When a local business organization leader hears feedback about economic development opportunities in Wapakoneta, executives and realtors from other parts of the country and the world comment about the readiness of the 471-acre Job Ready Sites manufacturing site.
“The most recent comments we have heard are they are pleased with our readiness,” Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council Executive Director Greg Myers said. “When they (commercial realtors and business executives) come to Wapakoneta, they talk about how this site really is shovel ready — not like some other sites that they have visited that promote themselves as being ready — we are. They can start building tomorrow because utilities and other amenities are already extended to the site.”
Myers said the current economic conditions — such as the dollar’s value against foreign currency and the price of fuel — make locating manufacturing plants in the United States more advantageous than in the last couple of decades.
“At the present time, the cost of doing business is actually less expensive in the United States than in other countries,” Myers said. “It is just a matter of economics.
“Another factor is the birth rate is better in the United States than in Europe and Japan so there is a more readily available work force,” he said. “Quite simply, we need to be doing more production in the United States.”
With economic factors and demographics falling in favor of the United States and Wapakoneta, Myers said he has already made contact with C.B. Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial realtor and who is under contract to the city, to discuss the positives of the region to some of their executives.
“We are setting up a teleconference with six of their foreign desks,” Myers said, noting he will be discussing the advantages of locating plants in Wapakoneta with executives in Asia, India, Europe and South America. “We are trying to make sure their foreign executives know about Wapakoneta and are comfortable with what we have to offer so they can discuss it with potential clients.
“I think this is a good chance to talk about Wapakoneta on a one-on-one basis with some of the top executives and realtors in the world,” he said.