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Rust to riches?Flying taxi startup boosts Ohio city's fortunes |

FOr 10 years, Southwest Dayton. Ohio has been fighting to break away from the Rust Belt of the past. New apartment complexes, hotels, and breweries cut into a landscape dominated by abandoned warehouses and general deindustrialization. But today, that transformation is shifting gears and taking to the skies.

Hundreds of flight facilities will be built in the town where the Wright brothers pioneered manned flight 120 years ago. futuristic flying taxi Every year.

Joby Aviation plans to build electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft here in Dayton, rather than in its home state of California.

Joby's Didier Papadopoulos cited several reasons for the company's plans to hire up to 2,000 people at a time. $500 million facility It is scheduled to open next year north of Dayton.

For one thing, “aviation has an immense history. It's the birthplace of flight,” Papadopoulos said recently. He also said, “Ohio has a talented and skilled manufacturing workforce and we look forward to hiring and training both local and national applicants.”

Aircraft scheduled to appear at the Paris Olympics this summerteeth Some expect it to reshape Not just air travel, but also the broader mobility industry. In recent years, many startups and established companies have entered electric flying vehicles, and the global eVTOL market is expected to reach a value of $1 trillion by 2040.

Joby positions itself as the “Uber of the sky.” The aircraft has space for one pilot and four passengers and can reach speeds of up to 200 mph (322 km/h). The company conducted a test flight in lower Manhattan in November, and the company says it can get from Manhattan to JFK International Airport in just seven minutes, compared to an hour by taxi or subway.

The company aims to operate commercial flights between New York City and Los Angeles in 2025. Taxi service from home to airport on Delta Airlines.

President Joe Biden is plowing billions of dollars into a new era of manufacturing, with much of the money going to the industrial Midwest as part of a broader move to reduce U.S. dependence on other countries for key technology products. is flowing into. Millions of dollars in government incentives are being poured into new semiconductors and other products. Ohio Mobility Project, michigan and other states are often associated with socio-economic decline more generally.

The move could be a major turnaround for Dayton, which has lost nearly half its population since the 1960s.

“Ohio is Advanced air mobility plan” said Ted Angell of the Dayton Development Coalition, Joby's liaison. “No other state was leaning so far forward.”

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, located a few miles east of Dayton, is the largest single employer in Ohio and boasts significant federal military research and development spending power, resulting in It is attracting a growing ecosystem of space partners and startups. area.

Nearby Springfield, a city of 60,000 people, has also suffered years of manufacturing closures, but the U.S. Air Force is helping build a new National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence, which is expected to become a hub for the aviation industry. . korean companies And elsewhere too.

“For products like this, [Joby] Jennifer Clark, a regional planning expert at Ohio State University, said: “That's just normal in the airline industry. Almost every airline you can think of does both defense and civilian manufacturing. The Dayton area knows that very well.”

While the creation of thousands of new skilled jobs in economically challenged areas like Dayton has been widely welcomed, some of these communities may bear the cost.

Dayton has long been known as a place with an abundance of affordable housing, but rising rental prices over the past year have pushed residents to form a tenant association.in other citylarge manufacturing plants fueled a significant increase in real estate prices.

Ohio state government is the largest Taxpayers $325 million in taxes We will support Joby's facility construction.Montgomery County, Dayton was suggested Donate $1 million to the company as “development costs.”

“There's a belief among economic development officials that doing all this recruitment, retention and expansion with individual companies is risky and not the best use of taxpayer dollars,” Clark said. Stated. “Most of the research shows that if we want to have sustainable economic development, we need to invest in our entire institutional infrastructure. But it's a long game.”

Mr Joby's initial announcement suggested 2,000 jobs would be created, but that number has now been reduced to approaching 1,200may rise.

Still, investment from companies at the forefront of mobility is seen as a welcome shot in the arm for a region that has seen decades of population decline. That's evidenced by the fact that the new factory sits on what was once a U.S. Postal Service airmail facility.

Angell, of the Dayton Development Coalition, said many community colleges and universities in the area are adjusting by opening training programs to establish a pipeline of technicians for Joby and other airlines. Ta.

“I can’t tell you how many tours I’ve done with school kids,” he says. ” [new] A flying revolution is happening here. ”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/29/flying-taxi-joby-aviation-ohio Rust to riches?Flying taxi startup boosts Ohio city's fortunes |

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