Two projects selected to
compete for Federal regional economic development
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) today
announced that two regional partnership projects have been selected
to compete nationally for Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic
Development (WIRED) funds. WIRED grants are provided by the U.S.
Department of Labor (DOL) to foster economic transformation by
developing comprehensive regional approaches to education and
workforce and economic development.
"These two proposals represent communities and partners working
together to overcome economic development challenges in the Miami
Valley and northeast Ohio areas," ODJFS Assistant Director Terry
Thomas said. "The federal WIRED funds will assist these areas to
invest in the jobs of the future, especially in areas of energy
production, innovation and entrepreneurship."
According to DOL guidelines, each state may submit up to two
applications to compete nationally for funding from $65 million
available for WIRED projects. Individual grant awards are expected
to total up to $5 million over the course of three years.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services received nine
proposals for consideration. Proposals were evaluated on three
essential components of a competitive regional economy: investment,
infrastructure and talent development.
The selected projects propose regional approaches to coordinate
workforce and economic development in the Miami Valley and
northeastern Ohio. The two projects selected to compete nationally
for the WIRED funds are:
"I-70/75 at the Crossroads," includes 12 counties centered
around Dayton and Springfield. The initiative targets four growth
and globally competitive industries: aerospace research and
development, health care, information technology, and advanced
materials and manufacturing. It will use regional economic and
occupational data to coordinate workforce and economic development
programs and training as well as with employer-based specialized
"Focusing on Unique Transformations Using Resources Effectively
(FUTURE)," encompasses 16 northeast Ohio counties in the Akron,
Canton, Cleveland, Lorain, Mansfield and Youngstown metro areas.
The initiative places emphasis on advanced manufacturing, bio-med,
bio-tech, and alternative fuel and renewable energy development.
The initiative would energize and support the region's
entrepreneurial economy, revamping current workforce development
efforts to meet the needs of targeted industries and creating
educational pathways leading to high wage/high skill careers.