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Business/Manufacturing


“That machine is for our OEM (original equipment


manufacturer) production. In order to make one part of what we make, there are several processes,” said Yukihiko Ushiro, president of Toyotomi. “The machine we have newly installed can handle several processes. This machine moves a lot faster, and that means that it will make the same products 1.7 times faster than the machine it replaces.”


Toyotomi employs about 250 workers, and the com-


pany is looking to add jobs in the future. “All of the jobs we will be hiring for in the future


are expensive, professional-type jobs that require good skills and education. We’re talking about engi- neering and production-type people, and that’s what you want to bring to the community.”


What is SWEDA?


SWEDA was formed in the late 1990s, after community leaders realized having a part-time development authority wouldn’t attract the industry Springfield/Washington County needed to stay vital, much less grow. “We had a volunteer board with no special training and no experience except the school of hard knocks,” said Chuck Polin, chairman of SWEDA and long-time director of its predecessor. “We realized that if we really wanted to make a splash, we had to have a full-time economic develop- ment director.” That required bringing Washington County into the fold, for the original board was just for the city of Springfield. The county leaped at the chance, and SWEDA was born. Polin said the effort has paid off. “For years we took everything for granted,” he said. “Now, we’re a town of about 3,000 people, and we have 1,100 manu- facturing jobs. Very few counties, if any, of comparable size in Kentucky can say that.”


Hal Goode, SWEDA’s executive director, said the agency has three main tasks: recruit new industry, retain existing industry, and workforce develop- ment.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP


IN WASHINGTON COUNTY Business in Washington County is not just oper-


In the past 10 years, he said, the community’s industrial base has diversi- fied. That’s an effort that will continue. “We’re trying to bring in high-skilled jobs, technical jobs,” he said. “In the next 10 years, we’ll continue the emphasis on automotive suppliers, but also diversify into wood products, biotechnology, and plastic injection molding.”


What it means, he added, is that Springfield/Washington County “want to find that perfect fit for a manufacturer.” www.sweda.org


Supporting the


ated by large companies, but also by local citizens who make the community thrive. Among the entrepre- neurs who own local busi- nesses is Keith Schlosser, owner of Mordecai’s on Main, a local restaurant. Schlosser has been in business for more than 14 years, and over that time has owned convenience and grocery stores, as well as restaurants, and he said seeing his cus- tomers come back is what he enjoys about owning his own business.


“When people keep coming back, and they have a smile on their face, it tells you that you’re doing something right,” Schlosser said.


36


Keith Schlosser, a Washington County resident, is the owner of Mordecai’s on Main, a local restaurant. Schlosser has owned several local businesses in his career as an entrepreneur.


Future Automotive Industry...


By Continual Improvement and Customer Satisfaction.


TOYOTOMI AMERICA


1 Sakura Drive (859) 336-3725 • Springfield, Ky.


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