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Every year, the Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council meets with area investing members and other officials to report on what the area has seen economically since the last meeting. This last year, according to council executive director Greg Myers., has been a positive one, with plenty of growth seen in the region. With 15 new business endeavors and several companies expanding or planning to expand in the near future, Myers says that there's been plenty going on in 2018.
"The new job creation that is happening with existing companies that have been in for years is prospering and looking for workers - the Pratt project is still moving forward and are starting to hire, FlexArm is our feature at this meeting, they’re building a brand new $4 million manufacturing corporate office, they’ve been in Wapakoneta for 50 years - so those are all good things," said Myers.
The keynote speaker for the day was Stefan Aengenheyster, who is with the European American Investment Council. He spoke on the opportunities that companies in Europe are starting to take on with Midwest communities like Wapak, making an investment.
"With a lot of European companies, it's sometimes mind blowing how little they know about US geography - they may know the New York Citys or the Chicagos, the San Franciscos, but as soon as they see the cost of doing business in those regions, they’re open to considering other options," said Aengenheyster, who is the EAIC Director of European Affairs. "This area has US-33 and I-75 corridor, it’s very well connected to the rest of the world, and it’s a great location for doing business."
Of course, Wapakoneta is home to several international companies already, and maybe more in the future; Myers represented Wapakoneta in a presentation earlier this year with the hope of possibly becoming home for "Project Neptune", a European food processing company. Myers says that the investment council that they are part of has been a big aid with overseas companies.
"Our membership in the EAIC continues us to make those connections with European companies who might have interest in knowing that this is a community that excepts and supports foreign investments and is eager to encourage companies to consider us as a location," said Myers.
By Katie Honigford