Here’s how foreign sales are driving opportunities for local businesses

Hadas Bar-Or, Dayton Region-Israel Trade Alliance representative, speaks to members of the Dayton Region Manufacturing Association in this 2014 file photo. FILE
Hadas Bar-Or, Dayton Region-Israel Trade Alliance representative, speaks to members of the Dayton Region Manufacturing Association in this 2014 file photo. FILE

Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance encouraging companies to explore options with Israel companies.

Doing business with Israel remains an opportunity for Miami Valley companies, the Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance (DRITA) is reminding local businesses.

Officials with the trade alliance talked about those opportunities on Wednesday with about 30 local companies in a Zoom meeting. The alliance was established in 2010 to form business relationships and boost trade between Dayton-area companies and Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Defense has become a prime focus.

Every year, that ministry buys more than $3 billion of products, in aerospace, software, advanced manufacturing and other areas, with an agreement between the United States and Israel requiring the latter nation to spend more than $2 billion with American companies.

The opportunity has paid off for Matt McGreevy, chief operating officer of Springfield’s Tool Tech LLC.

Manufacturer Tool Tech has secured a contract with Israeli defense manufacturer Ashot Ashkelon Industries, making it the first Miami Valley company to be awarded a contract with the Israeli defense company.

The Springfield company designs, builds and repairs metal stamping dies, tools, fixtures and machines.

DRITA reached out to manufacturers in the Dayton region, and Tool Tech responded, McGreevy said. “I looked at it and began the process of learning more. Over a period of months, one thing led to another," he said.

He declined to identify the components his business will make for Ashot, but he put the value of the contract at about $230,000, enough to “solidify” the continued employment of his workforce of 28 people and lead to the hiring of another worker, he said.

“Without the DRITA connection, there would no connection," McGreevy said. "They opened our eyes to it.”

Israeli defense partners need more than parts producers, he said.

“There’s probably more than component parts manufacturing, stuff that’s right up our alley," McGreevy said. "There are probably software, security. There are probably all types of things. I would strongly encourage any manufacturer in this area to pay attention and invest some time and energy to pursuing those opportunities.”

Ashot is a subsidiary of Israel Military Industries Ltd and describes itself as a supplier of “technologically advanced systems and components for the international aerospace, defense, automotive and other industries.”

Hadas Bar-Or, DRITA’s representative in Israel, said the door to greater trade is open. “Israel loves to collaborate with American companies because America is actually Israel’s largest export market," she said.

And for a small nation, it’s actually a “considerable market” when it comes to defense, she said. There are opportunities in medical technology, IT, unmanned aerial systems and other areas. DRITA can help Ohio companies find a “partner” who needs a U.S.-produced product or service.

Boris Manevitch, of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, said in the webinar that a percentage of Israel’s defense budget is devoted to business with foreign suppliers. The ministry buys everything from aircraft, automobiles, raw materials, chemicals, tanks and much more.

“We even purchase socks, if we can find specific socks,” he said.

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