OP-ED | The Eyes of the World are on Dayton and Ohio

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On September 18th, Joby Aviation from Santa Cruz, California announced by 2025 they will build the first full scale aircraft manufacturing facility in Dayton since Orville and Wilbur Wright established the first aircraft manufacturing facility in 1910. The Wright Company Factory located off of Rt. 35 in Dayton produced a total of 120 airplanes.  

Fast forward to 2023, Dayton will be the home to the future of flight with Joby Aviation manufacturing up to 500 planes a year, employing 2,000 people and making a $500 million investment at the Dayton International Airport. In October of 2022, JobsOhio announced that the Dayton region will be leading the future of electric vehicles with a $4.4 billion Honda/LG joint venture investment and 2,200 jobs in Fayette County and now Montgomery County will be the future of electric powered air travel. Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Husted and JobsOhio have carved a path for success and companies like Honda and Joby are sprinting down.

The manufacturing opportunity with Joby Aviation not only solidifies the region’s position in advanced aviation manufacturing, but it creates the opportunity for the entire region to succeed.   The Dayton area higher education community and manufacturing supply chains will have the opportunity to position themselves to support this unprecedented economic growth. We have a robust workforce, adaptable higher education institutions and amazing suppliers that have trained, evolved and retooled to be meet the changing needs of our business community. That same flexible spirit will evolve and change to meet with the needs of the future of manufacturing. It’s what we’ve always done and it’s what we will continue to do as a community. 

Our region knows well, that those who collaborate will succeed. Dayton has always worked well together and it is through these strategic partnerships that we are building an economic foundation for the future of our region. What has been inherent to our community is now being noticed outside of our region. Companies and employees want to be in a community that puts divisiveness aside and embraces collaborations and public-private solutions that support economic growth. This characteristic has been in the fabric of our community for decades and it is now an advantageous economic development tool that is attracting people and businesses to the Dayton region. Let’s continue to leverage the opportunity and do what we have always done best.   

The eyes of the world are on Dayton and Ohio. If you’re not looking, you’re missing out.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce