From The Air Force To Ice Cream: One Year Later

Nov 18, 2015
Jordan Freshour

Our Veterans’ Voices series continues today with a follow-up to a story from our first season. Bobby Walker was involuntarily separated from the Air Force, and so he decided to pursue a dream and start a business. If you’ve been to an outdoor festival or fair in the Miami Valley this year, you may have seen the fruits of Bobby’s labor. Army veteran, and Wright State University student, Anne Moore of Miamisburg has the story.

Jeff Weese / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio’s corn and ethanol industry is fighting back at ads it says are misleading and funded by big oil.

The ad aired last week in Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, and it says in part: “Mandating corn for ethanol doubles greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline over 30 years, and escalating mandates raise food costs and threaten the quality of the air we breathe. Mounting scientific evidence has revealed the inconvenient truth – increasing ethanol mandates can actually make things worse.”

Why Some Big Businesses are Backing the Clean Power Plan

Oct 29, 2015
Staples is one of 300 companies that recently sent a letter to governors urging them to back the EPA's new plan to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
Mike Mozart / Flickr Creative Commons

Big businesses often oppose increased government regulations. But the Clean Power Plan—the Obama’s administration's attempt to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants—is drawing backers in the big box business world.

- 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.