For more than a decade, Wayne County’s economy has received national and international recognition for its exceptional performance. Our success is fueled by a balanced mix of industry which capitalizes on the areas rich natural resources and abundant human capital. Over time industry clusters have formed in Wayne County making the most the areas assets and syenergies based on common markets, technologies, skill needs and buyer-seller relationships. Today our industry clusters include food processing/agribusiness/agbiosciences, automotive, specialty metals/metal fabrication, and heavy machinery manufacturing.
Wayne County is one of the nation’s agricultural leaders. The county is known for its diversity, from small family farms to large commodity operations; growing everything from field corn and soybeans to herbs and vegetables; and raising both traditional and nontraditional livestock. Wayne County is the top dairy-producing county in Ohio and also has the state’s third-largest agricultural economy.
But Wayne County’s ageconomy is more than cows and plows. The area serves as the world headquarters of J.M. Smucker and is home to major food processors like Frito Lay, Daisy Brand, and Smith Dairy. In addition, Wayne County is also home to the nation’s leading agbioscience research institution in The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center (OARDC). The OARDC is an impressive resource, with thousands of acres of agricultural land and over 230 university researchers and scientists conducting more than 400 research projects annually. In addition, the recently-created BioHio Research Park is also driving new innovation in the agbiosciences by providing a vehicle for moving new technology to the marketplace with facilities and entrepreneurial support for prospective companies.
By 2020 global automotive sales are expected to eclipse 20 million units. Wayne County has a number of companies, including Tier One and Tier Two suppliers serving this market, many with German roots. Schaeffler, LuK USA is among Wayne County's largest employers with nearly 2,000 employees. The Wooster facility is a research and development hub as well as a manufacturing center for torque converters. Globally one in three vehicles rolled off the assembly line are outfitted with a Schaeffler equipped transmission. Nearby Artiflex, employment 800, serves as a past model service and innovative body solutions provider to the OEMs and the industry. The company has extensive tooling knowledge and expertise with the ability to address complex manufacturing challenges.
Other area automotive suppliers include, Amtek Tekfor, FEW, JAE Tech and GDC.
Specialty Metals/Metal Fabrication
By volume Wayne County's largest non-agricultural manufacturing cluster is specialty metal and metal fabrication. The businesses making up this cluster can be found on all corners of the county, utilizing a wide variety techniques and manufacturing processes to manipulate a multiplicity of metals and alloys. The products produced by our metals manufacturers include sized, shaped, rolled, drawn and coated metals for further processing, turned, drilled and milled component parts and fully assembled finish goods. Our final product offering is eclectic, ranging from fireplug couplings to pressure vessels to telescopic masts to tactical knives to lift gates to specialty nuts, bolts and screws to stair tread to submarine hydraulic actuators to spent nuclear rod containment vessels.
Wayne County's extensive line of metal fabricators include Accurate Automatic, Akron Brass, AT&F, Bekaert, CNC, DES ECK Welding, G&S Titanium, Hickory Lane Welding, Hinderer Knives, Kelbly Incorporated, Korda Industries, Magni-Power, Metals USA, Morrison Custom Welding, Nucor, Orrvilon, Pride of the Hills Manufacturing, Red Head Brass, Stahl, Steinway Equipment, Tricor, United Titanium, Wayne Machine, Westerman Industries, Willburt Company, Wooster Products.
There are several manufacturers in Wayne County producing product considered heavy machinery. These powerful, specialty-machines are used in applications including construction, demolition, hauling and shipping and agriculture. Wayne County equipment manufacturers produce aerial lifts, forestry cutters, grinders and chippers, lawn and snow removal equipment, refrigerated reefers, and unique crop cultivation and harvest equipment.
The Wayne County heavy machinery manufacturer line up includes: JLG, Rayco Manufacturing, Venture Products, VT Hachney and Pioneer Equipment.
Wayne County serves as a regional healthcare hub. The local healthcare industry is anchored by three major providers. Wooster Community Hospital, employs over 1,300 staff and professionals, and has recieved numerous awards including 100 Greatest Community Hospital for quality and cost of care. The world-renowned Cleveland Clinic has several facilities within our community including a family health, women's health and specialty surgery center. Aultman Orrville Hospital, a 25-bed critical access facility, has recently been recognized for fast ER discharge times and use of wireless technology via the 18th Annual Health Care's Most Wired survey. In addition to these institutions, the area has a strong network of ambultory healthcare providers and nursing and residential care facilities. Altogether the healthcare industry in Wayne County employs more than 4,500, representing nearly 10% of total employment.