What big employer means for small town

UNION, Ohio (WDTN) — Crops aren’t the only things sprouting in the fields surrounding the city of Union these days.

“It’s unbelievable what it’s going to allow us to do and what it means to our residents,” says City Manager John Applegate of the new Procter and Gamble distribution center. “It changes the picture.”

To this point, the picture of Union has been framed by its past, like the city seal with its logos of three businesses that no longer exist.

But now with Procter and Gamble’s new distribution center and the 800 jobs that come with it, the city has something to focus its future on.

“It just means everything to us,” Applegate says. “The additional income in our general fund, what we can do in improvements in our parks and our roads.”

But for Applegate, the new center is also personal. Like many in the area, he has friends who have lost jobs and could use an opportunity.

“We’ve all been through everything that happened since ’07-’08,” Applegate says. “Everything is on an upswing. It’s just them having the ability to have a place close to home and apply for a job.”

So how did a small city of about 6,000 people land such a big employer?

Applegate says it started 18 years ago when the city started acquiring land near the Dayton International Airport. It later added water and sewer lines to the property and then like those crops, something eventually popped up.

“We get a phone call and it started from there to where we’re at today,” Applegate says.

The center is expected to open in early 2015.

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