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Local nonprofit's role in Honda EV battery plant


In October, Honda announced that a new electric vehicle (EV) battery plant is coming to Fayette County. Honda will also be retooling its plants in Logan and Shelby counties to support the new facility.

The companies’ $4.4 billion investment will bring around 2,500 jobs to the region.

Honda invested $700 million into the retooling of the existing plants, which is estimated to result in 300 new jobs. $3.5 billion is being invested with LG Energy Solutions to build the EV battery plant, resulting in around 2,200 jobs.

This would not have been possible without a local nonprofit: the Dayton Development Coalition.

Back in January, the DDC began helping a company with a site search. It was all business as usual, until they learned later who they were working with.

It was the multinational conglomerate Honda.

David Burrows, the vice president of engagement with the DDC, says it was immediately apparent how big of a deal this could be.

Honda employs around 12,000 people in Ohio, around 3,000 of whom live in the Dayton region.

The Coalition’s goal, he said, was to not only grow those numbers, but to retain Honda’s current employees.

“The first thing I knew I was thinking, and a couple of other folks on our team [were thinking], was we can’t screw this up,” Burrows said, chuckling.

So, the work began. The DDC worked with state, county, city, and town and village officials to figure out the specifics.

In the end, the DDC did their job and Honda chose Southwest Ohio.

It’s a location the nonporifcould see witness some growth because of Honda’s investment.

“We do think people will move there and work there knowing that Honda is a great employer and the benefits that it has in the region,” Burrows said.

The site the plant will be built on is near Interstate 71 and U.S. 35, a location which opens up markets in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Burrows said.

U.S. 35 has also seen recent expansions and updates, making the movement of people and goods in the area more efficient.

Construction on the new plant in Fayette County will begin in early 2023, and is expected to wrap up by the end of 2024.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.