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Your Voice Ohio: Envision A More Vibrant Ohio

Jun 21, 2018

What do vibrant states and communities look like?

There’s something refreshing about watching a diverse group of people come together on a difficult issue, recognize their differences yet figure out where they agree on a course of action.

Journalists across Ohio watched that happen the last several months as we sat with hundreds of people who shared views on the addiction crisis and within two hours, in 11 different locations, arrive at similar solutions.

A pallet of Pampers at the Dayton Mixing Center.
Marci Rhodes / Procter & Gamble

Ohio is located within one day’s drive of more than half the country’s population. This fact is often touted by development officials looking to boost the state’s economic profile.

It’s also a favorite talking point among many Miami Valley business leaders, who say the proximity to interstate highways gives Dayton an edge in attracting new investment.

Amazon is planning to build a new fulfillment center in Central Ohio, bringing 1500 jobs to the area.

The online retailer announced plans to build the 855,000 square foot facility in West Jefferson, a village along I-70 between Springfield and Columbus. Employees will pack and ship merchandise including electronics, housewares, books and toys, according to Amazon.  

PUCO recently heard public testimony in Columbus on a proposed AEP Ohio rate-change proposal.
PUCO Instagram page

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is hosting public hearings this week on Dayton Power & Light’s application to boost electricity rates. The company applied to increase rates almost three years ago.

DP&L’s proposal would increase a mandatory fee on all customer electricity bills. 

Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr Creative Commons

Elder-Beerman executives have announced the company is going out of business, impacting hundreds of jobs in the Miami Valley.

A bankruptcy court hearing to approve the sale and wind-down of parent company Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. operations is scheduled for April 18, 2018. If the court approves the deal, a joint venture will acquire the inventory and certain other assets of the company. The Dayton Daily News reports all locations of the Midwest-based department store could close within 10 to 12 weeks. 

The number of African American-owned businesses has fallen sharply in Yellow Springs from its peak four decades ago. Only a handful remain in the village.
Jess Mador / WYSO

The number of African American-owned businesses has fallen sharply in Yellow Springs from its peak four decades ago. Only a handful remain in the village.

Antioch College History Professor Kevin McGruder credits some of the shift to rising college-graduation rates among many blacks in Yellow Springs.

"So, as black people have had access to more college they seek more opportunities and jobs they can get with those degrees than in opening up a store," McGruder says.

New Report Identifies Threats To Ohio Manufacturing

Mar 12, 2018
The former G.M. Moraine plant was the subject of an HBO documentary, "The Last Truck," about the workers who lost their jobs in 2008. Soon it could house hundreds of workers for Fuyao Glass America.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The number of manufacturing jobs in Ohio has slowly ticked up in recent months, but a new report finds several trends that could undermine the future of the industry. 

The report, by the left-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio, looks at 27 years of data on the state's manufacturing labor force. And its main message can be summed up like this: nice work, if you can get it.

Downtown Dayton's Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar hosts an event called the Perk-E-Lator to help would-be entrepreneurs hone their business ideas.
Jess Mador / WYSO

A century ago, Dayton helped drive the global economy with inventions that changed the world – think, the airplane, the cash register, pop-top cans, the self-starting engine. In our series Scratch, WYSO explores some of the people and ideas that could impact life and the economy in the Miami Valley and beyond. 

The series was inspired by a simple question: where is Dayton’s famous spirit of invention still alive and well in the Miami Valley? And, who benefits? 

Bessemer converter (iron into steel), Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp., Brackenridge, Pa.
Alfred T. Palmer - Wikimedia Commons

Ohio U.S. senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, are urging the federal Department of Commerce to step up an investigation into foreign steel imports.

 

Earlier this year, the agency opened an investigation into whether countries such as China and Russia were flooding the U.S. steel market with low-cost imports.

 

The investigation has reportedly stalled. And the Ohio lawmakers say low-cost imported steel is undercutting U.S. producers' profits.

 

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