Perhaps you are reading this article with some degree of skepticism. D.J Hurlburt, Vice President and Director for Programs at Leidos in Dayton, told ClearanceJobs he thought that way, too—at first.
“Being in the DoD, Dayton was a reasonable place to go because of Wright Patterson AFB where the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is headquartered, as well as other DoD entities,” said Hurlburt. “But when I first entertained the idea of moving to Dayton, it was not my first choice. I was hoping for something more ‘glamorous,’ like Boulder or San Diego. But after moving here, I discovered that this is one of the best places to have a gratifying career and a rewarding lifestyle.”
There are plenty of good reasons you might consider a move to Dayton, but here are six reasons why your future may be waiting in Ohio.
Do important work
Companies like Leidos are eager to attract mid and senior level talent to Dayton. If you’re feeling stove piped into a niche, a move to Dayton may help you expand your skills. Hurlburt is currently looking for tech talent to come to Dayton and work for Leidos—professionals who know their tech field, have the ability to develop and architect a solution, and who can interface with customers and company management.
If your current career path has you wondering if the work you do matters, or if you’re critical to the mission, you won’t have to ask those questions in Dayton. There are jobs available now for technical experts to provide vital solutions.
Home Ownership is Affordable
A quick search on Zillow will give you a sense of the Dayton area’s affordability in contrast to places like D.C., San Diego and Boulder:
Number of single-family, detached homes for sale under $300k (excluding foreclosures):
|Washington, DC||Reston, VA||0||Chantilly, VA||1|
|San Diego, CA||Escondido, CA||2||Oceanside, CA||2|
|Boulder, CO||Superior, CO||0||Boulder, CO||0|
|Dayton, OH||Springboro, OH||59||Kettering, OH||186|
Dayton Is Full of Career Opportunities
Leidos is looking for a variety of cleared professionals in Dayton—particularly software or systems engineers.
As Hurlburt explains, “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a juggernaut when it comes to opportunities. The Air Force Research Lab is here—and with it comes some of the greatest cutting-edge research in the world. AFRL works with everything: electronic warfare, flight systems, Position Navigation Timing (PNT), multi-spectral target recognition, cognitive systems, artificial intelligence, autonomy, open architectures, avionics, cybersecurity—all of that is at your fingertips here in Dayton.”
Also, given the smaller pool of applicants, employers in Dayton are hungry for cleared talent. If you find your career stalled in a city with a large cleared workforce, Dayton could offer opportunity for advancement that you can’t find elsewhere.
Be Close to Family and Friends
If you’re from the Midwest, Dayton is conveniently located within driving distance of many cities in the region.
As Hurlburt explains, “Many other ‘big’ cities are easily accessible: Indianapolis is a 2 hour drive; Ann Arbor, Mich. is a 3.5 hour drive; Cincinnati is only an hour drive; Chicago is 5; Pittsburgh is 4.”
And if you’re from outside the Midwest, you’re just a plane ride away. “There are three airports all within 70 miles: Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.” Dayton International Airport has non-stop flights to New York, D.C., Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta and Orlando. That means that you can visit Mickey Mouse, the Rockies and Great Aunt Ida in three hours or less.
Traffic in Dayton Is Nonexistent
If you live in the D.C. Metro area, Southern California or another densely populated region, you know that eating, sleeping and recreation revolve around traffic. But no such worries exist in Dayton.
“There are no traffic issues whatsoever, so your life is does not revolve around traffic. I live 24 miles from work and it takes me 30 minutes to get there,” said Leidos’ Hurlburt. “There isn’t an issue getting to the soccer field or piano lessons and worrying about the stifling logistics of other places.”
Rebel against the tyranny of traffic and move to Dayton.
The American Dream is Alive in Dayton
We want our work to protect America and its people. We want to be a part of things bigger than ourselves. The ability to do just that is alive and well in Dayton.
“The suburbs of Dayton are very family-oriented; lots of outdoor parks and hiking trails—and I was surprised to learn that most of the suburban public school districts are ranked at the top of the state,” said Hurlburt. “So, from a lifestyle perspective, if you want to raise a family, there are many perks here that outweigh many other ‘desirable’ locations in the U.S.”
So as you’re stuck on the 405 at rush hour or paying $20k per year for your kid’s private preschool, remember that there are a number of open jobs in a lovely place called Dayton.
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