Are the companies receiving city grants creating jobs?

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dollars for jobs that’s the deal the city has with businesses; it’s a promise by companies to stay and hire local.

Wednesday, Dayton commissioners approved more than $264,000 in grants to several companies for 2014 job growth.

The grants were awarded to eight companies for enrolled in the Dayton Economic Attraction Project (DEAP), a three-year program.

DEAP gives tax incentives for new full-time jobs in the downtown area or Dayton’s targeted industry areas, like Tech Town.

2 NEWS dug deeper to learn just how many jobs, if any, are being creating by the companies tasked with job growth, and receiving income tax reimbursement.

We requested the statistics from Dayton’s Office of Economic Development, and found the following:

  • Tenet3                      JOBS:   3         REIMBURSEMENT: $      4,914.56
  • Requarth:                  JOBS:   9         REIMBURSEMENT: $      6,126.53
  • Key Ads:                   JOBS:  13        REIMBURSEMENT: $      7,063.44
  • Business Furniture     JOBS:  13        REIMBURSEMENT: $    11,970.32
  • ATW:                        JOBS:  39        REIMBURSEMENT: $    24,261.64
  • MidMark Sales          JOBS:   30       REIMBURSEMENT: $    29,618.28
  • MidMark Corporation  JOBS:   43       REIMBURSEMENT: $    78,972.30 
  • Assurant:                  JOBS:   373     REIMBURSEMENT: $  101,425.12

Overall, 523 jobs were created; Requarth is accountable for nine of those jobs.

The local company, which has been around since the 19th century, chose to keep its headquarters downtown across from the Dayton Dragons stadium partly because of DEAP and its benefits.

Requarth President Alan Pippenger said, “And I don’t think it benefits us as a community to abandon that (downtown) infrastructure. So it is important to have strong downtown and have strong downtown employment picture. I think that benefits the whole community.”

Pippenger has now graduated from DEAP, as his company wraps its third year in the program.

He hopes other downtown area business will follow suit and join the program, helping to reinvigorate the region.

Other companies, like Assurant, claim they hope to also support the creation of Dayton jobs.

According to city records, Assurant is responsible for more than half of the jobs created through DEAP in 2014.

Yet in that same year, the insurance company cut more than 100 jobs in Dayton and Springfield, the company’s main branch.

2 NEWS asked the company why the job cuts, if it joined a program to create employment opportunities.

The company says business reduction has meant the need for job cuts.

Given their 2014 slump and layoff, 2 NEWS asked whether the company will get the city’s dollars for jobs that are no longer there.

A spokesperson explains in a statement to 2 NEWS that, “The economic incentive program is tied to actual payroll, thus any positions reduced would not earn incentives going forward.”

2 NEWS asked Economic Development Director Ford Weber how he ensures that businesses are keeping their end of the bargain.

Weber said, “No business has a crystal ball, but we’re protected in case business don’t perform as well as they had hoped to.”

Overall, the director says the program has benefit the city and community, and he hopes to see the initiative blossom in the coming years.

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