WILMINGTON — If the employees wear company attire, residents will see people in Pepsi shirts around here with the announcement that G&J Pepsi-Cola will consolidate regional distribution operations to Wilmington.
The number of G&J Pepsi employees who will work out of the Wilmington facility was not immediately available Thursday afternoon. G&J Pepsi currently has a facility on Route 62 (North High Street) in Hillsboro.
According to G&J’s website, the corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati, operates distribution centers in Chillicothe and Hillsboro, Ohio, as well as Winchester and Harrodsburg, Ky.
Clinton County Business & Economic Development Director Bret Dixon brought up the news when he gave an update Wednesday to county commissioners on business developments taking place locally.
G&J Pepsi-Cola is a privately owned company consisting of seven franchises that distribute Pepsi-Cola brand products, the website states. There is a Career Opportunities page on the website www.gjpepsi.com.
U.S. Air Force veterans may become more common in the area as workforce development officials try to secure workers for Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES) at the Wilmington Air Park.
Dixon spoke about the prospect of AMES recruiting experienced Air Force airplane mechanics and offering them a two-week class that would make them eligible to take the airframe and powerplant test and earn an A & P license to work at AMES.
“That’s a big deal,” said Dixon, adding that the approach to an A & P license would be quicker and less expensive than through traditional educational means.
AMES expanded its maintenance, repair and overhaul operations in Wilmington when a while back it opened a new 100,000 square foot hangar able to accommodate aircraft as large as a Boeing 777.
Of a longer-term possibility about which Dixon has begun meeting with people in Cincinnati, he said he is exploring a potential rail strategy — here to the Ohio River — that would tie in with a larger transportation network that would make use of the new Panama Canal when it opens.
The canal opening is anticipated to change the course of some China trade, which could be “kind of a game changer in terms of transportation,” said Dixon.
Dixon said he doesn’t want area businesses involved in export and import to be “left out” of the potential strategy.
The county business and economic development director also spoke about the items below:
• He was one of 19 on a trip to Israel comprised of Ohio Statehouse lawmakers, staff and the Dayton Development Coalition president. The United States has not had a cattle export agreement with Israel since the 1950s, he said.
The remaining issues to again export cattle there “are not insurmountable,” Dixon said.
He said the delegation received a commitment that before the end of the year, it will take place.
• Continued discussions with an Israeli-German company “on a hub concept” using the Wilmington Air Park, Dixon told commissioners.
• He advised that AMES “landed Delta as a customer.”
• A local in-house training program is being developed for advanced manufacturing, focusing on the machine tool industry, he said.
“The belief now is being held very strongly that apprentice programs — training in house — is going to have to be more than just talked about. Our county is on top of that,” Dixon said.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.