Johnson applauds ARC Investments in eastern and southeastern Ohio

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2022

MARIETTA — U.S. Rep.Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, applauded the Appalachian Regional Commission on Thursday, after it announced its decision to award grants to expand the economy in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities though the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Imitative.

Four of the five grants awarded in the state are located in eastern and southeastern Ohio:

“The Appalachian Regional Commission has proven time and again that it is vital to Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, and these new grants will launch additional efforts to promote economic opportunities and workforce training right here at home, “ Johnson said. “These projects also demonstrate how regional collaboration can spur innovation and encourage entrepreneurs. Today’s announcement is a major win for the region, and I thank Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin for prioritizing Appalachia Ohio. I look forward to continuing to work with ARC to support our local communities.”

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Grants, which include Ohio’s 6th Congressional District:

$1,473,578 to Rio Grande Community College (Gallia County) to establish a new workforce training center to serve five counties: In partnership with local business and industry, the project will establish a new workforce training center on RGCC’s campus, providing educational programming, workforce training, and professional licensure and certification opportunities for existing in-demand jobs to unemployed, underemployed, and displaced adult workers in Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton counties. Over the three-year grant period the project will renovate and expand an existing facility for the new training center and is expected to improve 337 workers and trainees with opportunities that will enable them to obtain employment in the regional high-growth medical and manufacturing industries.

$1,500,000 to the Buckeye Hills Career Center (Gallia County) for construction of a workforce training center: This ARC grant of $1,500,000 to the Gallia-Jackson-Vinton Joint Vocational School in Rio Grande will construct two facilities and purchase equipment related to four workforce development programs. The project will offer to equip workers with necessary skills and certifications to enter regional employment sectors that are experiencing growth. Over three years, the consortium expects to serve 155 students annually, with the following programs offered: a CDL program, a Broadband Communications program, a Heavy Equipment Operators and Engineering program, and a Heavy Diesel Mechanics program.

$1,386,000 to the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (Athens County) to create workforce development opportunities on a career ladder in community health occupations: This project will establish a Pathways Community HIB aimed at extending the network of services provided by eight community action agencies that serve individuals and families in 14 coal-impacted counties of Appalachian Ohio with workforce development activities, substance use disorder recovery related supports, and various other social and health programs. Over three years, the project is expected to increase the region’s workforce of community health workers by 400 percent.

$1,350,000 to the Youngstown Business Incubator (Mahoning County) to deploy a broad range of resources to bolster entrepreneurship: The project will allow YBI and its partners to expand their work with small to medium enterprises across seven coal impacted counties in northeastern Ohio, helping them in accessing capital, pursuing procurement opportunities, developing business plans, adopting advanced technologies, and supporting startup formation. Over the three-year grant period it is anticipated that 1444 businesses will be improved, 2515 businesses served, 240 jobs created, 300 new businesses created, and $7.5 million leveraged in private investment. The project builds on YBI’s extensive experience in working with additive manufacturing and 3-D printing.