Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation

City receives funding for alley enhancement

Local foundations award $70,000 to pedestrian project

AlleyProject-nolightsonpoles

Conceptual drawing, subject to change.

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 20, 2017 – Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz announced at a Tiffin City Council meeting tonight that the city has secured funding to move forward with a pedestrian alley enhancement project in downtown Tiffin.

The city received two grants, $40,087 from the Meshech Frost Charitable Trust and $30,000 from the National Machinery Foundation, which will cover nearly all costs associated with the project.

“Thanks to the support of our local charitable foundations, we are able to move forward with a project that will transform one of the most used alleys in our downtown into a beautiful, inviting, pedestrian-friendly walkway,” Montz said. “The project will create a safe, well-lit connection between parking and downtown amenities, for both residents and visitors.”

The alley to be enhanced is located across from the Ritz Theatre between City Parking Lot #3 and South Washington Street, adjacent to 33 and 45 South Washington Street. The alley will be closed to vehicular traffic, with removable bollards to allow utility vehicle access.

Improvements will include installation of six decorative poles to support overhead string lighting running the length of the alley, a decorative stamped asphalt surface, and benches, trash cans, planters, and bike racks. Detailed design items will be finalized this winter and construction beginning as early as this winter or early spring, with a target completion date before September 2018. Gas and electric utility work has already been completed.

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp.’s Downtown Design Committee chose the project from the Downtown Tiffin Strategic Growth & Development Plan, adopted by council in 2016, and has been working closely with the City Engineer’s department to plan and fund the project. The plan pinpoints several alleys for enhancement, which will be considered upon completion of the current project.

Seneca County projects total $108M in 2016

SIEDC announces new community branding and downtown programs

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 23, 2017 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation held its Annual Meeting Thursday night, recapping the successes of 2016 and expanding on its direction for 2017.

In 2016, SIEDC recorded 129 development projects throughout Seneca County, creating 227 new jobs and a total investment of $108 million. This earned the county a ranking of 10th in the nation among 576 communities of similar size for the second time in three years.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited about the momentum: “Tiffin is gaining attention as a community that welcomes new businesses and creates an environment where established businesses can confidently expand.” Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner agrees. “Each year we are seeing more development and expansion in all sectors throughout the County,” he said.

As part of further community promotion efforts, it was announced that Upward, an Ohio-based branding firm, has been chosen to create a community brand through a partnership between SIEDC, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, the City of Tiffin, and Seneca County. The firm was unanimously chosen from a pool of seven applicants by a steering committee of stakeholders. Details are expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.

“We are excited to solidify a recognizable identity for our community,” Chamber President John Detwiler said. “The time is right for a new community brand, one that unifies all of its unique parts.”

It was also announced that the Downtown Tiffin Main Street program, administered by SIEDC, was nationally accredited as a Main Street Community after an intensive review process. In December 2016, Tiffin became an Ohio Main Street Community through Heritage Ohio, recognized at the state level.

Finally, plans were also made public for a new city-funded downtown Alley Improvement Plan, in partnership with SIEDC’s downtown program. The new initiative will focus on the beautification of alleys with an aim toward improving pedestrian walkability. Improvements will be decided on a project by project basis and could include decorative asphalt, planters, seating, improved lighting and, in some cases, removable bollards closing the alley to vehicle traffic. The first project will be the alley across from the Ritz Theater, connecting South Washington St. to City Lot 3. Utility and design work has already begun and the project is slated for completion in 2018.

Mayor Montz believes the program will improve pedestrian safety and downtown accessibility. “With all of the exciting revitalization happening downtown we are seeing more foot traffic and a need for pedestrian-friendly alleyways to connect our parking lots to the main streets downtown,” he said.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

SIEDC awarded $4,500 AEP Ohio LEAP grant

INSIGHT logoGrant funds to assist in business retention and expansion

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 25, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) was awarded a $4,500 grant through the AEP Ohio 2015 Local Economic Advancement Program (LEAP) to assist with business retention and expansion program, INSIGHT.

Instituted in January 2015, the INSIGHT program is a collaboration between SIEDC, local Chambers of Commerce, workforce and training development professionals, and downtown and economic development organizations. The goal of the program is to contact 1,000 businesses in Seneca County, and assist them in job retention and expansion.

“In its first year, INSIGHT has already proven to be an important tool to help businesses expand and create new jobs. By approaching businesses in the early stages of possible projects, we are better able to assist them,” SIEDC Director of Development Karen Bowers said.

The INSIGHT team and outreach partners use Salesforce to input and share data. SIEDC applied for a LEAP grant to offset the cost of 10 Salesforce user licenses.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

David Zak steps down as SIEDC President & CEO

David ZakLocal leader to join Tiffin University in new position

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 24, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) announced today that its President & CEO David Zak is resigning from the public-private partnership effective September 11, 2015 to join Tiffin University as its new Vice President for University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED).

Zak will start in his new role on September 14, and the search for a new leader for SIEDC will begin within the next week or two.

Heidelberg University President and SIEDC Chair Rob Huntington praised David for his accomplishments and wished him well: “It is remarkable what David has accomplished at SIEDC in only 20 months. I admire his economic development expertise, strong communication skills, and community leadership savvy. We will surely miss him at the helm. At the same time, I’m confident that we won’t lose any steam. In addition, David will intensify Tiffin University’s involvement in local economic, community, and downtown development, and Heidelberg will also have another strong ally at Tiffin University, which can’t but strengthen the universities’ relationship.”

Zak was quick to praise his team, the board, and members of his organization for the community’s recent economic resurgence. “I feel my biggest contribution was to help develop one of the strongest economic, downtown, and community development teams in the country. Karen, Amy, Katie, and Bryce are amazing individuals, and I will truly miss working with them on a daily basis. Add to that an incredibly committed board of trustees, committees, and volunteers, and it’s no wonder so much has gotten done.

I am also incredibly proud of the increased commitment and ongoing support for this organization public officials and private business members have made. They are responsible for the success we’ve been seeing. People here care deeply about the future and are willing to invest and sacrifice to make it better. It’s one of the things that make Tiffin and Seneca County great.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was surprised by the news but enthusiastic about the future. “During my time as Mayor, David and SIEDC have been an ideal partner, helping to supercharge downtown, retail, and industrial development. Tiffin is on the move, and more than 1,000 new jobs and $100 million over the last three years is the result. We’re the strongest we’ve ever been financially and the future is as bright as ever. I don’t believe we’re losing David; I believe we’re gaining an incredible partner who is going to help take Tiffin University to a whole new level – and our community will benefit immensely from that. Full speed ahead.”

Zak intends to represent Tiffin University and be active on SIEDC’s and other local boards engaged in economic development, ensure the transition is smooth, and promises to work as part of SIEDC’s board to recruit the best economic development talent out there to take his place. “Tiffin University and I will also strengthen our support for SIEDC, and I will do everything in my power to ensure the momentum continues,” Zak added.

Seneca County Commissioner and SIEDC Executive Committee member Fred Zoeller also praised Zak’s broad-based approach. “Zak built bridges and strengthened relationships not only in Tiffin, but also with Fostoria and businesses throughout the entire county. His efforts and the efforts of SIEDC have made Seneca County a stronger and better place. I’m glad he’s staying here, and I also look forward to recruiting a new leader.”

Zak will be heading up Tiffin University’s Office of University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED), which expands the development office to include not only the traditional functions of institutional advancement, public relations, alumni relations, government relations, and marketing with leadership in local, regional and national economic development. One new area for the university will be the creation of national centers of excellence in technology and entrepreneurship that will help spur research, company formation, capital attraction, and job creation.

SIEDC Vice Chair Andy Felter, President & CEO of Webster Industries and a Tiffin University alumnus commented, “I believe strongly in SIEDC, in Tiffin University and in David Zak. This move is a no-lose scenario for the community, and I’m truly pleased we get to keep his talents here in Tiffin and Seneca County working to make it a better place. I wish him and TU nothing but the best. It’s an inspired choice.”

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

60+ businesses in local HR association

SCHRASeneca County Human Resource Association (SCHRA) was formed to provide professional development workshops, hear knowledgeable speakers, receive legislative updates, and networking opportunities to those professionals working in a variety of human resource capacities.

Past speakers include:

Monthly meetings are held throughout the year, generally in the Tiffin area, on the third Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. You can fill out the 2015 SCHRA membership form here.  For more information contact Beth Hannam at bhannam@terra.edu.

Participating businesses include:

Tiffin in top 10 nationally for economic development

I am very happy to be sending out this press release this morning:

Seneca County a top ten location in US for economic development

Tiffin’s seven projects with 210 new jobs ranks tenth out of 576 cities

2014_01 - Laminate Technologies Exterior - crop

Laminate Technologies is a US company headquartered in Tiffin that finished up a $2M expansion last year.

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 3, 2013 – The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Tiffin and Seneca County have placed in the top ten nationally on Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects. The rankings, which were released today (see press release), place Tiffin 10th on the list of 576 micropolitans, or counties with a central city between 10,000 and 50,000 in population. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

Although Tiffin and Seneca County consistently makes the top 100 and ranked 30th last year, this is the first time it has placed in the top 10. Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who just delivered the State of the City address on Tuesday night, was excited by the news: “This is just another example of how Tiffin is on the move.  Our positive momentum in industry, retail, education, and quality of life keeps building.”

Seneca County reached the top ten by registering seven major projects in 2013, involving the creation of 210 new jobs and $27 million in new investment. Eligible economic development projects must involve at least one of the following: the creation of 50 or more jobs, the construction of 20,000 square feet, and/or the investment of at least $1 million. The new or expanded facilities must also be in manufacturing, distribution, office, R&D, headquarters, or call centers.

One of the projects finished last year was a $2 million expansion by Laminate Technologies, a leading manufacturer of laminates to the kitchen cabinet, store fixture and furniture industries. Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller, who is also President & CEO of Laminate Technologies, said, “While I am pleased with the performance of all four of our plants around the country, with our Ohio facility and Tiffin workforce, we are able to do things that exceed the other plants.”

Joining Tiffin in the top 10 this year are Findlay and Fremont, making northwest Ohio the strongest region in the country for micropolitans. “We believe that northwest Ohio is getting some much deserved attention,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo. “It’s great to see Tiffin and Seneca County rise to the top nationally.”

Projects for announced, under construction or completed last year included the following:

Jobs

Investment

American Fine Sinter

$14,000,000

Ameriwood Industries

73

$2,000,000

Arnold Machine

10

$1,700,000

Jacobson Manufacturing

21

$2,000,000

Laminate Technologies

10

$2,000,000

Tiffin Metal Products

20

$2,000,000

Webster Industries

76

$3,000,000

Totals for 2013

210

$26,700,000

About the Seneca County Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC)

Established in 1983, SIEDC is a private, not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of attracting, retaining, and expanding business in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. It is also a partner of the northwest JobsOhio network, led by the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo.

Launch of new economic development newsletter

Seneca Success Mobile Monthly

Yesterday marked the official launch of the Seneca Success Mobile Monthly, a new electronic newsletter devoted to economic development and business resources for Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. This newsletter is available to anyone and everyone interested.

The Mobile Monthly will have four main features:

  • Commentary – I will provides some brief thoughts on a current topic or theme relevant to economic development.
  • Top Posts – this section will list the previous month’s five most popular blog posts from Seneca Success, a WordPress blog that highlights the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County.
  • In the News – this section will list five other stories from traditional and other media relevant, including the Advertiser-Tribune, the Fostoria Review Times, TiffinOhio.org, the Seneca News Daily, WTSC Seneca County Radio, 1430 WFOB, and others.
  • Featured Resources – every issue of the Mobile Monthly will feature five programs, people, or other resources that can help businesses grow and/or locate in our community. They will usually revolve around a particular theme.

If you missed our first issue (February 2014), you can catch it by clicking here.  You can sign up by clicking here, texting “SenecaSuccess” to 22828, or just let us know (commenting here, calling me at 419.912.1150, or emailing me at zak@senecacounty.org.