Highland County Press: PAS Technologies could bring more than 170 new jobs to Highland County

March 28, 2011 | Portman Difference

Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman toured PAS Technologies in Hillsboro Tuesday morning and was on hand when company President/CEO Phil Milazzo announced PAS was in the running to create more than 170 jobs in the area.

PAS Technologies, located on Hobart Drive, is an aircraft engine component manufacturer that currently employs 95 people in Hillsboro.

"We are just delighted to have PAS Technologies as an Ohio presence, and I'm here to say that I'll do whatever I can possibly do to help to create more opportunities right here in Highland County," Portman said.

Milazzo said PAS Technologies could have three phases of job expansion.

"We're looking at possibly three different phases with one of the major OEMs (original equipment manufacturer)," Milazzo said. "We're a global corporation that has plants stretched out around the globe, seven facilities with the bulk of the operations here. The first phase would add approximately between 40 and 50 jobs. The second phase would probably be about 20 to 25 more. The third phase is kind of what we would classify as the biggest opportunity with approximately, probably 100 direct labor employees."

The company is trying to complete the first phase with the year's first quarter, and the second phase by the third quarter of the year.

"And then phase three, we hopefully will be awarded that successful partnership by the end of the year," Milazzo said. "The first phase, we feel, from a competitive standpoint, this plant is definitely competing with a couple of the other plants in PAS Technologies, but they've got extremely highly skilled employees here. The Senator, as he alluded to, has been very supportive, and we'll have to see where it goes."

The final decision on the first phase should be made before the end of March, Milazzo said, with the second phase being announced by the end of June. The decision on the third phase should be made before the end of the year.

Portman said PAS Technologies were "big international players," when it came to manufacturing as "OEMs, manufacturing, or with the government in terms of military sales."

"It would be a great opportunity," Portman said. "Having gone through DHL, we're looking for good opportunities that have a commitment over time with a strong customer base."

Milazzo said approximately 38 percent of their product is exported.

"That kind of gives you a feel for our global presence," he said.

Portman met with company executives, as well as local management, for a tour of the facility and a brief overview of their future development. The jobs would be "terrific," according to Portman, because they would be "high technology, good-paying jobs with good benefits. They've made a big investment here in equipment and people, and now they're looking at a possible three-phase further investment."

With many lost jobs in Ohio and across the nation, "This company is an exception to the rule. They are doing very well in difficult economic times," Portman said. "We've lost over 400,000 in Ohio in the last [four years] and we've lost about 175,000 since the stimulus package was signed into law two years ago this month. This company has been hiring."

Highland County Commissioner Shane Wilkin and Highland County Chamber of Commerce President Katy Farber were in attendance at the meeting, and Portman said they had worked and campaigned to see that the jobs were brought to Highland County.

Wilkin thanked PAS and the senator, as well as Rep. Mike Turner, Sen. David Daniels, Rep. Cliff Rosenberger and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for their involvement and  commitment to the  project.

“We have been working on this project for several months,” Wilkin said, “first locally with Dan Smith (retired), and now with Jim Cameron and Phil Milazzo.

Wilkin said he has been to meetings in Columbus with Ohio Department of Development officials regarding this expansion.”

“We are working to do everything we can to convince Mr. Milazzo and PAS Technologies that Ohio is the place for these proposed expansions,” the commissioner said. “We have a ready, willing, able and skilled workforce, strong work ethic, as well as strong areo-space growth potential, considering our close proximity to the Airpark in Wilmington is just 17 miles north of us.

“This expansion is going to be highly competitive, both domestically and internationally, but I believe that with strong collaboration, locally and at the state level, we can deliver a highly competitive package.” Wilkin said.