Lima-Allen County is a shining example of how a community can come together to successfully address workforce improvement and economic development needs through innovative partnerships between economic development, business and education. Having the 130th General Assembly convene here today is proof that our quality workforce is critical to continued job growth and the success of Ohio.
The addition of thousands of local jobs and a significant drop in the local unemployment rate are positive reflections of Ohio’s strong economic resurgence and the continued need to align the requirements of job creators with training opportunities.
In the past students were encouraged to get an education then decide upon a career. In Lima-Allen County, our philosophy has certainly evolved. As a part of our strong and continued alliances with business and education, together we are identifying where the short-term and long-term employment needs are and providing students with the skills-training they need for those jobs currently going unfilled. Career technical schools and area colleges and universities are collaborating in ways they’ve never partnered before. They are responding quickly to what businesses need in Allen County and are preparing for the potential needs of new business and industry. The level of cooperation you will find here is difficult to find anywhere else.
Lima-Allen County is home to some of the most advanced technologies and manufacturing processes in the world. In fact, some of these technologies are only being implemented here. Ford, Procter & Gamble, MetoKote, American Trim, General Dynamics, Husky Energy, Potash, Ineos and DTR Industries are a few examples of global companies investing and employing locally. This is possible because we have an experienced and talented workforce, strong infrastructure and stable and affordable utilities.
For years, Lima was known as the crossroads for passenger trains. Now we are the regional hub for health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail and education. We have shovel-ready industrial parks in place with utilities and the capability to expand. That’s in large part due to successful public and private partnerships. It is by working together that Lima-Allen County has made tremendous strides in all sectors of our economy.
Whether it’s new business or existing business looking to grow, Lima-Allen County provides companies with the infrastructure they need for success. We are strategically located along Interstate 75 and U.S. 30 with immediate access to transportation such as highways and rail. Lima-Allen County is within 600 miles of 61 percent of the U.S. population, 72 percent of the U.S. purchasing power, 70 percent of North American manufacturing and 80% of corporate headquarters. This makes Lima an ideal location to get products out quickly and is appealing to new as well as existing industry.
The Allen Economic Development Group, Allen County Commissioners and the Visionaries have established a long-term strategic plan for the organization; ensuring continued economic development growth.
The organization will continue dedicating itself to attracting new business and growing existing business throughout the region, working closely with city, township and county officials to coordinate economic development activities, and diligently forging strong partnerships with regional and state agencies, business and education.
There are enormous opportunities right now in our community. We are two cities, eight villages and 12 townships. It’s our obligation to continue to work together to engage and excite students about the opportunities so they will continue on with their education or skills training and to continue our heritage of “Lima-Allen County, Real American Strength”.