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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.

RELATED: Dayton defense firm plans to double headquarters jobs in move to Miamisburg

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.

RELATED: Air Force testing light-attack plane

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.

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Manufacturer to open $21 million plant in Dayton, add 50 jobs

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 10:31 AM


A plastic packaging manufacturer plans to hire 50 people by April for a new plant by the Dayton International Airport.

Alpla, an international manufacturer that makes plastic packaging, said in a statement this morning that it will spend $21 million on the new plant next to the airport.

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The plant will take 154,000 square feet of a West National Road warehouse built by NorthPoint Development.

“We are quite pleased to join the Dayton business community, and look forward to working with local leaders as we build our team and optimally develop plans for growth in the area,” stated Philipp Lehner, regional manager of Alpla’s North American operations.

The plant is part of a surge of new industrial development around the Dayton airport and the Interstate 70-75 interchange.

NorthPoint, a Kansas City developer, built the 570,000-square-foot industrial warehouse north of U.S. 40 near Concorde Drive for Spectrum Brands, which produces STP automotive products.

Alpla will be one of the tenants in a second building by NorthPoint that’s still under construction. That $31 million building will be 524,160 square feet facility and next to Spectrum.

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Terry Slaybaugh, director of the Dayton International Airport, said that it is positive to see companies not only using the new buildings by the airport for warehousing but also for manufacturing operations that require a skilled workforce.

“That’s what has been surprising an exciting so far is that we are seeing traditional manufacturing going into these buildings,” he said.

There’s also a third building planned by NorthPoint, which will be on the northwest side of the airport. That building will be 453,000 square feet and Slaybaugh said a tenant that hasn’t been announced has plans to take up about 348,000 square feet.

On Monday, the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority, which gives incentives for real estate projects, approved the sale of $14 million to $17 million in bonds to help with the construction costs of the second building.

Alpla will be hiring for jobs including process and maintenance technicians, machine operators, packers, forklift drivers, and quality technicians.

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The manufacturer said it would be meeting with “soon meet with partners at local technical schools and the State’s workforce development offices.”

The company stated that interviews and career fairs will be held June 12-14 and will soon announce the location of where the recruiting events will be held.

The 63-year-old company, based in Austria, said it is one of the leading companies in plastic packaging.

The manufacturer has around 19,000 employees that make custom-made packaging systems, bottles, closures and molded parts. It has operations at at 176 sites in 45 countries, including a plant near Lima.

Alpla’s packaging is used for food and drinks, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning agents, engine oils and lubricants.

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Cornerstone of Centerville restaurant building sold

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Core Life Eatery offers vegan-friendly, “clean-eating” options. The idea is to create your own bowls of grains and vegetables. FILE
Core Life Eatery offers vegan-friendly, “clean-eating” options. The idea is to create your own bowls of grains and vegetables. FILE

The new Core Life Eatery real estate property in Sugarcreek Twp. sold earlier this month for $1.9 million, Greene County property records show.

RELATED: How is Cornerstone snagging so many restaurant chains new to Dayton?

The buyers are Jimmy and Jennifer Baker, co-trustees of the Jimmy L. Baker and Jennifer L. Baker Joint Revocable Living Trust, records show. The sale was recorded May 7.

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The building at 5201 Cornerstone North Blvd., in the Cornerstone of Centerville, development opened in November.

The 3,600-square-foot freestanding restaurant was the first Dayton-area location for the vegan-friendly, fast-casual restaurant chain that offers what it calls “clean-eating” options. It is located off Wilmington Pike adjacent to Costco Wholesale and Shoppes III at Cornerstone.

RELATED: 4 of the most delicious (and healthy) bowls from the new CoreLife Eatery

The CoreLife Eatery opened with about 45 employees. 

The restaurant itself continues to operate. 

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Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 7:34 AM

Employees Say This Company Has the Best Pay and Benefits According to an Indeed report, That company is Costco Employees were more than satisfied with benefits like An employee wrote on Indeed’s website Indeed reviewed employee feedback 2. Kaiser Permanente 3. Verizon 4. FedEx Express 5. Apple

The hottest job in America may be one you've never heard of, but demand for people who can fulfill the roll is very high – as is its starting pay.

If you're qualified to be a data scientist, according to Bloomberg, you may find companies fighting for your services.

Andrew Gardner, a senior machine learning manager in Atlanta at Symantec Corp., an IT security firm, works to fill roles at the company but told Bloomberg he's frequently contacted by other firms who try to hire him away. In an effort to compete for data scientists, Gardner finds that he needs to offer more perks, such as the ability to telecommute.

As if that wasn't enough, data scientist was also recently named the "sexiest job of the 21st century" by Harvard Business Review.

The term data scientist was coined fairly recently, but it's already become an extremely popular job.

Job postings for this career rose 75 percent from January 2015 to January 2018 on, according to Bloomberg. Searches for data scientist jobs increased by 65 percent.

What data scientists do

This might be one of those job titles you hear and think, "OK, but what does this person actually do?"

As we're flooded with data in today's world, the challenge lies in how to best utilize that information. Data scientists, according to Forbes, use statistics and modeling to convert data in a way that helps organizations and companies do everything from developing products to retaining customers.

In practical terms, Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. gave Cornell University data that was scrubbed of personally identifiable information with the goal of determining how customers prioritized paying bills. The company wanted to know whether people placed a high priority on paying a mortgage, car payment or cell phone bill. Data scientists helped them mine and convert that data.

Data scientists can also be involved in a growing specialty known as "sentiment analysis," or finding a way to quantify how many tweets are praising your company versus complaining about it.

Expected pay

Even entry-level data scientists can expect to make six-figure salaries. The average salary for beginners in this field is $115,785 a year, according to The average pay for senior data scientists is $141,257 per year.

Some data scientists who have Ph.D.s can earn as much as $300,000 or more.

Skills you need

Data scientists need technical, analytical and presentation skills, including the following:

  • Ability to program
  • Intense curiosity
  • Scientific background
  • Understanding of statistics and applied mathematics
  • Ability to design experiments to test hypotheses
  • Computational and analytical skills
  • Ability to communicate findings through visualizations and stories

Education and experience

Becoming a data scientist requires a good bit of education and practical experience. The following are some common pathways to landing a position:

Complete a degree – Majors such as statistics, mathematics, economics, operations research or computer science can be helpful.

Enroll in a master's program – Georgia State University and Georgia Tech offer Master of Science in Analytics programs.

Consider a doctorate – Kennesaw State University offers a Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science.

Utilize MOOCs (massive open online courses) – Coursera, for example, has a 10-course data science series from Johns Hopkins University.

Participate in a boot camp – These accelerated learning programs have projects built into the experience. Georgia Tech's Data Science and Analytics Boot Camp is a 24-week, part-time program with evening and weekend hours, so you can enroll even if you're employed or in school.


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Sears to close 40 more locations: Is the end near?

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 9:20 AM


Sears is going to close another 40 stores this summer on top of the 166 locations announced earlier this year.

The locations include Sears and Kmart stores in Ohio, but not in the Dayton region, according to Business Insider.

The company closed more than 100 stores in March and April, which included 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears locations, many of which were located in malls. Last year, the retailer also closed down about 250 stores.

Sears has several locations in the Miami Valley, including anchor stores at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons and the Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua. All local Kmart stores have already closed.

Sears Holdings Corp. announced last week that a special committee of its board of directors will explore the sale of its Kenmore brand and related assets, the Sears Home Improvement Products business of the Sears Home Services division and the Parts Direct business of the Sears Home Services division.

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The company has said that the board received a letter from ESL Investments, Inc. (“ESL”) expressing interest in buying all or a portion of what Sears is calling its “sale assets.”

“The board established the special committee, which consists solely of independent directors, to evaluate ESL’s proposal, to actively solicit third-party interest in the sale assets, and to explore any other alternatives with respect to the sale assets that may maximize value for the company,” Sears said in a release.

The special committee has retained Centerview Partners LLC to serve as its investment banker and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to serve as its legal counsel.

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Retail industry observers have speculated that Sears — formerly a retail giant once seen as the Amazon of its day — may seek bankruptcy protection this year. At the end of 2017, Sears’ sales were down 45 percent since early 2013, and its debt had risen to more than $4 billion.


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