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REDI Cincinnati announces James A. Wuenker Growth Award Winners

CINCINNATI – March 27, 2024 – REDI Cincinnati presented four local companies with James A. Wuenker Growth Awards at its 10th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 26. DHL Express, General Tool Company, Resilience, and Safran Landing Systems Kentucky received recognition for powering growth in the Cincinnati Region through investments made during the 2023 calendar year.

Named in honor of renowned economic developer James A. Wuenker, who helped shape the future of the Cincinnati region through his efforts, the Growth Awards are annually conferred to companies whose projects announced in the previous year significantly enhanced the economic strength of the Cincinnati region.

“This year’s four Growth Awards winners represent 665 new jobs and $495 million in capital investment – showcasing real and tangible impact to the region,” said Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO. “DHL Express, Resilience, General Tool Company and Safran Landing Systems Kentucky’s intentional expansion plans underscore the robust economic vitality of our region. These projects not only demonstrate the confidence these companies have in our region’s economic potential but also signify the attractiveness of Cincinnati as a strategic hub for business growth and development.”

James A. Wuenker Growth Award Winner: DHL Express
DHL Express’s North American operations at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport announced a 305,000-square-foot expansion in 2023. The project adds 86 new jobs and is a LEED-certified carbon-neutral aircraft maintenance facility with eight new gates. DHL’s expansion announcement will bring the company’s total regional employment to more than 3,800.

“DHL Express is happy to be recognized for our expanding partnership with the Kenton County Airport Board and CVG Airport,” said Don McCutcheon, DHL Express head of hub development, Americas region. “We are proud to further increase our presence as a leading employer in the region.”

James A. Wuenker Growth Award Winner: General Tool Company
A family-run company for more than 75 years, General Tool Company (GTC) specializes in providing high-performance machining, fabrication and assembly for major U.S. defense and global aerospace clients, amongst other commercial/industrial sectors. In July 2023, GTC purchased 6.4 acres from the Village of Evendale, Ohio, in the Aerohub manufacturing and innovation district.

The expansion marks significant growth for GTC bringing 47 new jobs and a capital investment of $8.5 million. The Village of Evendale further incentivized the project providing a 10-year, 75% tax abatement. GTC currently maintains a 295,000-square-foot facility in Reading and a 35,000-square-foot building in Woodlawn.

“General Tool Company is a proud member of the business community and has benefited greatly from the tremendous support and encouragement provided by the local municipalities, REDI Cincinnati, Alloy and JobsOhio,” said Bill Kramer, General Tool Company president and CEO. “Our new facility in Evendale will allow us to better serve our customers, Rolls Royce and the U.S. Navy, and continue the legacy of precision manufacturing here in Cincinnati.”

James A. Wuenker Growth Award Winner: Resilience
In December 2023, National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience), a technology-focused biomanufacturing company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines, announced an expansion expected to create 274 new full-time positions, generating $15 million in new annual payroll and retaining $27.2 million in existing payroll at its West Chester Township headquarters. The proposed project includes expansion of their current facility to further develop and modernize the site to operate more effectively and efficiently, improving patient access to novel therapies. The project will create 440 new jobs (274 direct hires, 166 contractor positions) and retain 476 jobs at Resilience’s West Chester biomanufacturing site. The types of new employment opportunities will encompass various roles, including manufacturing, engineering, quality control, information technology and management.

“Resilience is excited to continue to expand our commercial drug product manufacturing capacity and workforce in the region in collaboration with REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio,” said Josh Matson, Resilience vice president and general manager. “We look forward to further embedding our facility into the already thriving life sciences ecosystem in Cincinnati and offering meaningful job opportunities aimed to bring life-saving therapies to patients.”

James A. Wuenker Growth Award Winner: Safran Landing Systems
Safran Landing Systems Kentucky has been in Boone County, Kentucky, for 24 years, expanding multiple times and investing more than $300 million. The project announcement in September 2023 will create 92 full-time jobs, adding to its already 340-employee base. Safran produces and refurbishes advanced carbon composite brake disks and produces aluminum alloy wheels and brakes for large commercial and military aircraft. Safran’s announcement will support Kentucky’s position as the second-largest exporter of aerospace products and parts in the U.S.

“We are grateful for the support from BE NKY Growth Partnership, Boone County, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Philippe Garnier, Safran Landing Systems Kentucky general manager and CEO. We look forward to continuing to create new qualified jobs, invest in high-tech production means and automation, and always contribute to safer and more sustainable aviation.”

REDI Cincinnati’s 10th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting was presented by JobsOhio and PNC.


About REDI Cincinnati
The Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is the first point-of-contact for companies locating or growing in the 15-county region at the heart of southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana. REDI Cincinnati is supported by top business leaders and community partners and staffed by a team of economic development experts who are uniting the Cincinnati region to compete globally.

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