Guest Column

Coalition seeks to recruit expand and retain jobs in the Dayton region

We have a simple, straightforward mission at the Dayton Development Coalition: To recruit, expand and retain jobs in the Dayton region. While it’s easy for us to look at the job numbers as a guide to our local economy, new jobs only tell part of the story.

Years of hard work, planning and collaboration do result in economic growth. Many of the areas where the region is thriving right now, or where there’s great potential, are supported by strong partnership between the Dayton Development Coalition and other groups. Cyber and UAS are two great examples. The preservation of GM’s old Moraine Assembly is another. The region’s steadfast advocacy for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base helps preserve more than $4 billion in economic impact. The job growth we see now represents years of work building a strong foundation to support local industries and creating a strong plan for growth.

When companies commit to Dayton they really mean it. They find the resources they need to stay in the region and grow. We see it over and over. A company comes to the region, or an existing business expands, and in a few years they’re ready to add more jobs. Whirlpool, Speedway, CareSource, Fuyao, Airstream and others provide a strong foundation for our local job growth.

We’re learning new names for old places. Fuyao, Tenneco, Topre, G3, Tech Town and CareSource have replaced names like GM, Delphi and others. NCR’s former headquarters is home to an entire community of innovative companies, from start-ups to global firms like Emerson and GE. Large or small, they have leveraged their connection to the University of Dayton and our region to find new ways to collaborate and drive scientific discovery.
The Dayton Region continues to compete on a global stage and win. The Dayton Development Coalition and our partners work every day to show companies we have the resources to support local businesses into the future. It’s a case we make every day, both to new companies and businesses with deep ties to our region. The rest of the country is taking notice, with the Dayton region earning accolades from national magazines for embodying “The Best Rebirth of the American Dream,” to 11 consecutive years in the top 10 for job growth among cities of our size, to being recognized as one of 10 “Great American Defense Communities.”

Dayton start-ups are taking off. In the last two years, the Dayton Development Coalition’s Accelerant fund has seen growth in the number of viable start-ups seeking advice and funding, as well as several successful companies returning for additional investment. Collaborative spaces such as the new partnership between the U.S. Air Force Research Lab and Wright Brothers Institute at 444 E. Second St. point to a bright future for local entrepreneurs.

The Dayton Development Coalition never works alone. We have dozens of hard-working economic development partners throughout the region, from local governments, to private economic development groups, chambers of commerce and utilities. No one economic development entity has the power to generate the momentum necessary to lift an entire region. We need your support, your partnership and your investment in our community. 

Jeff Hoagland is the president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, the leading economic development organization for the 14-county Dayton region. Working closely with public and private regional partners, its mission is to recruit, expand and retain jobs in the Dayton region.