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Business and Industry

Franklin County hosts a strong base of diversified industries, due to its great location and proximity to metro areas and transportation systems.

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The investment of Wal-Mart and American Eagle Outfitters in construction of large distribution centers over the last decade has greatly expanded our job and tax base.

American Eagle Outfitters, a major retailer of clothing goods for youth and young adults, has grown to over 1.2 million square feet of space on 110 acres since purchasing a 320,000-square-foot facility in 2000. In May of 2007 they expanded into a new 540,000-square-foot, $60 million distribution warehouse to accommodate a new product line. In 2008 they added an additional 275,000 square feet on to these facilities. They employ up to 1,000 people at peak times with 775 base employees.

The Wal-Mart Distribution Center, built in 1995, continues to be the largest employer in the county with 1,150 people. With the Super Center, Wal-Mart employs over 1,500 in Franklin County.

Cargotec, the world’s largest builder of yard tractors and freight handling equipment for port facilities continues to expand its production. In 2005 Cargotec added a line of heavy purpose forklift tractors, which are assembled at the Ottawa facility. In late 2008, Cargotec added a line of truck-mounted fork-lifts, which they moved to the Ottawa facility from Columbus, Ohio.

Select Steel, a start-up steel fabrication company, built a 15,000-square-foot facility in the Ottawa Industrial Park in 2008. Hasty Awards is moving an operation presently producing in unincorporated Franklin County to a new 28,000-square-foot facility in the Ottawa Industrial Park in summer 2009.

Midwest Cabinet, a commercial builder of wood cabinets and booths; Schuff Steel, a steel fabricator; Mac Fasteners, a producer of high-quality fasteners for the aircraft industry; Fashion, Inc., a builder of canopies for the convenience store and retail arena; and Fast Fabricators, builders of piping for municipal water and waste water projects, all are good solid community citizens and employers of many in our region.

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