investment

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership releases Jobs & Investment Report

Results from the first such business survey show recovery, growth plans

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 5, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that it is releasing its first Jobs & Investment Report. The report summarizes the results of their Jobs & Investment Survey launched in January 2021 and promoted in partnership with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. Twenty-five businesses employing more than 2,700 workers participated. The full report can be viewed at tiffinseneca.org (or by clicking here).

Key takeaways from the survey included:

  • There was good representation from rural Seneca County (proportionally speaking), with 40 percent having a location in the villages and townships.
  • Participating businesses (as a whole) reduced their workforce by 8.4 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They hired more than half of the jobs lost back by the beginning of 2021. It also indicates businesses have not (as a whole) recovered to where they were at the beginning of 2020.
  • More than ¾ of the businesses are planning to hire (76 percent) and/or train their workers (84 percent) meaning workforce development continues to be a priority.
  • Investment plans for 2021 ($66 million) are in line with a robust 2020 ($70 million).
  • Two-thirds of the businesses are thinking about making changes to their space/facility (64 percent).

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the results: “This is further evidence that our businesses are in a strong recovery and that they are continuing to plan to invest and hire. We applaud their grit and growth and want to do everything we can to support them.”

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner concurred, “I’m pleased that all businesses throughout Seneca County are continuing to rebound from a difficult 2020 and that they plan to grow. We will continue to make smart investments to promote jobs and positive development for our residents.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. Tiffin and Seneca County consistently rank in the top two percent of communities nationally for economic development and has one of the most recognized and award-winning downtown Main Street programs in Ohio. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Big Dipper under new ownership

Owners have made significant investment into the business

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 8, 2021 – Having been a Tiffin staple for more than 30 years, Big Dipper has started its 2021 season with new owners, an updated menu and have invested into a facelift at the property.

Co-owners Sandi Stout and Mark Griffin bought Big Dipper in October 2020. So far, they have made a significant investment into the company with the building purchase, new equipment, registers, updated menu signs and building improvements. More property improvements are also being considered before the end of the year.

Additionally, the ice cream shop has a new menu, with many returning favorites and a few new food and ice cream options. Big Dipper will have two weekly food specials, and offers a wide variety of treats, including soft serve, Toft’s Hard Dip Ice Cream, almond milk, Dole Whip, low-fat yogurt and sugar free ice cream, along with hand dipped novelties and specialties. They also offer holiday pies for those special occasions.

To celebrate the new ownership, a ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for April 14 at 4 p.m. Big Dipper is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

“We’re very excited to be open full time for this new season and can’t wait to see everyone return,” Stout said.

“The growth in Tiffin has been so exciting to watch, and we’re proud to be part of that,” Griffin said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “I’m glad to see that the Big Dipper’s new owners are investing in our community and growing a business that has long been a Tiffin tradition for many families.”

The Big Dipper is located at 380 Wentz St., and open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week during their business season. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BigDipperTiffinOhio or call (419) 447-2131.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin Drive-In Theater invests for the next era

New owner to invest $200,000 in operations, adding new screens

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 26, 2020 – The Tiffin Drive-In Theater, 4101 SR 53, which has been in operation since 1949, is under new ownership and soon will be expanding with an investment of $200,000 for two, brand-new screens, with more improvements planned in the next few years. The business has 20 seasonal employees.

Tiffin Drive-In Theater was recently purchased by Mike Cole, a freelance writer and entrepreneur from Findlay. Among the planned changes, two new screens are to be built, an 84-foot-wide screen to replace the original screen, built when the drive-in was first opened, and a second, permanent 44-foot-wide screen. To build the screens, Tiffin Drive-In Theater will be contracting with Selby Products of Ritchfield, Ohio, which has constructed more than 2,000 drive-in movie screens throughout the world.

Cole said operations should continue as normal for the next few weeks, but expects that the new screens will be constructed beginning in early September, during which time the house on SR 53 also is to be removed. The second screen will be completed shortly after, and may not be operational during the 2020 season. Other aspects of the drive-in will also be getting a facelift over the next 3-4 years.

Cole said he and his wife were inspired to open a drive-in theater after visiting others. “We are excited to bring the Tiffin Drive-In Theater into the next era and help it to continue to be a unique attraction in Seneca County for many years to come.”

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner said, “It is great to see that even during these difficult times, the owners of Tiffin Drive-In Theater are making the commitment to invest in Seneca County.”

Tiffin Drive-In Theater is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

American Plastics investing $7 million in Seneca County operations

Company added 5 new presses, improved facility

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 20, 2020American Plastics, a premier plastic injection molding company located just south of Tiffin, Ohio, has announced that it has invested $7 million into its operations at the plant. American Plastics employs 142 people in Seneca County.

The new investment is to support American Plastic’s current customers, and includes the purchase of five new, state-of-the-art presses, tooling investments and facility improvements to increase efficiency and capacity.

American Plastics’s Tiffin facility is the sole manufacturer of shelving for the Craftsman brand, available at the more than 1,500 Lowe’s stores in North America. The plant specializes in the production of plastic shelving, including Craftsman, Commander and Blue Hawk name brands for Lowe’s. American Plastics has 14 other facilities throughout the United States, including facilities in Sycamore and Findlay.

In addition to the investments in the company, American Plastics has committed to increasing the wages of its staff. Starting wages are to increase to $14.50 an hour, with a $1 an hour incentive bonus for attendance, for a total starting wage of $15.50 an hour. An outdoor hiring event has been scheduled for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, at American Plastics, 1780 CR 1. There will be open interviews, with orientations on the spot. Available positions are in first and third shift, and employees work 12-hour shifts for 15 days a month. Social distancing guidelines are to be followed.

Joe Roth, Plant Manager for American Plastics in Tiffin, commented: “I’m proud that American Plastics has made a commitment to invest in our team and facility here in Tiffin. Our continued growth is only possible due to the dedication of our team and the support of our customers. It’s always something new with American Plastics, and we are glad to be a part of the Tiffin growth.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said: “It is great news to hear that American Plastics has continued to grow and invest in Seneca County. I hope for their continued success.”

About American Plastics
American Plastics, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative plastic-injection molded products for the household and garage storage and commercial cleaning end-markets. The company maintains a national manufacturing and distribution footprint with 15 state-of-the-art facilities across North America, making us the partner-of-choice for our customers, nationwide.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership
Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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.tiffinseneca.com.

TPC Food Service moves forward with $1 million expansion

Tiffin company to relocate acquired Michigan cheese manufacturer

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 18, 2020TPC Food Service has announced that it has purchased the former GE Plant, 401 Wall St., Tiffin, and will be moving to the new location and expanding its operations with the purchase of a Michigan-based cheese producer in 2019. TPC has 90 employees in Tiffin and expects to hire about 10 more employees locally for the new operation.

TPC purchased the property for $700,000 and expect to update the building for use as its distribution hub and for production of TPC Cheese, a cheese grinding and packaging operation, formerly Kuster’s of Camden, Michigan, that TPC purchased in 2019 for $288,000. The building, which was built in 1946 and operated by General Electric in Tiffin, most recently was the home of Atlas Industries.

Established in 1952, TPC Food Service is a distributor of food, paper, and janitorial products located in Tiffin. Now in its fourth generation, TPC has been a family-owned company since its inception, and today has accounts throughout Ohio as well as Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

“When this building became available, we took the opportunity to not just grow TPC, but to bring TPC Cheese to Tiffin, which was always our intention. We’re excited to start a new chapter for TPC in Seneca County,” said Tom Maiberger, President and CEO of TPC Food Service.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “In these tough economic times, it is very encouraging to see the strength and resiliency of our community. TPC is a great example of that and is growing and succeeding here. We applaud their investment.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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.tiffinseneca.org.

Heidelberg Announces USDA Rural Development Loan

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University LogoTIFFIN – Heidelberg University is proud to announce the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $36.5 million low-interest Rural Development loan to support a variety of campus initiatives directed at improving the student experience. The loan is designed to refinance existing debt to better position Heidelberg for long-term economic expansion and improve student housing, student learning facilities and student recruitment operations. Construction will begin soon on the restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall to integrate a living and learning community for approximately 70 female students and faculty. Several classroom spaces will also be improved to support new and existing academic programs.

President Rob Huntington states the USDA award is critical for success, “This loan assists our effort to make Heidelberg more financially stable, address student learning needs and greatly enhance student living and engaging spaces.” He adds, “Nearly $20 million dollars will be invested to drive our Academic Strategic Plan, support a living and learning community and create a unique greeting for the Office of Admission that will set the tone for an exceptional and persuasive visit experience for prospective students and their families. We are tremendously grateful to all elected officials in the city of Tiffin and Seneca County who continue to help us process this USDA loan. The loan helps us to restructure our debt and to renovate living and learning spaces on campus to better position Heidelberg in the very competitive higher education marketplace.”

The addition and upgrades to over 300 residential units is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision. Chris Abrams, Dean of Student Affairs, states, “New student townhouse apartments will offer housing options and lifestyle flexibility for upper-class students. The improvements to France Hall and Miller Hall will provide students with modern amenities to help integrate living and learning opportunities.”

The Student & Community Welcome Center will create a “front door” at the East Market Street entrance to the campus. This 10,000-square-foot, two-story facility will house the Office of Admission and become home for the new Town Gown Bookstore. As part of Heidelberg’s Strategic Action Plan, which focuses on transformation, improvement and growth, the University aspires to not only maintain the current undergraduate population but to grow beyond it. The new bookstore will be open and inviting to the entire Tiffin community. Simultaneously, Heidelberg will move the Owen Academic and Career Support Center to the location of the current bookstore to create a larger and more accessible space to support student success.

Kathy Geier, Heidelberg University’s Board Chair agrees, “As Heidelberg University continues to grow, this loan positions us to provide quality facilities and programs for students and faculty. Refinancing, with a better interest rate on our debt, will result in savings. President Huntington and his team did an outstanding job over the course of the last 18 months to secure this loan and Heidelberg’s future.”

Tiffin manufacturer Agrati announces $1.6M expansion

Company to continue investment through 2019

agrati logoTIFFIN, OHIO – November 25, 2018 – The Agrati Group, a global manufacturer of fasteners for automotive companies, has announced completing its investment of $1.6 million in industrial machinery, equipment, and renovations at the Airport Industrial Park facility in Tiffin, creating 10 new jobs and bringing the total number of jobs at the Tiffin plant to 66. The project took place throughout calendar year 2018, and the company looks to consider possible additional investment next year.

The Tiffin plant was previously Jacobson Manufacturing which was acquired by ContMidGroup in 2014, which was in turn acquired by the Agrati Group in 2016. It is now one of 12 Agrati production facilities worldwide and two in Ohio. The facility primarily focuses on cold forming, tapping and thread rolling auto and truck wheel nuts, as well as a variety of tubular products, produced through fully automated welding and assembly. The facility was last expanded in 2013 with the addition of a 40,000 square foot building.

Agrati Plant Manager Casey Poignon commented: “This investment allowed us to expand our operations in Tiffin and we look toward future investment,” he said. “We have a great workforce, and we appreciate the support of JobsOhio, RGP Northwest Ohio, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, OhioMeansJobs, and other partners in facilitating this and future projects.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz applauded the company’s continued investment in the community. “Since their entry into the Tiffin market, with the purchase of the Jacobson/ConMidGroup plant, Agrati has been a great community partner and I look forward to the additional investment and jobs they will bring to the city.”

About The Agrati Group
The Agrati Group, which was established in 1939, is currently one of the leading global manufacturers of fastening systems in the automotive component sector. With over 2,600 employees worldwide, the Agrati Group has 12 production sites, 12 sales and application offices and five logistics centers located in Europe, the US and China. Each year, the Group acquires about 160,000 tons of steel and manufactures about eight billion pieces (bolts, special screws, nuts and advanced form parts). Headquartered in Veduggio, Italy, the Group is controlled by the family holding company whose major shareholder is Cesare Agrati.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership
Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Aqua announces new water main project for Tiffin system

Aqua_logoPlans total $1.4 million and over 4,600 feet of water main replacements

TIFFIN, OH– Aqua is announcing their 2018 water system improvement projects for the water system that serves the City of Tiffin. The project involves the replacement of 4,600 linear feet of aging, undersized water mains, the installation 6 new fire hydrants and other related infrastructure. The water mains being replaced range in age from 50 to 70 years of service and are located primarily along Melmore Street with additional portions of Fulton and Rosa Streets included.

These plans represent the continued commitment to investing in Aqua’s Tiffin system. Combined with replacements last year, these projects will total over 11,300 feet of water mains with a total investment of nearly than $2.8 million in area improvements since 2015.

“Aqua is continually focused on improving service reliability and water flows, especially for high demand events like fire fighting. We take a strategic approach to main replacement, investing where we really need to while keeping the impact on rates in mind,” said Aqua’s area manager, Scott Ballenger.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of November 2018. Customers along the construction route will benefit from new company service connections. Aqua will communicate directly with residents about planned short-term localized service interruptions outages.

Aqua typically spends between $30 million and $40 million a year in infrastructure across its 33 Ohio water systems to ensure reliability and quality water. In 2018, the company plans to spend $41.9 million in the systems, which equates to more than $280 for every Ohio household they serve.

Customers who have questions about this project should call the customer service center, at 877-987-2782.

Aqua Ohio is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves about 500,000 people in 19 counties. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica

Press release provided by Aqua

Heidelberg receives historic tax credits for major restoration project

FranceHall rendering

Architect’s rendering of the France Hall project.

University has innovative plans for women’s residence hall

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University’s planned restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall received a major boost today when the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the university nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the $7.5 million project (exclusive of planned costs). In July 2017, Heidelberg received $1.2 million in federal historic tax credits, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the France Hall project, which were contingent on receiving state tax credits.

The announcement of historic tax credits for Heidelberg is great news locally. It’s just the second time that building restoration tax credits have come to Tiffin. Heidelberg administrators are appreciative of the important role community leaders played in the application process.

“We are so grateful for the outstanding support of our community partners, which was essential in our university securing these state historic tax credits,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington, who noted the backing of Mayor Aaron Montz, County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak. “Heidelberg University is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative effort with all of us working together to make our universities, our town, our county and ultimately, our entire community better for everyone.”

Additionally, Huntington expressed his thanks to Melissa Furchill, owner/president of MCM Co. Inc. in Cleveland, a construction management firm who lent her expertise to the application process.

Heidelberg was among 31 regional projects that will receive historic tax credits in the most recent round of funding. In all, the Ohio Development Services Agency approved $30.2 million in credits for 13 communities, including about $1.71 million for two northwest Ohio projects, both in Tiffin. In addition to Heidelberg’s France Hall project, Monument Properties is to receive a tax credit of nearly $250,000 to renovate three residential buildings in the Fort Ball-Railroad Area Historic District.

When the restoration/renovation project is complete, France Hall will be integral to engaging women with new, innovative living, learning and leadership opportunities, while supporting Heidelberg’s academic programs. The new France Hall will provide residential space for approximately 70 women students and private apartments for two female faculty members. Other features include office space for The Patricia Adams Lecture Series and other campus women’s leadership initiatives, space for all five of Heidelberg’s women’s Greek organizations, community outreach space, and renovations to the building’s Great Hall to create more space for activities and events. It is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision.

To date, private donors have committed more than $3.1 million toward the project.

“France Hall, in its current configuration and condition, no longer meets the needs of our contemporary women students,” Huntington said. “Yet, we recognize the importance of preserving its heritage. The time has come to bring France Hall into the 21st century and transform it into a compelling, exciting and attractive facility for the campus and the community.”

The project has tremendous potential, Huntington added, because of unique opportunities to bring together the university community with the broader Tiffin community.

“This project will put a new and different face on what residential living can look like at Heidelberg,” he said. “It will integrate academic and co-curricular programs, personal and professional domains, and campus and community circles into a rich and powerful total undergraduate experience for our women students, as well as for male students when special events are hosted in France. We look forward to starting this construction work soon!”

France Hall was constructed in 1925 and is named in recognition of Luella Blackwell France, a benefactor of the university. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has never undergone a major renovation in its 92-year history.

According to SIEDC, the Tunison Flats housing project received $99,031 in December 2016, designated to rehabilitate and preserve the 1880s-era apartment complex on Frost Parkway.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Local investors announce OCECO acquisition and expansion

20170807_113105

President & CEO Mike Ruhe and Manufacturing & Marketing Manager Keith Ricker

Total investment to exceed $2.5 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 10, 2017 – Investors announced this week the purchase of OCECO Inc., located in the Airport Industrial Park in Tiffin, as well as plans to expand the business. The new owners have purchased the business, and are in the process to purchase the real estate, as well as invest in new equipment. They also plan on adding six new employees to the existing workforce.

President and CEO Mike Ruhe sees room for growth in the business: “We have identified opportunities to expand sales, and we are very impressed with the employees; they know we need to grow and they are ready.”

Founded in 1921, OCECO is a fabricator of high quality safety equipment for flammable liquid storage and wastewater gas disposal systems. They supply airports and energy companies like Marathon and Exxon Mobile and also do a large amount of business with municipalities, food production, and factory farms. Key products include fittings, flame arrestors and gas purification systems. They operate out of a 38,000 square foot facility in the Airport Industrial Park and have nine employees.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner is pleased to see the company grow: “OCECO has been a presence in the community for many years. It’s great to see new investment breathing new life into an existing company.”

The purchase of OCECO has been in development for more than a year, and the new owners are working with several banks, SIEDC, and other partners to obtain funding and receive assistance with export promotion and energy efficiency incentives. Previous owner Dick Borer, who purchased the company from Pettibone, worked diligently in finding new leadership to keep the business in Tiffin, and will be assisting with the transition.

About OCECO
OCECO – originally an abbreviation of Oil Conservation Engineering Company – was started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921, and was the first supplier of a complete line of venting and tank fitting equipment.

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.