Ohio's Electric Cooperatives


February 2018

Little Engines That Can

Electric Cooperatives and Small Communities Collaborate, Produce Big Results


It takes a lot of resources and ingenuity to get noticed in today's site selection environment, and smaller communities are fighting hard to stay in the economic development game. One of their successful strategies is to use an approach long familiar to Ohio's Electric Cooperatives – work together for the benefit of all.


Two communities served by Ohio's Electric Cooperatives (OEC), one in central Ohio and the other in northeast Indiana, are using grants from OEC to advance shovel-ready site development and increase awareness with site selectors.



Prime small-town advanced manufacturing site readying for certification


Monroeville, Indiana is home to American Mitsuba Indiana, a manufacturer of DC electric motors, actuators, and electrical components. Mitsuba also operates its North American logistics center and a design center at this Indiana location. Combined employment totals approximately 400.


Immediately adjacent to Mitsuba is a 44-acre shovel-ready site (approximately 25 developable acres) that the town of Monroeville owns and is marketing for clean manufacturing, assembly, or logistics use. The site is just a quarter-mile from S.R. 101 and 3 miles from S.R. 30 and adjacent to the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad tracks (part of the CSX network) and rail access is being evaluated.

Monroeville town officials are working in partnership with NewAllen Alliance and Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council to complete the requirements so the site can become Indiana Site Certified at the Silver level. "With certification, the site will be featured on Indiana's Site Selector Database," notes Don Gerardot, president of council for Monroeville.

"While certification is an important milestone, it's only one step of many that Monroeville and the other communities in east Allen County have taken over the past several years to prepare for investment opportunities," shares Kent Castleman, president of NewAllen Alliance and board member of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. "NewAllen Alliance facilitated development of the Strategic Investment Plan which includes an individualized plan for each of the seven member communities."

Gerardot adds, "It's important to attract businesses that are a good fit for our local workforce and that help maintain and enhance Monroeville's quality of life."


"Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) works with Allen County's rural communities to prepare for new opportunities," states Erika Willitzer, PPEC marketing and economic development manager. "The $15,000 OEC site certification grant recently awarded to Monroeville will help pay for soil borings, Phase I environmental report, title search, Alta survey and wetlands determination/delineation, to complete the certification of the Monroeville site. Having these studies completed and immediately available for site selectors will help the site compete for development opportunities."


Agriculture and manufacturing roots run generations deep


"Fifty percent of Marion County, Ohio's, economy is agriculture-based," explains Gus Comstock, director of Marion CAN DO, the economic development organization that serves both the City of Marion and Marion County. "Marion is home to major U.S. and international manufacturers including POET, Nucor, Whirlpool and Sakamura. The foundation of agriculture and manufacturing has fostered the creation of a unique workforce development and education system."



America's 'Workforce Development Capital'


Marion County schools share a focus on agriculture, along with robotics training, that prepares students for post-high school success. Tri-Rivers Career Center is home to RAMTEC, which is known throughout the nation as a flagship school for robotics training and certification. Students can continue their training and education at Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University at Marion. With this unique concentration of educational and advanced manufacturing training assets, Marion County continues to build on its agricultural and industrial heritage with a work ethic honed through generations of hands-on craftsmanship.


Powering economic development

Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative, which serves a 10-county territory in north central Ohio that includes Marion County, recently provided a matching $5,000 grant to OEC's $5,000 Economic Development Community Grant to support Marion CAN DO's strategic objectives to:


Reliable power for high-capacity ag operations

"Mid-Ohio Energy has a robust distribution system capable of meeting the needs of any new or expanding load," notes Mid-Ohio President and CEO John Metcalf. "We are particularly knowledgeable about and sensitive to the needs and concerns of the farrowing operations, laying-hen barns, dairies, feed mills and other high-capacity agriculture production and processing facilities that Mid-Ohio serves. Local expertise gives expanding and new operators confidence that we will deliver reliable electricity at competitive rates."

The Kepford property is a potential ag production site located adjacent to POET Biorefinery and Marion's Dual Rail Industrial Park with access to CSX and NS. All utilities at boundary; located 2 miles from S.R. 23.


Collaboration produces powerful results


In rural communities throughout Ohio and Indiana, the collective strength of the local business community, educational resources, economic development officials, neighbors and the local energy cooperative, combine to create unique site location opportunities with skilled workforces for manufacturers, logistics centers and agri-business production facilities.

Buckeye Power and Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives can help with:

  • Comprehensive site and building portfolios
  • Preliminary site studies
  • Site search tours
  • Assistance in identifying financial incentives
  • Electric rate analyses
  • Community profiles
  • State and local government contacts
  • Contractor introductions


Touchstone Energy Cooperatives

NET Conference 2018

February 5-7, 2018
St. Petersburg, Florida

Industrial Asset Management Council

(IAMC) Spring Professional Forum

May 4-9, 2018
Savannah, Georgia

Dennis Mingyar

Contact Us
Dennis Mingyar
Ohio's Electric Cooperatives
6677 Busch Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43229
[email protected]