WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced a $5,743,414 investment through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to seven Ohio communities. The investment will help create and retain jobs, leverage millions of dollars in private investment, create and retain businesses, and train the region’s workers and students within the broadband, entrepreneurship, substance abuse recovery, tourism and other industry sectors across eastern Ohio communities. Those awards include:

  • $1,498,637 to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in Nelsonville, OH for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem-Impact (SEE Impact). This grant will be used to grow the capital resources available to fund social enterprises by expanding the number of individuals and entities who identify as impact investors and consider investment in SEE-Impact generated deal flow.
  • $1,450,000 to Eastgate Regional Council of Governments in Youngstown, OH for the Youngstown SMART Network. This grant will be used to support the installation of 57,300 linear feet of fiber conduit as part of the Youngstown SMART Network project.
  • $1,180,000 to Vinton County Commissioners in McArthur, OH for the Vinton & Meigs County Rural Broadband Initiative. This grant will be used to place three communication towers in Vinton and Meigs counties to provide wireless broadband service to unserved areas in the two counties. 
  • $1,000,000 to Appalachian Growth Capital in Nelsonville, OH for a CDFI for Appalachian Ohio, Technical Assistance program. This grant will be used to expand access to capital for small businesses in Appalachian Ohio through technical assistance to potential business borrowers and by increasing the capital available in AGC’s loan fund.
  • $514,827 to Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACENet) in Athens, OH for Building the Wood Bridge: A Forest, to Product, to Market Value Chain. This grant will be used to strengthen the value-added hardwood manufactured products sector in Southeast Ohio. 
  • $50,000 to Noble County Commissioners in Caldwell, OH for the Noble County Broadband Technical Assistance Project. This grant will be used for a feasibility study for expanding broadband infrastructure throughout six communities in Noble County. 
  • $49,950 to Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren, OH for the Energy Storage Roadmap Project. This grant will be used to develop a framework for leveraging the burgeoning energy storage cluster in the tri-state area with an emphasis on coal impacted areas.

“Ohio workers can compete with anyone in the world when given the opportunity,” said Brown. “If we want to promote economic development throughout Ohio, we need to ensure that business and communities have tools and resources they need. Rural communities have been overlooked for too long. These new investments will help provide diverse opportunities for communities across Ohio.”

POWER is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America's energy production. With today’s announcement, ARC has invested over $190 million in 239 projects touching 326 counties across Appalachia.

Brown has been a leader for Ohio’s rural communities, successfully securing a number of provisions that are important to Ohio farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill. He is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years.