left.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Newly sworn-in Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Jan. 22-24, and she came back with some insights about what mayors can do to grow jobs and make the most of natural resources.

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