Businesses around Dayton Airport employ 2,700 workers; half are Dayton residents


Chewy, an online pet retailer, is the largest of those employers, with 1,578 employees, according to the audit. Crocs, a shoe manufacturer and distributor, is the second largest company, with approximately 754 employees.

Innovative Plastic Molders employees assemble babygates. The company manufactures all plastic parts in-house. MARSHALL GORBY STAFF

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Credit:

Innovative Plastic Molders Inc. has around 122 workers and snack maker Frito-Lay has around 93, according to the audit and IPM.

Other companies include ALPLA, a plastic packaging manufacturer (73 jobs); General supplies for pets (63); Land O’Lakes Inc./Purina Animal Nutrition (31); and Pratt Industries, a recycling company (12 jobs), according to the audit.

Rapid growth

When construction began on Crocs’ first facility near the airport, the company planned to create around 150 to 200 distribution center jobs, said Ben Morrison, the company’s chief human resources officer.

But due to the company’s rapid growth, Crocs has nearly 800 full-time employees across the region and plans to employ more than 1,200 when its new “Saltwater” facility becomes fully operational at the end of the year. summer 2022, Morrison said.

Crocs occupies two facilities next to the airport, called “Cayman” and “Nile”. The company will vacate the Nile building and move its operations to the new and larger 750,000 square foot Saltwater property.

Innovative Plastic Molders located on Dogleg Road in Vandalia, has been designing, manufacturing and using high precision, high volume injection molds for over 30 years.  MARSHALL GORBY  STAFF

Innovative Plastic Molders located on Dogleg Road in Vandalia, has been designing, manufacturing and using high precision, high volume injection molds for over 30 years. MARSHALL GORBY STAFF

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Credit:

The Nile plant handled the vast majority of Crocs’ e-commerce sales for the Americas.

The Dayton area is a leader in e-commerce and logistics that is a great fit for Crocs’ growing business as it is close to consumers and the company’s customers, Morrison said.

The Dayton-area workforce delivers exactly what Crocs expects from its team members, Morrison said – creative problem solving, attention to detail, and a willingness to grow and learn.

“The concentration of skilled equipment operators and, more broadly, an enthusiastic distribution center workforce has made Dayton not only a great place to initially invest, but to continue to grow,” he said. -he declares.

Last fall, the Dayton Daily News reported that Innovative Plastic Molders had 67 full-time employees and about 85 contractors. But the company now has 122 full-time employees and plans to hire 40 to 50 more over the next few months, said Ken Williams, the company’s chief human resources officer.

IPM could double the size of its business and workforce over the next year, he said.

IPM occupies 120,000 square feet of space in a facility near the airport, Williams said, and the company is revamping its plant, adding racks and new machinery and equipment.

“We are redesigning our floor plan, which will give us a lot more space,” he said.

Many companies in the custom plastic modeling industry were hit hard or went bankrupt during the COVID-19 crisis, he said, but IPM continued to grow. The company manufactures auto parts, car seats, bird feeders, gates and potties for children, and other items.

Innovative Plastic Molders located on Dogleg Road in Vandalia, has been designing, manufacturing and using high precision, high volume injection molds for over 30 years.  MARSHALL GORBY  STAFF

Innovative Plastic Molders located on Dogleg Road in Vandalia, has been designing, manufacturing and using high precision, high volume injection molds for over 30 years. MARSHALL GORBY STAFF

Competition for workers is fierce, Williams said, including from neighboring employers Chewy. But he said Innovative Plastic Molders offers competitive salaries, great benefits, and a supportive, family-friendly work environment that employees value.

Most applicants find out about IPM through word of mouth, Williams said, and some employees who have taken on other jobs have returned because they realized the work environment is special.

How did these developments come about?

About 15 years ago, Dayton crafted an economic development strategy that leveraged the Interstate 70 and I-75 connection and positioned the region to become a leader in logistics and distribution, Dickstein said.

Selling airport properties unnecessary for redevelopment provides a unique product for the airport and the city, but it also increases the city’s tax base and revenue, Dickstein said.

More importantly, she said, the projects create well-paying jobs for local residents, many of whom are entry-level positions and many offer benefits. Crocs, for example, recently increased entry salaries for new distribution center team members to a minimum of $ 15 an hour.

About 1,261 of the jobs at the companies around the airport are held by workers who live in Dayton zip codes (46% of the total), according to the jobs audit. This shows that the city’s residents directly benefit from the investments around the aircraft facility, Dickstein said.

The city encourages airport employers to organize or participate in job fairs in the city, she said, as well as to hire its residents under community benefit agreements making part of tax incentive agreements.

“It’s a good faith effort – there is no bite, but they have to at least think about our residents and try to hire our residents,” she said.

Much of the airfields the city has been given permission to sell are under contract, Dickstein said, but other properties that can be redeveloped are available, including in Union and Vandalia.

The strong job growth around the airport shows that Dayton’s economic development strategy to reposition the region as a leader in logistics and distribution is working, Dickstein said.

The area around the airport provides convenient access to highways and the airport, and has become a premier distribution center for nationally renowned brands and some manufacturers, said Julie Sullivan, executive vice president of development. Regional Dayton Development Coalition. He offers

“Many of these jobs are well paying, offer great benefits and have become a vital part of our retail landscape,” she said.


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