Nearly $1B of capital investment marked a record for Dayton region

5:00 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 Business
A panel at the Dayton Development Coalition’s annual meeting early in 2017 at the Schuster Center. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

The Dayton region saw record capital investment of nearly $1 billion in 2017 and saw the average pay for JobsOhio-related projects climb some $10,000 since 2016, the Dayton Development Coalition said Wednesday at its 2017 annual meeting.

“Connect, innovate, grow gets to the heart of what we do,” Jeff Hoagland, coalition president and chief executive, said in remarks shared before the meeting. “Our ability to collaborate sets us apart, and those connections drive the discoveries that lead to economic growth and vitality across the region.”

The coalition is the regional arm of Jobs Ohio, the state’s private development corporation, in west Central Ohio.

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Overall, the coalition hailed more than 2,000 new jobs committed to the Dayton area in 2017, as well as the protection of more than 10,200 existing jobs.

The jobs committed represent an annual payroll of more than $112 million and capital investment of nearly $950 million across 37 projects won, according to figures from the coalition.

San Diego-based spinal technology company NuVasive is a recent success story for the coalition, having fully opened a manufacturing center with 200 jobs in West Carrollton last year.

Stephen Rozow, a NuVasive executive vice president, said the company could have chosen Dallas or other locales for its center. 

What “tipped” the decision in Dayton’s favor, though, was a low cost of living, a “huge” manufacturing base, surrounding universities and a low risk of “natural disasters.”

“We’ve not been let down by coming here,” Rozow said at the annual meeting. 

“It’s a Goldilocks thing,” Joe D’Silva, founder and CEO of biotech firm P&C Pharma, said of the Dayton area. “It’s not too large and it’s not too small ... You don’t have to drive an hour to get somewhere.”

The biggest projects of 2017 included Silfex Inc.’s plan to bring 400 jobs to Springfield, 300 new jobs by Pratt Paper going to Wapakoneta, Hematite Inc.’s 100 new jobs in Englewood, among others.

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The coalition’s Accelerant Venture Capital Fund also invested in five new companies last year, bringing the total number of investments to 12, the coalition said. Accelerant investments helped generate an additional 60 cents in additional investments for each dollar the fund invested in Dayton-area start-ups, according to the coalition.

The coalition also presented Midmark Corp. Chair Anne Eiting Klamar with its Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award.

The annual award is named for Maureen Patterson, who served for years with the coalition and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

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“Our honoree this year has been a force for good in the Dayton region for more than 20 years,” said Central State University President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. “As a physician, an executive, and volunteer, she has been a powerful advocate for our region, and for bringing health care to those who would otherwise have no access.”