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Visitors to Jackson County are immediately consumed with the picturesque Appalachian foothills and the friendly welcome standard that is known throughout the region. What the casual observer may miss however, is a dedicated labor force, excellent transportation links, a business-friendly environment, and a quality of life second to none. All this makes the area a viable, attractive option for both commercial and industrial growth.

Jackson County is located within one day’s drive of two-thirds of the population of the United States. It is also within a two hour drive of seven interstate highways, most of them attainable by other four-lane highways such as U. S. 35 and State Route 32 (Appalachian Highway), which intersect in Jackson.

As companies tap into southern Ohio’s valuable resources, Jackson County has gradually moved to the forefront as an area with many profitable incentives for business and industry. Major corporations including prominent names such as General Mills, Michelina’s, Merillat and Meridian Automotive Systems have established plants in the county because of key factors that, in combination, are difficult to find elsewhere.

More than 32,000 residents live in Jackson County. The county has an eligible workforce of more than 14,000 people and 110,000 within a one-hour commute.

A benefit within the large pool of qualified workers is the dedication employers in the area have come to recognize.

Companies can also tap into the area’s excellent advanced training schools and centers. In addition to several well-known colleges and universities within the region, there are many agencies and technical institutions that offer certified workforce training programs designed to stay on top of constantly changing industry needs.

Ohio is well known for its business-friendly environment, and Jackson County is no different. The cities of Wellston and Jackson, and some townships offer enticing incentives such as Enterprise Zones with tax exemption programs. Jackson County also has a revolving loan fund and an economic development office with access to state loan and tax credit programs.

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Companies that have established roots in the county recognize the value of such incentives. One of several factors that attracted General Mills, a frozen foods manufacturer, was the county’s proactive stance and tax abatement opportunity. Michelina’s located here because of the overall business climate as well as the excellent low-cost transportation and utilities.

Business expansion is also an indicator of a favorable business climate. In recent years, companies in Jackson County such as General Mills, Michelina’s and Meridian Automotive Systems have expanded their plant capacity several times to meet growing production demands.

The area has also attracted new companies such as Coleman Industries, as well as a regional warehouse distribution center operated by American Warehousing & Logistics.

Jackson County offers two industrial parks, one in Jackson and one in Wellston. More than 300 industry-ready acres are available for development. Jackson also offers a commercial/retail park, a newly remodeled shopping mall and several smaller commercial/retail centers.

The downtown areas of both Jackson and Wellston have undergone Downtown Revitalization Projects that helped spruce up and modernize storefronts. They also completed Streetscape projects that replaced sidewalks, installed decorative brick walkways and added period lighting, benches and downtown parks.

Jackson County’s future looks even brighter with more than $56 million in new healthcare facilities, all new or completely remodeled educational facilities throughout the county, plus industrial, commercial and residential developments making it one of the faster growing counties in the State of Ohio.

For more information concerning industrial or commercial development, contact Jackson County Economic Development at 740-286-2838 or ppatterson@zoomnet.net, or the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce at 740-286-2722 or rheath@zoomnet.net.

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