The City of Hamilton has historically focused its economic status around the manufacturing sector. As the economy and business sectors have changed over the years, away from more traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing, service and information technology sectors, the City has made great strides in evolving and diversifying its business portfolio as well. The City and Butler County as a whole exhibit a diverse economic base accompanied by growth in all sectors, including industrial, retail, service and residential. With approximately 1,700 establishments, the City is a major regional center of business and industry.
Manufacturing continues to remain a substantial component of the economic base, primarily in the paper & paper products; metalworking & machinery; automotive parts and components; plastics & chemicals; aerospace; electric & electronic components, and other industrial sectors. Additionally, office and technology industries are increasingly important to the long-term economic viability of the community.
Review of Industry Clusters and Target Industries
The following is a review of the various industry clusters currently in Hamilton as well as in the region. The list also includes those industries that the City has targeted for additional growth in the future. Key criteria for targeting an industry for growth include higher than average annual wages, sales of goods and services outside the region, projected employment growth in the industry, concentration of occupations currently in the region, and other qualitative and quantitative factors.
Metalworking & Industrial Machinery
Metal fabricators and machinery companies include Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing, Salvagnini USA, Livingston-Tyler, Matandy Steel & Metal Products, General Electric Aviation, Armor Metal Group, Climax Products Group, Fabridigm, Ryerson Tull Coil Processing, Thompson Metal Tubing, JN LinRose, Tipco Punch, Gerdau Ameristeel and United Performance Metals. This industry remains one of the City’s strongest industry sectors.
This industrial cluster has as its heart Metalworking & Industrial Machinery, which has a traditional strength of the Hamilton area and continues to be today, as can be seen from the list above. Additionally, companies such as YAC Robots, Connector Manafacturing, Neturen America, Valeo Climate Control, Bilstein Corporation of America, Sensus, LLC and many others utilize advanced manufacturing technology in their operations.
Electrical & Electronic Components
Connector Manufacturing, headquartered in Hamilton, is a leader in the field of electrical components for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Additionally, Connector has long been a supplier to the electric utility industry and has recently expanded their products lines to include the growing wind energy industry. Other companies in this industry in Hamilton include Reliance Electric/Rockwell Automation and Production Manufacturing.
Automotive Parts & Accessories
There are a number of Hamilton companies involved in the manufacturing of original and after-market automotive parts and components, including Valeo Climate Control, ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Corporation of America, Neturen America (Japanese joint venture) and Dynamic Controls. Companies in this industry sector employ over 500 people in the City.
General Electric Aviation maintains one of its major engine repair facilities in the City. Additionally, companies such as Livingston-Tyler and United Performance Metals have served the aerospace industry for a number of years.
Plastics, Plastic Products & Chemicals
Companies located in Hamilton, involved in this growing industry include VinylMax Windows, PlasTanks, Eagle Chemicals, Kathom Manufacturing, Terry Materials and UNIVAR. Due to the City's very competitive electric rates, it is expected that this is an industry that will grow further in the City.
Technology-Oriented Industry Cluster
This industry cluster generally includes biotechnology, digital equipment and telecommunications, software, and data processing. The City is continuing to place great emphasis and efforts in growing the technology-oriented industries. The centerpiece for the City’s efforts in bringing new technology to the area is Vora Technology Park (VTP). VTP, a 55-acre corporate campus containing a 365,000 square foot Class A, state-of-the-art, multi-tenant corporate office facility, is currently home to over 200 employees and a multi-million dollar Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions Tier 3 data center. The building also contains operations for AmStan Logistics, Cincinnati Bell Marketing, ButlerTech OnLine, Ascendum, and a number of other technology-focused companies. The City has partnered with VTP, since its inception in 2005, assisting in recruitment efforts on-going at VTP.
Office-Oriented Industry Cluster
This industry cluster targets advanced design services, business management and financial services. The City of Hamilton, as the County seat of Butler County, has historically been the center of banking, financial services, government and insurance in the area, and continues in that role today. The headquarters of First Financial Bank is located in downtown Hamilton. Additionally, U.S. Bank, Fifth/Third Bank, Key Bank, LCNB, and others have operations within the City of Hamilton. Further enhancing prospects for downtown redevelopment, IRG purchased the former Ohio Casualty Group headquarters building in 2008. This 428,000 square foot facility is being converted into a multi-tenant, mixed use facility, providing adequate space for growth in the office-oriented industry cluster. In partnership with the City, IRG is targeting to bring new businesses into the City.