The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced a $600,000 investment to help Northeast Ohio address the economic downturn in the region caused by the closure of the General Motors Lordstown facility and the decline in the coal economy.
In a press release, the DOC said its Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $600,000 grant to the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments of Youngstown, Ohio to help establish a “recovery coordination team.” This team will consist of a “dedicated recovery coordinator and supporting team” who will “develop a strategy to guide the region’s economic development effort.”
“Supporting locally-devised strategies to boost economic opportunity is a major focus of the Trump Administration,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming.
The grant will be funded through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities program. According to the EDA, the grant will be matched with $150,000 in local investment.
“Without question, the local and regional impact of the GM closing was profound—given the direct, indirect and induced loss of jobs,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) said in a press release. “I am so grateful for the Economic Development Administration and the local leadership at Eastgate who coordinated and led the application efforts. This is a critical and timely investment that will help us focus on a plan to reconnect local businesses with growing industry drivers.”
“I’m proud to support funding for grants like this and will continue to seek new opportunities that benefit our community,” he added.
James Kinnick, executive director for the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, said he was “grateful to receive this award in conjunction with Cleveland State University Center for Economic Development.”
“Losing GM, on of our major employers, impacted our community in many ways,” he said. “This award will give us the capacity to address these impacts by working to diversify our industrial base as well as strengthening our entrepreneurial ecosystem. In addition, we will continue our existing efforts to coordinate the actions of our local economic development partners to provide the greatest possible impact for residents and businesses in our region.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Lordstown Complex” by Lordstown Assembly.