Chamber Network Alliance meets at Wilmington Air Park


WILMINGTON — The Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce held its most recent Economic Network Alliance at the Wilmington Air Park on Nov. 3. This forum affords chamber members an opportunity to share information and to gather updates on local businesses or issues of interest.

“Together with the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission, we like to host this event monthly to highlight unique programs, organizations and issues in our community,” said Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dessie Rogers. “Visiting different locations is a great way to showcase businesses and keep the group engaged.”

The Clinton County Port Authority hosted the event and shared updates on the progress of redevelopment and new investment activities underway at the Wilmington Air Park. Executive Director Daniel Evers spoke to the group of over 30 community members briefly about the Air Park’s history, and more at length on the more current projects.

Highlighted in the presentation were the legacy companies that remain tenants at the Air Park, including Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) with its growth into new business lines and the new hangar; LGSTX Services, Inc., that manages the facility on behalf of the Port Authority, bringing 30+ years of institutional knowledge to their daily tasks; and ATSG, the parent company that became the anchor tenant on “Day One” of the Port Authority’s ownership of the Wilmington Air Park.

It has continued to bring its subsidiary companies to the area, increasing employment and diversifying the employment base.

Central to this effort is the work of the Clinton County Port Authority Board, as it accepted the responsibility of owning the Air Park at the time of the donation, and the associated responsibility of undertaking — as well as securing and/or providing funding for — the improvements and operations necessary to facilitate success and growth.

As the local, public ownership passed the nearly six and one-half year mark, some milestones of interest include: double the number of employees (1,400-plus) at the Wilmington Air Park today, from June 2, 2010; 12 diverse employers engaged in aviation-related businesses, as well as manufacturing, corporate headquarters and emerging research; multi-million-dollar investment in the facilities and infrastructure at the Wilmington Air Park by the Port Authority.

Additionally, there has been increased, positive national and international recognition of the potential of the Air Park and the community, and – as evidenced in the around-the-room announcements that are part of this forum – a strong local confidence that as the Air Park succeeds, the community benefits.

Following the presentation, many attendees participated in a guided tour of the Air Park to review the newer assets and multiple projects currently underway.

Rogers added: “By hosting our November meeting at the Air Park with a discussion led by the Clinton County Port Authority, we further strengthen the partnership between our organizations as local leaders in economic development and expose our members to the integral and impressive work being done by the Port Authority to bring jobs and business growth to our entire region.”

For more information on the monthly Economic Network Alliance, contact the chamber at 937-382-2737.

Wilmington Air Park Executive Director Dan Evers speaks to the Chamber Network Alliance group. Air Park Executive Director Dan Evers speaks to the Chamber Network Alliance group. Courtesy photo

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