This helicopter was one of two aircraft to circle the Van Wert Super Site on Thursday afternoon. In the choppers were manufacturing site experts who took a look at several sites in northwest Ohio. The tour was part of a coordinated effort through the Regional Growth Partnership, a partner with JobsOhio. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT - During a sunny Thursday afternoon, two helicopters circled an area on the north side of Van Wert. The aircraft held nine people who are experts in site selection from major metropolitan areas who took a look at the Van Wert Super Site from above.The fly-over was part of a three-day event for site selectors and consultants put on by the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), the Northwest Ohio Network partner to Jobs Ohio. The invited guests come from cities like Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Atlanta.
Van Wert County Economic Development Director Cindy Leis reported, "On the first day, they visited with CEOs of some Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies like Owens-Illinois, Dana, and Marathon trying to understand why large corporations invest in Ohio and stay in Ohio."
Day two of the even was Thursday, and the site selectors departed in two choppers looking at new development sites around the region, including sites in North Baltimore, Lima, and Van Wert. On the final day, the attendees will be near Sandusky, at a private reception.
As part of the RGP, Leis said she will receive feedback about the site from those who had a birds-eye-view of the 1,600-acre manufacturing site, which is in the midst of some improvements to bring a rail line and utilities to the site.
"Ohio is trying to do things different in an effort to attract new business to the state, and this is an example of selling assets of a community and the business culture to prove Ohio is the best place to do business," stated Leis. "We're coming to a time now where things are probably going to start happening with the Mega Site. It's been a long five years of development, getting the grants, developing the infrastructure of the property. Now once the rail spur is finished this year, this site is going to get a lot more attention."