Here’s to many more Ohio jobs to come

For those who grew up watching flying cars in cartoons or sci-fi movies, such an idea probably seems like nothing more than a Hollywood fantasy. But here in the Buckeye State we’re getting pretty good at making what once seemed like the ideas of a faraway future come to life right now.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, to learn Joby Aviation plans to build electric planes that can take off and land vertically at a site on the Dayton International Airport grounds.

“When you’re talking about air taxis, that’s the future,” Gov. Mike DeWine said last week. “We find this very, very exciting — not only for the direct jobs and indirect jobs it’s going to create, but like Intel, it’s a signal to people that Ohio is looking to the future. This is a big deal for us.”

Electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL aircraft are meant to be a wide-scale alternative to shuttle individual people or small groups from rooftops and parking garages to their destinations, according to developers.

“For a hundred years, the Dayton area has been a leader in aviation innovation,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “But capturing a large-scale manufacturer of aircraft has always eluded the local economy there. With this announcement, that aspiration has been realized.”

Joby Aviation says it wants to put its production aircraft into aerial ridesharing networks beginning in 2025. (Yes, Uber is one of the partners supporting Joby’s work.)

To know it hopes to achieve that goal from a facility in Ohio is inspiring.

“Ohio is the No. 1 state when it comes to supplying parts for Boeing and Airbus,” Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt said. “Ohio is No. 3 in the nation on manufacturing jobs — and that depth of manufacturing prowess, that workforce, is critical to us as we look to build this manufacturing facility.

While a new employer in Dayton still falls short of that promise to begin attracting major companies to within commuting distance for every Ohioan, it is another important win for the incentives the state, JobsOhio and local governments are able to offer — this time $325 million.

Here’s to many more to come — and maybe one or two for those in rural and Appalachian Ohio can’t take an air taxi to get to their jobs.


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