Despite these challenges, manufacturing still is, and will continue to be, a driving force in the local economy. The Dayton region is one of the largest and most highly developed industrial regions in the country. According to a recent Wright State University study, manufacturing employs over 100,000 people in the 12-county region surrounding Dayton, contributing $4.7 billion in annual payroll and $32 billion in annual sales. Advanced manufacturing is critical to our near and long term economic vitality. Southwest Ohio manufacturers serve customers in a variety of markets, including aerospace, energy, medical, defense, communication and transportation. These areas look to add a significant number of jobs over the next 10 years.
The Dayton area has never lost touch with its roots as the “Birthplace of Aviation.” In the spirit of the Wright Brothers, the Dayton area leverages Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, world-class university programs such as University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), and advanced materials research to provide sustainable job growth.
As the state’s aerospace innovation hub, Dayton’s aircraft engine manufacturing sector provides jobs to nearly 75 percent of Ohio’s aerospace and defense industry workforce—nearly 11,000 workers—ranking our state second in the nation for aircraft engine employment. Greene and Montgomery County, home of Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), receives over $1 billion in defense-related contracts per year. A recent report conducted by base officials estimates WPAFB has an over $5 billion economic impact on the Dayton region. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am committed to protecting and advocating for the region’s defense and aerospace industry due to the critical role it plays in the national security of the United States and the local economy.
Our manufacturing strengths go far beyond the aerospace and defense industry. The State of Ohio is a national leader in the manufacturing of medical devices and equipment. Over the past three years, the medical device manufacturing sector has continued to experience growth despite the recent economic downturn. The sector employs over 38,000 people, paying out over $2 billion to Ohio’s workforce, and producing over $8 billion in goods and services annually. The Dayton region in particular is home to numerous medical device and equipment companies that provide well-paying manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, ObamaCare imposes a new tax on the medical device industry which will inhibit innovation and impose an additional tax burden on businesses that already carry high research and investment costs.
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 5095, the Protect Medical Innovation Act, which would remove the medical device excise tax from the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, I have introduced legislation (H.R. 6257) that would provide tax relief to emergency medical devices manufacturers across the nation. Without this tax relief, many small-device companies headquartered in Southwest Ohio will be forced to cut their research and development budgets, or even layoff workers due to the new financial burden imposed by the tax. Instead of penalizing these manufacturing companies with new taxes, Congress should pursue policies that allow these businesses to continue to grow and employ more people.
It is imperative to keep our manufacturing industry on the innovative path. It is unique due to its advanced technology, sophisticated methods, and highly skilled workforce. Its base has become more technological and service-oriented, allowing it to expand and become even more competitive. More than 2,400 manufacturing companies do business in the Dayton region, employing around 14 percent of the area’s workforce. Local manufacturing must be protected. I am committed to doing everything in my capacity as the representative of Ohio’s third congressional district to protect local jobs and ensure the Dayton region is a leader in advanced manufacturing in the 21st century.