Site Selection

Seneca County ranks in Top 10 nationally for economic development

Site Selection Magazine March 2018Community earns third such ranking in five years

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 5, 2018 – The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Seneca County has again placed in the top ten nationally in Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects – placing tenth out of the 575 micropolitans in the US for the honor for the second year in a row. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

This is the sixth year in a row that the Tiffin-Seneca micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally and the fifth year for ranking in the top ten percent. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area. Six Seneca County projects qualified for Site Selection, including projects by American Fine Sinter, Treves, OCECO, Mennel Milling and an industrial speculative building in the Eagle Rock Business Park.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz praised the announcement. “The momentum continues, and businesses keep expanding, locating and starting up in our community. We are proud of this ranking.” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “Fostoria and Seneca County are demonstrating that we are a great place to do business.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner agreed: “We are establishing a track record of success that business finds attractive, and we look forward to more good things to come.”

This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance tying with Seneca County for tenth, and Toledo ranking seventh in its division. “Northwest Ohio continues to be an economic development powerhouse,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the RGP Northwest Ohio in Toledo, the regional economic development organization for Northwest Ohio. “We congratulate the Toledo metro area, Findlay, Defiance and Tiffin on their national success.”

A press release from Site Selection magazine and a list of rankings can be found here. More information can be found at siteselection.com.

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.

Seneca County in Top 10 for economic development in US

site-selection-magazine-march-2017Earns second such ranking in four years

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 2, 2017 – The Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) announced today that Seneca County has again placed in the top ten nationally on Site Selection Magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects – placing tenth out of the 576 micropolitans in the US for the honor. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

This is the sixth year in a row that the Tiffin micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally and the fifth year for ranking in the top ten percent. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area. Six Seneca County projects qualified for Site Selection, including expansions at Arnold Machine, Church and Dwight, Owens Corning, Tiffin Metal Products, Poet Energy, and Mennel Milling.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz cited partnership as a driver of economic development for the county. “Having the city, county and economic development organizations in sync plays a key role in keeping us at the top of development, expansion, investment and employment,” he said. Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “We are pleased with the economic development progress we see going on in Fostoria and in Seneca County. This is a great honor.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner agreed: “Throughout the county we are seeing record growth in all sectors. The climate for all business and overall quality of life improves with each addition.”

This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance tying with Seneca County for tenth, and Toledo ranking seventh in its division. “Northwest Ohio has built incredible momentum over the past few years,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo. “National recognition is a testament to the fact that the region is an excellent area to locate or expand a business and to the hard work of our partners in economic development as well as public officials.”

A press release from Site Selection magazine and a complete list of the top 100 micro- and metropolitans is can be found here and more information can be found at siteselection.com.

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.

“The Very Biggest Manufacturing Plant…in the World”

Front of BuildingIn the book An Odd Couple, author Charles Eisendrath provides the headlines from the February 13, 1907 Tiffin Advertiser, which made the announcement that Towner K. Webster  was moving his company Webster Industries from Chicago to Tiffin, Ohio:

“SECURED for Tiffin is the Very Biggest Manufacturing Plant of its Kind In This Country or in the World.”

Webster expanded the plant and got more headlines soon thereafter, and not much has changed since. The October 18, 2014 headlines in the Advertiser-Tribune read, “Webster expanding, adding local jobs.” Since Webster’s announcement of their $8+ million expansion plans, we thought it would be appropriate to provide a little backstory on this great company.

Their marketing tagline is “American materials, American labor and American pride.” Since 1876, Webster Industries has offered a wide range of products and expertise throughout many different markets. Founded by Towner K. Webster, Webster Industries initially opened in Chicago, Illinois in 1876, bringing to market his Common Sense Elevator Bucket. Webster Industries moved its headquarters to Tiffin, Ohio in 1907, where it still resides today. I find it very interesting that economic development was in full swing even back then. In the book, An Odd Couple, Charles Eisendrath sheds some light on the incentives offered at the time: Webster received an “offer of a free, 30-acre building site” from the “Tiffin Commercial Club,” the precursor to the Seneca Regional Chamber, which was founded in 1914 and led economic development until the creation of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) in 1983.

Since its beginning making and marketing the elevator bucket, Webster Industries has evolved its product offerings since opening its doors, becoming one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered class chains, commercial castings, and vibrating conveyors. Webster Industries’ Tiffin headquarters consists of over 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Webster Industries has also helped to Site Selection Magazine rank Tiffin and Seneca County in the top 10 for large, private economic development projects. Webster Industries provided support for the ranking by providing 76 new jobs to the local area and investment plans of $3,000,000. The most recent expansion is in addition to that, which demonstrates how fast the company is growing.

To give the public a chance to see how their products are actually used, the company sponsored an “Our Chain in Action” contest over the summer. The contest gave Webster customers “a chance to let loose their inner Steven Spielberg” by creating a video that highlighted the many features of Webster’s conveyor and steel chain products. The contest ran from mid-July to mid-August. The top videos can be found on the Webster Industries website and the manufacturer’s YouTube channel. One example of a use is Cedar Point’s Blue Streak roller coaster. The amusement park’s oldest coaster, uses a Webster chain to lift riders up a 78 foot hill, before descending 72 feet and reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour (see video below).

Seneca County in top 5% for economic development

1303CoverBIGWhen I was exploring various communities, something struck me about Tiffin and Seneca County – its economic development success. It’s a very well-kept secret, but it’s pretty amazing. There are 576 Micropolitan Statistical Areas (or “Micropolitans”) in the US, which are urban areas (counties) around a city of 10,000 to 49,999 in population–which is exactly what Seneca County, Ohio is.

Also, every year, these micropolitans compete for economic development bragging rights by sending in their large private investment projects to Site Selection Magazine. Site Selection then racks and stacks each micropolitan and releases in their March issue the top 100 (20%) nationally in terms of the number of projects. In order to qualify, a project must involve (a) 50 or more new employees, (b) 20,000 or more new square feet of space, or (c) $1 million in investment.

So, here’s the amazing part. For seven of the last ten years, Seneca County has ranked in the top 100 (the top 20%) across the country. And last year, it tied for 30th, putting it among the strongest 5% nationally. This is great news and is a testament to the county’s economic growth, the great businesses here, the community’s support of business, and the great job Rich Focht and Karen Bowers did at SIEDC (my organization). The table below is from the March 2013 edition of Site Selection, in particular the article on micropolitans.

The four projects for 2012 for Seneca County were as follows (source: Ohio’s Private Investment Survey 2012):

2012TopMicropolitans