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On the Road with Breck Woodard

On the Road with Breck Woodard | February 10-14, 2019 – Los Angeles and San Diego areas

California Market Visit to meet Aerospace, UAS, and Aerospace Manufacturing companies

Why are you there?
1.  Attraction of new companies from California to the Dayton Region.
2.  Visit a regional site selector to understand what they are seeing in the market.

Who did you meet?
Over the 4-day trip, we were able to meet with:
1.  Pulsar Aviation Services (MRO)
2.  Physical Optics Corporation (systems integration)
3.  Swift Engineering (UAS and composite manufacturing)
4.  Yuneec (UAS development and production)
5.  Advanced Honeycomb Technologies (composite manufacturing)
6.  Boyd Corporation (aerospace manufacturing)
7.  General Atomics – Aeronautical Systems (UAS manufacturing/defense)
8.  CBRE Los Angeles (site selector)

Top 5 things you learned: 
1.  Southern California (San Diego to the Los Angeles basin) is a leader in innovation and technology development; however, they are space limited in being able to test, especially UAS.  One company described they literally go in the back area of their building and do vertical testing to only 100’ or so and laterally the size of a field.  I’ve provided a photo to reference the challenge they have.  They are in desperate need of our UAS “sandbox” at the Springfield-Beckley airport.

2.  The dichotomy of the California market resides in the facts that business and cost of living expenses are increasing, costs of family homes in good school systems is increasing, available space is decreasing and getting more expensive; however, because of the climate and quality of life people are reluctant to want to move out of California.  This is an opportunity for Ohio because we are more “business-friendly” with lower costs of doing business and California companies want to find cheaper alternatives to expand.  The key is we must show our capabilities successfully and ensure we have the available trained workforce that can support these expansions.

3.  As I mentioned above, California is proving not to be “company friendly”.  Over the last 11 years, over 13,000 companies have left California, of which 1,800 left in 2016 alone (the most recent year of data available).  CEOs nationwide state that California is the worst state in which to do business.  The top reason used to be because of high taxes. This recently beat out by the legal climate where companies feel they aren’t being treated fairly.  A national site selector articulated an example of this when he explained a new immigration statute that puts companies in a “lose-lose” situation no matter how hard a company tries to operate in a legal manner.  The new California Immigrant Worker Protection Act states an employer that follows Federal immigration law is now violating California law, is committing a crime, and is subject to fines.  However, the company is also committing a federal crime if they fail to follow federal immigration law.

4.  Qualified composite work and workers are in high demand in California, and the market can’t meet it.  Companies are looking to expand into other markets to accomplish composite work and then ship it back to the manufacturing plants in California.  Ohio composite companies can meet that need, and our robust transportation network can connect Ohio to California easily.

5.  According to a California site selector, we are at an all-time high of South Korean companies looking at US investments and entering the US market.

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