Buckeye Hills Regional Awarded Appalachian POWER Grant for Regional Innovation Gateway Network

Aug 2, 2017 | News, Newsletter

Gwynn Stewart.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council was awarded $1.2 million for one of 18 projects recently announced by Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in coal-impacted communities across seven Appalachian states. The 18 projects will receive $15.7 million and will create or retain more than 1,700 jobs, benefit nearly 1,200 students and workers, and leverage an additional $64 million into the Appalachian Region.

Locally, the Buckeye Hills Innovation Gateway Network of Appalachia Ohio project focused on increasing employment and prosperity through alternative learning and career pathways. The project will help workers and communities impacted by coal’s decline to: recover employment and income; strengthen and diversify their local economies; and grow, retain and attract talent to the region.

“Buckeye Hills Regional Council is pleased that the Innovation Gateway Network of Appalachian Ohio project was funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission in this very competitive grant process. The network project will help workers and communities impacted by coal’s decline to recover employment and income, strengthen and diversify local economies and grow, retain and attract talent to the region,” said Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Director, Misty Casto.

The Gateway Network will consist of three multi-use facilities, one each in Somerset, Nelsonville and Marietta, Ohio. Each facility will host an innovative program of learning, makerspace activities and development of entrepreneurs. The project ties together the efforts of three Appalachian communities, magnifying the impact of their work in addressing common challenges.

Casto added that a variety of anchor regional partners are supporting the Gateway’s success including Hocking College, Ohio University LIGHTS program, and Building Bridges to Careers.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council, founded in 1968, serves as the local development district for the ARC. Visit us on online at buckeyehills.org.

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JobsOhio’s grant, secured with assistance from the Regional Growth Partnership, will support a planned $321,923 in machinery and equipment upgrades and three new jobs. In addition, Tiffin Foundry and Machine worked with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and OhioMeansJobs – Seneca County on other potential incentives to support the company’s growth.

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