Shovel-ready, job ready

Along I-75 and County Road 25A sits a 476-acre parcel of land which can be subdivided into shovel ready sites ranging from 40 to 400 acre plots.

This large piece of land is a Ohio Certified Job Ready Site (JRS), which means the land is ready to be built on by any interested industrial companies. The area is known as the West Central Ohio Industrial Center (WCOIC).

According to Greg Myers, director of the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council, Ohio created the JRS program in 2005 with the objective of creating large, fully developed industrial sites that could be provided to companies or to site consulting firms that are representing companies. These sites have been improved, analyzed, made ready for transportation like rail access and they are ready. They are not theoretical sites, they are currently certified JRS.

“My job was to create that site and get a grant application approved to be able to get the capital dollars necessary to do what was required,” Myers said. “Then follow through with all of the certification standards and get the site certified by a third party consulting firm on behalf of the state.”

So in 2008, that was completed and the site became certified.

“Between what the city has invested historically, the $2.5 million in grant dollars we’ve received from the state, the site is shovel ready,” Myers said. “Shortly there after it was certified by CSX select site, so it has dual certification as an Ohio Job Ready Site and as a CSX select site.”

With a JRS, the first point of contact for Auglaize County is through the JobsOhio organization, which is the new privatized approach to economic development that Governor Kasich put in place.

“It has a central office in Columbus and then it has six regional partner offices around the state,” Myers said. “We’re aligned with Dayton, Auglaize County is part of the Dayton Development Coalition, which is called JobsOhio West.”

For the full story, see the Saturday, April 12 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.