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Company’s plan to stay local sets good example

It was extremely refreshing to see Old Dominion Freight company make good on its desire to stay in the local market.

The North Carolina-based company acquired 15.2 acres west of Henn Parkway in Lordstown for $950,000 in October to build the new transportation hub. Operations at the new, expanded center started in late April.

Old Dominion formerly operated in Girard, but the center on 2 acres on State Street was landlocked with no room to grow. When the company became constrained and began considering a move, it could have gone anywhere. Officials there looked at other locations where they could build and chose Lordstown to stay here in the Mahoning Valley.

The new location delivers to the freight company plenty of room to grow — in both truck traffic and payroll.

With the move, the company went from 24 doors in Girard to 60 doors in Lordstown, said John Zielinski, Great Lakes regional vice president for Old Dominion. “We went from 2 acres to 15.2 (acres), which is significant, and we also have room for 24 more doors.”

The center employs 64 people, including 32 line haul drivers and 14 city drivers that deliver more locally. Within the line haul ranks, 10 of them move freight around the Youngstown area and 22 move freight that is relayed across the U.S.

The company already has added nine full-time employees since its opening, and business leaders there suspect their total head count likely will double within five years.

Part of Old Dominion’s motivation to stay local was Lordstown’s proximity to the Ohio Turnpike, the only road in Ohio where hauling triple trailers is permissible.

As any real estate expert will tell you, when it comes to development, it’s all about location, location, location. Additionally, the region’s hardworking, available workforce offers much to businesses looking to grow.

If ever in doubt about what our Mahoning Valley has to offer businesses and developers looking to relocate, no one should underestimate what our region brings to the table.

“If we thought the local market wasn’t going to grow, we would have built 24 doors and just added a great big parking lot, but we fully intend to grow the local market as well as add line haul drivers to supplement the entire company’s growth as well,” Zielinski told our business writer recently.

Old Dominion’s positive business outlook is good news for the region and sets an even better example for others who might be looking for a good place to relocate.

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