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AEP Ohio Helps Northwest Ohio Land New Jobs

by on May 12, 2017
AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Julie Sloat (fourth from left) breaks ground on Lima’s new de-manufacturing plant alongside Recleim and Allen County leaders.

(Story by Karen Salajko)

The landscape of Lima’s business community is growing, with AEP Ohio helping to bring more than a hundred new jobs and new hope to a city welcoming its first new manufacturing plant in several years.

In the spirit of recycling, a 94,000-square-foot warehouse will be converted to the new home of Recleim, an appliance de-manufacturing plant.

AEP Ohio’s Economic & Business Development team spent the last year working on the move with the Atlanta-based company, Allen County Economic Development Group, the Regional Growth Partnership, JobsOhio and the city of Lima.

“There was an existing building, and a willing developer to develop a new building if needed. We were working to help Recleim identify an AEP Ohio location, and it all pointed toward Lima,” said Tim Wells, AEP Ohio’s Economic & Business Development Manager.

The arrival of Recleim will bring 150 jobs and a company investment of $15 million for machinery and upgrades to the facility.

“First, transportation infrastructure, rail and highway access, Recleim found all of that beneficial. Second, the commitment that AEP Ohio made to them for the opportunity to process the appliances out of homes and businesses through its programs was also highly instrumental in getting them to locate here,” said Lima Mayor David Berger.

“And of course, we are a community of manufacturers, and the skillset is here and the opportunity is here to provide the human resources,” Berger added.

In a county where the unemployment rate stood at 5.1 percent in March, this is rewarding work for all of the community partners involved in landing the deal.

“Communities today don’t want to rely on one big employer. While large employers are terrific, it’s important to diversify so that one day, if a major employer decides to downsize or relocate, there are strong alternative employment opportunities for the residents of the community,” said Wells.

AEP Ohio’s economic development effort doesn’t end with bringing this project to fruition. AEP Ohio’s grant programs also help offer support to improve new businesses. Recleim is applying for a $20,000 Rate Stabilization Plan (RSP) Grant that would help with the necessary electrical infrastructure upgrades to the facility. The RSP Grant programs have been in place since 2006, investing nearly $8 million in Ohio employers, creating more than 5,000 jobs and helping to retain over 10,000 jobs.

“AEP Ohio is pleased to serve many outstanding Ohio communities and partners with local units of government and economic development organizations to encourage job growth and investment,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer.

While the Recleim announcement means economic growth for Lima, it also means money in the pockets of AEP Ohio customers. In partnership with Recleim, customers of AEP Ohio are being offered a $35 incentive for recycling their old, working refrigerators or freezers, and pick up of the appliance is free. Removing an old working refrigerator or freezer could save customers up to $150 a year in energy costs.

Recleim terms itself a “de-manufacturer,” recovering approximately 95 percent of commodity components in the old appliances it recycles while disposing of hazardous chemicals and minimizing waste. Most recyclers only recover about 60 percent of a product, according to Douglas Huffer, president and general manager of Recleim.

“Where a recycling manufacturer will take small things, and make big things, we take big things, like refrigerators, and make small things. We take it back into the individual steel and copper, right back to the raw material state for sale,” explained Huffer.

While the Recleim plant is under construction, the appliances collected are being shipped to the company’s flagship plant in Graniteville, South Carolina, or stored in a separate warehouse in Lima. Recleim plans to have employees in place at the new Lima location in September.

For Mayor Berger, the new employment opportunities are a testament to economic revival not only in Lima, but across northwest Ohio. “All of our manufacturers are doing very well, the vitality of our local industries is very high,” Berger said. “Recleim’s entry into our community into and northwest Ohio is an indication of manufacturing’s growth.”

For AEP Ohio customers interested in the appliance recycling program, visit

For more information on Recleim’s next generation recycling process, visit


From → News From AEP

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