LIMA — Allen County has a lot of potential for economic development, according to John Recker, a project manager with the Regional Growth Partnership and JobsOhio.
“Allen County has some strong industry clusters in automotive, advanced manufacturing, food processing and petro chemicals. These industries align with both regional and state targets,” Recker said Friday morning at a monthly Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
And strong existing industry in Allen County, like Kettle Creations and Husky Lima Refinery, encourages more companies to come in and develop here, Recker said. Other ways JobsOhio is hoping to bring in more business is by developing inventory of “shovel-ready sites” and attracting new businesses in targeted industries, like food processing and manufacturing.
Recker spoke with Chamber of Commerce members about how the regional focus of JobsOhio can benefit the area in the long run.
“I think one of the most important benefits for Lima and Allen County in this new structure are the additional resources offered locally by being part of a regional network,” Recker said.
Over the last few years, JobsOhio has established itself in focusing on regional needs, he said. Recker oversees seven northwest Ohio counties for JobsOhio: Allen, Putnam, Paulding, Van Wert, Hardin, Wyandott and Crawford.
In 2011, JobsOhio reported establishing 245 projects statewide and receiving an 89 percent return on investments. In 2012, 289 projects were established, with 88 percent return on investments.
The monthly meetings keep business leaders in the know, said Cindy Tenwalde, vice president with of Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce. She said the meetings have included government, business and anniversary speakers.
Other highlights of the meeting include Best Tire’s announcement of their new building on Hanthorne Road.