Ohio Launches into 21st Century with State of the Art Technology for Innovation in the Aerospace Industry

Virtual manufacturing center boosts industry growth, creates new jobs

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The opening of a state-of-the-art virtual manufacturing center, that creates three-dimensional models of aerospace products still in the design phase, will launch the state of Ohio into the 21st century and drive innovation in the aerospace industry, according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment.

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The $1.2 million Boeing Virtual Manufacturing Center (VMC) opened this month at the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center (COATC) in Licking County. The VMC will bring 30 to 60 new jobs to the Heath facility within 12 to 18 months and retain more than 500 positions within the first three years of the project's initial operation. Project funding includes a $500,000 state-local incentive package including a $200,000 Rapid Outreach Grant through the Ohio Department of Development.

"This virtual reality tool and the Virtual Manufacturing Center puts the state of Ohio on the global map in terms of manufacturing capabilities and is a quantum leap into a brighter future for the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center," said Rick Platt, director for the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. "Boeing does more than $6 billion a year in business in Ohio and surrounding states, and the VMC could quickly become an aerospace product development mecca for the hundreds of Boeing suppliers in Ohio and the Midwest. This investment puts the Aerospace Center on the map in an unprecedented way."

Among its applications, the VMC can display engineering designs in virtual reality helping technicians discover ways to improve the manufacturing process. Workers have access to a real-time visual experience with prototype products that have not yet been produced. The VMC will expand Boeing-Heath's capabilities, allowing it to introduce technical and engineering data into the manufacturing process in a very cutting edge way.

The birthplace of flight, Ohio provides a world-class research environment that includes two dedicated federal laboratories and ten aerospace related doctoral programs at Ohio universities. Graduates of these institutions provide a cluster of highly skilled and educated workers.

One of the most significant initiatives supporting business growth is the state's Third Frontier Project, a 10-year, $1.6 billion initiative to help catalyze connections between companies and academia. The project is the state's largest-ever commitment to expanding high-tech research capabilities and promoting innovation and company formation that will create high-paying jobs for generations to come.

"The opening of the Virtual Manufacturing Center is yet another example of Ohio's commitment to the aerospace industry and to the state's overall goal to be more business-friendly and better compete in a 21st century global economy," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "Business owners are realizing how, in Ohio, they're able to find the perfect balance between successfully growing a business and still enjoying life, without sacrificing one for the other. The bottom-line benefits of employee work:life balance and the variety of low-cost, low-stress communities in a combination of micropolitan and metropolitan cities provides executives and employees the resources and time to make any ambition achievable. Ohio truly is the state of perfect balance."

About the Ohio Business Development Coalition

The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

To learn more about Ohio's world-class aerospace industry, download the complete brochure at: http://www.ohiomeansbusiness.com/docs/Ohio_Aeropropulsion_Brochure.pdf

Web site: http://www.ohiomeansbusiness.com/

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