Local companies win millions of dollars in defense contracts

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

            An F/A-18 Super Hornet performs at the Vectren Dayton Air Show in June. GE Aviation operations in Vandalia produce alternative generators for the fighter jet. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
            Ty Greenlees
An F/A-18 Super Hornet performs at the Vectren Dayton Air Show in June. GE Aviation operations in Vandalia produce alternative generators for the fighter jet. TY GREENLEES/STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

Two Dayton area defense contractors have landed millions of dollars in new work, according to the Department of Defense.

GE Aviation was awarded a $11.7 million contract to produce alternative generators at its Vandalia factory for the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet.

The facility employs about 350 workers, but no new jobs were expected under the contract. In recent years, however, the Vandalia location has added about 50 employees with a rise in commercial and military sales., according to company spokeswoman Jennifer Villarreal.

The Defense Logistics Agency awarded the sole source bid contract, which runs through November 2019. GE Aviation produces the 414 jet engines that power the fighter jet. The Navy flies the aircraft carrier-based plane.

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GE Aviation reported $26 billion in annual revenue last year with more than 45,000 employees at 80 sites worldwide, including 25,000 U.S. employees at 47 locations. The company has reported an industrial backlog of $150 billion.

Trimble Inc. won a $9.8 million Navy contract to produce laser leveling systems, Global Position Satellite systems, and Army road grader kits, among other items for the Marine Corps System Command in Quantico, Va., according to the Defense Department.

The contract runs through next March, part of an existing five-year deal reached in 2013. The construction grade and survey equipment is used on Army and Marine Corps heavy construction machines, such as road graders and bulldozers and scrapers, according to spokeswoman Lea Ann McNabb, a company spokeswoman.

Trimble employs more than 475 employees in Dayton, she said.

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Trimble reported nearly $2.4 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2016 and has more than 20 U.S. locations and operates in 35 countries, according to its website. The company is located at 5475 Kellenburger Road, Dayton.

Manufacturing wins help push Ohio jobless rate down

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8:40 AM

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Gains in manufacturing jobs helped push Ohio’s unemployment rate down a tick last month, to 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent the month before.

Ohio’s non-agricultural wage and salary jobs increased by 2,500 over the month, from a revised 5,539,700 in November to 5,542,200 in December 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Friday.

Some of the biggest gains were in goods-producing industries, at 919,500 people employed, growing 1,200 over the month as gains in manufacturing (3,500 new jobs) outweighed losses in construction (1,700 fewer jobs) and mining and logging (-600), the state said.

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The number of workers unemployed in Ohio fell in December to 270,000, down 9,000 from November. The number of unemployed has decreased by 14,000 in the past year from 284,000.

The December unemployment rate for Ohio also fell from 5 percent in December 2016.

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But the state’s jobless rate is still higher than the national number. The U.S. unemployment rate for December was 4.1 percent, unchanged from November, and down from 4.7 percent in December last year.

Ohio’s private service-providing sector, at 3,855,800, gained 600 jobs, the state said.

Employment gains were also seen in leisure and hospitality (2,200 added jobs), financial activities (+1,600), and educational and health services (+800 jobs).

Meanwhile, there were losses in professional and business services (-3,500) and trade, transportation, and utilities (-500).

Information and other services had no change over the month. Government employment, at 766,900, increased 700. Gains in state government (+1,900) outweighed losses in local (-1,100) and federal (-100) government.

Gander Mountain stores to reopen under new name

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:46 AM

This comes just after Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy.

Gander Outdoors, formerly known as Gander Mountain, announced an initial list of retail stores that are scheduled to open in 2018.

Camping World Holdings Inc. was chosen as the winning bidder at a bankruptcy auction for certain acquired assets of Gander Mountain and the sale was approved in a bankruptcy court hearing in May 2017. Dozens of Gander Mountain stores closed after the company filed bankruptcy, including on location in Huber Heights. The Dayton Daily News was the first new organizations to report in June that the store, located at 8001 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights, would close.

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In early January, Camping World announced it is beginning to reopen many of the Gander Outdoors stores to serve customers. Following months of negotiations and remodeling existing locations, the company plans to open 69 locations by May 2018.

No local stores will reopen this spring, but Gander Mountains is currently “pursuing more locations for expansion and expects to announce additional locations and markets in the near term.” Two stores in Ohio — in Mentor and Niles — will reopen by May.

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“It was important to me to bring Gander Outdoors back to many wonderful communities across the country because the employees are top notch and the stores provide great products and services for the community,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman of Camping World Holdings.

The following locations will reopen under the new Gander Outdoors brand:

1. Florence, AL

2. Opelika, AL

3. Parker, CO

4. Ocala, FL

5. Pensacola, FL

6. St. Augustine, FL

7. Tampa, FL

8. Albany, GA

9. Cedar Rapids, IA

10. O’Fallon, IL

11. Peoria, IL

12. Rockford, IL

13. Springfield, IL

14. Ft. Wayne, IN

15. Greenfield, IN

16. Indianapolis (Castleton), IN

17. Wichita, KS

18. Bowling Green, KY

19. Paducah, KY

20. Coldwater, MI

21. Flint, MI

22. Kalamazoo, MI

23. Marquette, MI

24. Port Huron, MI

25. Saginaw, MI

26. Traverse City, MI

27. Utica, MI

28. Baxter, MN

29. Bemidji, MN

30. Forest Lake, MN

31. Hermantown (Duluth), MN

32. Lakeville, MN

33. Chesterfield, MO

34. Fayetteville, NC

35. Gastonia, NC

36. Greensboro, NC

37. Monroe, NC

38. Mooresville, NC

39. Winston-Salem, NC

40. Kingston, NY

41. Syracuse, NY

42. Tonawanda, NY

43. Mentor, OH

44. Niles, OH

45. Chambersburg, PA

46. Greensburg, PA

47. Johnstown, PA

48. Scranton, PA

49. Williamsport, PA

50. York, PA

51. N. Charleston, SC

52. Jackson, TN

53. Amarillo, TX

54. Ft. Worth, TX

55. Spring, TX

56. Tyler, TX

57. Fredericksburg, VA

58. Roanoke, VA

59. Appleton, WI

60. Baraboo, WI

61. Deforest (Madison), WI

62. Eau Claire, WI

63. Green Bay, WI

64. Janesville, WI

65. Kenosha, WI

66. Onalaska (Lacrosse), WI

67. Sheboygan, WI

68. Waukesha, WI

69. Wausau (Rothschild), WI


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Kroger to celebrate Fiona the Hippo’s first birthday with special items

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 8:27 AM

Fiona the hippo explores the outdoor habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona the Hippo is turning 1 year old and Kroger wants to help you celebrate her big day.

Kroger stores in Cincinnati and Dayton will help celebrate Fiona’s first birthday with a fun, floral bouquet and cookies beginning on Jan. 17. Approximately $1 of the $9.99 price of the Fiona Birthday bouquet will go to support the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. The bouquet features a picture tag of the famous hippo.

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Fiona, the baby hippopotamus, captivated the hearts and attention of people across the world after she was born six weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo last year. She is the smallest hippo ever to survive, and now she weighs more than 600 pounds.

“We wanted to do a fun bouquet for her and it just seemed perfect to do this for her birthday. We worked with the Cincinnati Zoo for information and official Fiona pictures,” said Margaret McClure, vice president of merchandising, Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division. “We also went through several different bouquet ‘recipes’ before deciding on the perfect mix to showcase Fiona’s fun personality.”

Single-packaged Busken cookies with Fiona picture will also be sold at Kroger stores for $2.99 with .50 cents going to the Zoo. The bouquet and cookie will be available while supplies last.


• In another blow for Elder-Beerman, Bon-Ton posts holiday sales decline

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• German grocery chain Lidl halts plans to open local store

• At Home store to open in Dayton area this month

Judges: Good Samaritan closing adds to shortage of mental health care

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

            The closing of Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton will affect mental healthcare in Montgomery County, judges say. STAFF/FILE
The closing of Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton will affect mental healthcare in Montgomery County, judges say. STAFF/FILE

The closing of Dayton’s Good Samaritan Hospital will impact already under-served mental health patients, according to county judges who on Thursday celebrated the launch of a mental health specialty docket.

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“It seems inescapable to me that when you close a major health facility like Good Samaritan, it cannot do anything but negatively impact the health needs, including mental health needs, of the community that they serve that’s proximate to that hospital,” said Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof.

“From the standpoint of a judge in Montgomery County, the mental health services that are available to our citizens — and particularly the least among us, those in the greatest need because of their financial circumstances — we need more mental health facilities, not less.”

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Premier Health announced Wednesday that Good Samaritan Hospital in northwest Dayton will close by the end of the year.

For Judge Gregory Singer, who will oversee the mental health docket beginning next month, the closing affected him personally and professionally.

“It strikes me very poignantly that three my of my many siblings were born at Good Samaritan Hospital,” Singer said. “All three of my children were born at Good Samaritan Hospital and so that closing is personally impactful to me.”

Professionally, Singer said Good Sam’s closing compounds the effect of the closing of a behavioral health location.

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“We regret it for reasons having to do with on the heels of Day-Mont West closing and now a primary health facility in the neighborhood I grew up in now closing as well, it’s impactful,” Singer said.

“As we mentioned today, we need to go to where these folks are and they are in the Dayton View area as well as other places,” he added. “While we certainly understand Premier’s decision, we’re hopeful that some kind of a health facility will move in much like it has with St. Elizabeth.”

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice has often said that Dayton’s mental health professionals are first-rate, but there just aren’t enough of them.

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Dankof said his personal experience matches that characterization.

“I would agree with Judge Rice, we’ve got the quality of care. We don’t have the quantity of care,” Dankof said. “And it is also sadly true that the largest mental health facility in Montgomery County is our jail. And everyone knows it. Not everybody is willing to admit it. It’s true.

“It’s just wrong on so many levels. And we really need, as people of good will, to do something about that.”