Last week’s big news that a Chinese company will take over a large part of the old GM plant in Moraine is still reverberating throughout the Miami Valley. Officials say the automotive glass manufacturer, Fuyao, is expected to bring at least 800 jobs by 2017.
It’s the biggest job-creation win so far for Governor John Kasich’s semi-private economic development arm, JobsOhio.
“The company will be hiring a variety of different types of positions,” said Kristi Tanner with JobsOhio. Those positions include management, engineers, machinists, quality control, forklift operators, maintenance and repair.
The announcement coincided with the release of fairly dismal national job creation numbers for December—just 74,000 jobs were added nationally last month, the lowest number since 2011, although those numbers are usually revised later on. Ohio’s job report is due out later in the month, but December’s numbers weren’t good: the unemployment rate ticked up here even as the national rate continued downward.
Fuyao’s factory will cost $250 million, and state and local governments are putting together a package of incentives for the company which already includes $700,000 from Montgomery County. Government funding for job training, tax incentives and infrastructure updates could also be a part of the package, which economic development officials maintain is essential to drawing a big player like Fuyao to the Dayton area.
“Eight hundred is truly the minimum jobs they will commit,” said David Burrows with the Dayton Development Coalition. “We have a strong feeling that there will be more than that eventually. And there will be some more development because of this project.”
Hiring for some positions could begin this year, and the auto glass factory is set to open by the end of 2015.
There are already five smaller tenants occupying parts of the former GM plant, which state officials convinced the Industrial Realty Group (IRG) to take over and maintain in 2011. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D) and U.S. Representative Mike Turner (R-10th) have both been credited with working with GM and IRG to keep the building from being torn down in hopes of a new large employer like Fuyao coming into the area.
Fuyao is one of the largest auto-glass manufacturers in the world, with 18,000 employees worldwide and a brand-new $200 million plant in Russia. Officials from JobsOhio met with company executives in Ohio, Russia and China in the process of closing the deal, which was announced in Columbus on Friday.