James Wainscott, chairman, president, and CEO of AK Steel; and Eric Petersen, vice president of research and innovation; answer questions from Cox Media Group following a groundbreaking ceremony for the company's new $36 million research center.

5 facts about local manufacturing for Manufacturing Day 2015

Today is the fourth nationally organized Manufacturing Day. Local companies will open their doors Friday to the public — and more importantly, to students — to educate them about the industry. Their goal is to bring awareness to career options in manufacturing.

1. More than 109,000 people work in manufacturing in greater Cincinnati, which represents approximately 10.5 percent of the local economy, according to state government estimates. The share of the local economy working in manufacturing has fallen from 12 percent a decade ago.

2. Butler County’s largest manufacturing employer is AK Steel Holdings Corp. AK Steel employs approximately 2,400 full-time workers in Butler County between its West Chester Twp. headquarters and the Middletown Works steel plant, the company’s largest of eight steel plants. Procter & Gamble Co.’s Mason Business Center, which conducts research, development and marketing of personal and oral care products is Warren County’s largest manufacturing-related employer of approximately 2,600 workers and contractors, according to local government and company sources.

3. According to Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio’s largest manufacturing employer is General Electric Co., which is growing in Butler County. GE has nearly 16,000 workers statewide and more than 2,000 jobs in Butler County, which includes locations in Hamilton and West Chester Twp. Its aviation division is headquartered in Evendale in suburban Cincinnati.

4. Manufacturers are hiring. “We have more work than we have people right now,” said Dan Puthoff, chief operating officer of JBM Envelope Co. of Lebanon. “We’re committed to giving people 40 plus hours a week.”

5. Jobs in manufacturing pay above average wages, which experts say has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy. Ohio manufacturing workers earned on average about $55,733 a year in 2013, the most recent information available from Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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