Economic Development Update: Main Focus is on Manufacturing

Economic Development Update: Main Focus is on Manufacturing Main Photo

1 Nov 2023

EATON — Preble County Development Partnership Economic Development Director Justin Sommer provided a quarterly update to county commissioners during a Wednesday, Oct. 18, meeting.

“October is Manufacturing Month, so I provided you have a report that we’re able to pull out of our data tool that highlights some information related to manufacturing in the county,” Sommer continued his report. “There’s a reason that we spend so much time talking about it and focused on it through economic development activities. Just a couple of highlights out of that report: manufacturing represents about 4,300 people employed in Preble County. That is about 33 percent of the total employment in Preble County, so far and away the largest industry sector within the county.

“That’s an increase in employment of about four and a half percent over the last 10 years,” Sommer said. “The nation saw an increase of less than 1 percent. So, again, our activities in trying to retain and attract new manufacturing into the county have been successful.”

He continued, “Average wages in manufacturing are almost $60,000 a year compared to average wages for all other industries in the county, which are just under $50,000. So, manufacturing pays about 30 percent more than the average wage in Preble County. And then manufacturing accounted for over 40 percent of the gross domestic product in the county. So when you think about a strong economy, attracting new dollars into our economy, manufacturing does that at about four times the rate as it does in the nation. It’s a huge concentration for us. We’ll continue to focus efforts on growing and retaining manufacturing in Preble County.”