WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced $2,000,000 in federal funding for Ohio University to provide facilities, equipment, and design and engineering expertise to local entrepreneurs in Athens County. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded the funding.

“Local entrepreneurs are key to the economic success of Ohio communities,” said Brown. “This award will support entrepreneurs in Athens and across southern Ohio so they can help diversify the local economy and create jobs.”

The project, titled the Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability (LIGHTS) project, is affiliated with the inter-agency Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative. The POWER Initiative aims to strengthen local economies impacted by the changing coal economy.

The funding from ARC will strengthen southern Ohio entrepreneurs by leveraging the capacity of four strategically located “Innovation Hubs” – which provide facilities, equipment and design/engineering expertise to entrepreneurs – and five regional “Gateway Centers” that link local entrepreneurs to a broad array of support services throughout the ecosystem.