Two years after Fuyao Glass America announced it would turn an abandoned factory in Moraine, Ohio, into the world’s largest glass production facility, the company is still making headlines.
In June 2016, Fuyao announced it would lease an additional 240,000 square feet at its site in Moraine, bringing its total footprint to 2 million square feet. Total employment at the site is expected to reach more than 2,000.
Where Fuyao's growing facility now sits has been a manufacturing hub for nearly 100 years, producing refrigerators, trucks, and now automotive glass. As talk about the site shifts from the past to its bright future, we know the Dayton region has the tools in place to help create another success story.
Fuyao's investment in Ohio highlights all of our regional strengths: our strong tradition of collaboration, our growing international community, our skilled manufacturing workforce, and Ohio’s logistical advantage.
When GM announced it would shut down its Moraine facility in 2009, the community grieved, but it also took action. The City of Moraine and its regional community partners came together to support employees as the factory was shuttered to keep the site intact for future development. Our federal legislative delegation strongly encouraged GM to keep the site intact, providing a valuable voice in support of redevelopment.
The community relied on these same established partnerships when JobsOhio first brought Fuyao to look at the region in 2013. The coordination needed among local economic development partners to support redevelopment of the site and surrounding infrastructure, recruit employees, and begin operations highlights the region’s collaborative spirit. The help of JobsOhio, Montgomery County, Moraine and other partners provided critical support helping Fuyao select Ohio for investment, which has swelled to $400 million, with an anticipated $100 million in payroll.
Today about 20 trucks a day move glass out of the plant. That number will grow to 150 by 2018. The number of contractors working on the site has at times, nearly eclipsed the number of direct Fuyao employees to keep pace with these production goals. To help build a custom talent pool, Sinclair Community College has collaborated with Fuyao to create a workforce recruitment and training program that serves as a model for other companies seeking to quickly ramp up a large workforce.
Fuyao’s vision challenged Moraine and the Dayton region to show they had the ability to support such an ambitious project. We needed the workforce to bring the manufacturing lines to life, as well as the resources to rebuild a massive industrial site. A direct supplier to Fuyao has moved near the site, as have several restaurants and other businesses. Fuyao’s investment has breathed new life into the surrounding community. Our ability to respond quickly with effective solutions to help Fuyao revitalize our region is why we're pleased to be part of its continued success in the Dayton region of Ohio.
Jeff Hoagland is the President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, JobsOhio’s partner for the 12-county Western Region of Ohio.