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  Public Information Release
This is another news release from the Port Authority.


November 20, 2019

Thanksgiving Dinner Talking Points Memo

By: Rick Platt

Hereís my annual contribution to the holiday dinner table talking points just ahead of Thanksgiving this year. Iím glad to do it.

Thanksgiving is the right time to not only give thanks but also give reasons for our loved ones to improve their job skills, move back home, or find a job closer to home. From my point of view, thereís a bounty of good reasons right here and now.

The Port Authorityís campus in Heath stands out as a barometer of a continued good economy. With a record six new buildings underway on the campus this year, itís easy to predict that increased job opportunities are coming along with those new buildings. They are.

Got someone at the table not eating turkey? They arenít alone. Plant-based food is a national trend, and itís found its way to Licking County too. Itís astonishing. Weíve gone from zero to over 200,000 square feet of building space in just two years. Thatís three and a half football fields worth of new work.

Companies on the Port Authority campus are engaged in this emerging sector of the food industry. GB Food, Gushen America, Gathered Foods, and Natureís One all are either ramping up production or finishing new buildings. Hiring is underway.

Donít believe the national media angle that manufacturing is shrinking. Itís not true here. Ohio surpassed 700,000 manufacturing jobs in 2019 and evidence builds every day that Ohio will increasingly be the bread basket for the World.

Ten ďspecĒ buildings in ten years is making Central Licking County a model for how to set the table for future jobs. Governor Mike DeWine brought a spotlight to a dual groundbreaking ceremony when two speculatively-built industrial buildings of 70,000 sq. ft. by Southgate and 20,000 sq. ft. by the Port Authority began. This construction is for future, yet-unknown firms. See next yearís talking points memo for the rest of the story.

Ariel Corporation is tripling the size of their building with work underway right now preparing to accept a larger, future manufacturing workforce. Kaiser Aluminum and Samuel Packaging Systems have recent capital investments to prove the point.

A new Force Lab at the Air Force Primary Standards Laboratory was recently completed with one-of-a-kind equipment expected to arrive in the first half of 2020. Bionetics and AFMETCAL run this modern laboratory. Skilled technicians are always in demand by these companies as well as by Boeing and MISTRAS Group on our campus.

Donít let the tryptophan kick in before you share how to take action.

Ohio Means Jobs Licking County is the areaís one-stop shop for connecting job seekers with job creators. Employers let them know when there are jobs open to fill. The Newark office is at 998 East Main Street. Job seeking can start Thanksgiving Day online at

Thankfully, there are many more examples of growing job opportunities in Licking County than my little talking points memo has room to add. Enjoy that holiday gathering, but sure donít leave out some job talk to digest.

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