JobsOhio, the state’s semi-private development arm, says 800 jobs are coming to the Dayton area as Procter & Gamble plans to invest nearly $90 million in a new logistics facility in the city of Union, near the Dayton airport.
This actually isn’t the first time these jobs have been announced, but until now the investment has gone by the code name Project Walnut. Turns out the mystery "walnut" is actually Procter & Gamble, the Cincinnati-based producer of a line of products ranging from Head and Shoulders to Tide and Bounty.
"We’ve all been through tough economic times the last five or six years, and so this is just great news," said John Applegate, the city manager of Union. "There’s just no other way to describe it, it’s awesome."
Procter & Gamble is working with two contractors who plan to hire around 800 people to staff the new distribution center, set to open in 2015. A representative from JobsOhio says the state will offer incentives to the company, but those numbers aren’t yet set in stone.
Governor John Kasich was in Dayton Thursday lauding the news—and pointing out some slightly older job news.
"You know when I think about 800 jobs at Fuyao, I think about 800 plus jobs today at P & G, I think about 1600 families that are gonna do better, I mean isn’t that cool?" he said. "That’s as good as it gets."
But in election season, even job counts get political: the campaign for Kasich’s opponent in the November election, Democrat Ed Fitzgerald of Cleveland, issued a response to the Dayton event, saying the city’s job growth has sputtered since Kasich took office.
"The reality in Dayton is not what Governor Kasich would like us all to believe that it is," said Lauren Hitt with the Fitzgerald campaign. "People in that community have been struggling for years."
Unemployment in Ohio has dropped significantly since 2010, but tens of thousands have also left the workforce; in the Dayton area, unemployment rates have also improved dramatically, but the actual number of people working is almost identical to what it was when Kasich took office.
New state unemployment numbers are due out Friday morning.