CIRCLEVILLE - Circleville received a moment in the international spotlight earlier this week when President Barack Obama cited local development in his speech at the SelectUSA Investment Summit.
"At last year's summit, an Italian tissue company started a conversation with folks from central Ohio, and next month they are breaking ground in the town of Circleville on a manufacturing facility that will create hundreds of jobs in a part of the American midwest that needs them," Obama said. "It will be the largest private sector investment in Circleville in decades, and it started right here at SelectUSA."
A video clip of the speech can be viewed here:
Sofidel, the Italian tissue company, is expected to break ground on the 1.4 million square foot manufacturing facility next month, according to Ryan Scribner, executive director of Pickaway Progress Partnership (P3). The facility will be located on what is known as the Columet Site, which sits east of U.S. Route 23 and south of Pittsburgh Road.
Scribner said a ground-breaking ceremony will likely be held in mid-July, and the plant should be fully operational by 2018.
Scribner said he had no idea the President would highlight the local project in his SelectUSA speech this year, but he was very pleased by the recognition.
"It's not very often the city of Circleville and our local community gets recognized at that level," Scribner said. "It's especially exciting for it to be in that setting and in front of the people he was talking to. The SelectUSA summit hosts companies and people involved in economic development from all over the world. What a great way to highlight Circleville and our community."
Sofidel also discussed the impact of President Obama's speech in a press release issued Wednesday:
"After entering the North-American market in 2012, the Group is currently committed to investing more than $300 million over a three-year period," the release states. "The most significant investment is right here in Circleville, Ohio, which President Obama referred to."
In addition to SelectUSA and P3, Sofidel officials also credited JobsOhio and Columbus 2020 for their assistance in securing the project in Circleville when the development was announced last November.
Even with the excitement of watching the Sofidel project take shape, Scribner said local officials are not just sitting back and letting other opportunities go to waste. He said the Rickenbacker area is currently seeing a lot of interest from developers, and officials are actively working to secure additional development in Pickaway County.
"We are taking full advantage of the growth that is happening here right now in central Ohio, Scribner said.