Even before the great recession, bringing business, industry and, moreover, jobs to the region was a challenge. A grant of more than a million and a half dollars not only is intended to improve employment, but to also increase the number of domestically exported goods.
"The second part of the project is to help the companies we have in the industries in this region," says John Molinaro, President/CEO, Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth, "to improve the skills of their existing workers. Companies can be more profitable here, they can be more productive here, so they can compete for this business that has previously gone to Asia."
Another goal is to bring business and industry to a region area agencies believe has been overlooked by businesses seeking to relocate or open new locations. but the Appalachian Partnership group says it has transportation and natural resource assets a lot of people don't know about.
"Some of those targets include the chemicals and polymers along the Ohio River," adfds Gwynn Stewart, Spokeswoman, Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, "manufacturing, metals and some of the other strong manufacturing presences we have here in the region."
The grant was one of the largest handed out in the Make it in America Challenge program, which provided more than $20 million dollars nationwide.