Leaders of Joby Aviation Inc., the company known for the production of “flying taxis,” said Monday morning that Ohio’s quality of life, capacity for manufacturing and its innovation in aerospace influenced their choice to open a Dayton production facility.
“The facility we’re building here will also play a key role in ensuring the U.S. continues to lead the way on the manufacturing and adoption of this important new technology,” JoeBen Bevirt, the founder of the aerospace company, said at the historic Hawthorn Hill on Monday morning.
He and state leaders gathered together in front of the historic home of Orville Wright to announce plans for the company’s $500 million project and pledge to bring up to 2,000 high-paid jobs to the region.
Up to $325 million in state and local incentives will support the development of the facility, expected to be located near Dayton International Airport, according to the company.
Joby leaders expect to close on a 140-acre property in the coming weeks and begin hiring “straight away,” according to Bevirt.
Many factors made Ohio — specifically the Miami Valley — appealing to Joby, according to Bevirt. This includes current aerospace research partnerships with area airports and the region’s military base, and the state ranking third nationally for manufacturing jobs.
“The depth and breadth and quality of the workforce in Ohio is just incredible,” Bevirt said.
Joby’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft can travel up to 200 miles per hour and have space for a pilot and four passengers. They can travel up to 100 miles and make little noise — like wind in the trees, officials said.
Joby hopes to launch the commercial service of the eVTOL aircraft as early as 2025.
“This announcement is just more evidence that Ohio continues to build on our great tradition, a great tradition of dreaming and inventing and creating the technology of the future,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Ohio did not make the largest offer to Joby.
“When making economic development deals... it’s a competition. Joby is making a product that’s going to be globally competitive,” Husted said. “They could have put this factory anyplace in the country, and Ohio won and Dayton won because of a great team effort.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said the Joby deal was another example of the state burying the term “Rust Belt.”
“You’ve seen it in Springfield. You’ve seen it in my hometown of Mansfield. You’ve seen it in Dayton. You’ve seen it in southern Ohio,” he said. “The technology, the future will be developed in America... and in the industrial heartland in Ohio, in the Miami Valley.”
Joby’s job application site launched early Monday morning, and Bevirt said his company has already received hundreds of applications. The company is looking to fill manufacturing and customer service positions, and it will also be rolling out a pilot academy to train people to operate the aircraft.
“We’re so excited to be growing jobs in the great state of Ohio,” Bevirt said.
Congressman Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said that collaboration among the state, Springfield and Dayton were also crucial in coaxing Joby to the area, applauding communities’ efforts to expand their aerospace opportunities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
Turner also pointed to the Monday opening of the $8.2 million National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence in Springfield, a project boosted by $6 million in U.S. Department of Defense funding.
“This is a team sport. We all work together,” he said.
Dayton Development Coalition President Jeff Hoagland called Monday a historic day for the region.
“We are honored and humbled to be chosen as the chosen site for Joby aviation’s manufacturing operations,” he said.