WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $1,450,000 was awarded to the Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center, the city of Lima, and Ohio Northern University to help create a business incubator in Allen County. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant will be used to help build the Research and Development Commercialization Incubator. According to the grant application, the project will create 162 immediate jobs and is expected to ultimately create 800 jobs.
The project beneficiary, American Trim, expects that some 162 permanent, non-construction jobs could be created.
“Together, the Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center, the City of Lima, and Ohio Northern University can connect entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and workers with the resources needed to create the next generation of American manufacturing jobs. This $1.45 million in federal funds will help create more than 160 new jobs in Allen County while advancing our state’s reputation as a hot spot for sustainable manufacturing as well as clean energy,” Brown said. “The Economic Development Administration has helped create hundreds of jobs while leveraging federal funds into millions of dollars worth of private investment in Ohio. This investment in Lima will be no different.”
For every $10,000 invested in business incubators, up to nearly 70 local jobs are generated. Ohio is home to more than a dozen regional business incubators and the National Business Incubation Association. These incubators are places where entrepreneurs can get the support they need during the most difficult start up phase of a new business. According to the National Business Incubation Association, there are an estimated 1,200 incubation programs in the United States.
Earlier this month, Brown held a news conference call touting the EDA investments that have helped economically-distressed Ohio communities and his effort to strengthen EDA’s ability to revitalize former auto communities and create “business incubators” in hard-hit regions of Ohio and the country.
Last year, Brown introduced the Business Incubator Promotion Act, which would make more communities in Ohio eligible to receive funds that support business incubators through the Economic Development Administration. This bill would encourage the formation of business incubators in distressed communities to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, helping regions to create high-skill, high-wage jobs. It would also give EDA authority, in cases of severe economic distress, to reduce the non-federal share (match) to 20 percent of the cost of a project or to waive the local share if the unemployment rate of the area exceeds 12 percent.
Brown is also the author of the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would address the disparity between the high unemployment and unfilled vacancies for jobs by tailoring workforce development efforts to meet the needs of high-growth, regional industries. The SECTORS Act addresses the disparity between high unemployment rates and a shortage of skilled workers for many emerging industries by providing grants for sector partnerships among institutions of higher education, industry, organized labor, and workforce boards. These partnerships would create customized solutions for specific industries at the regional level. A sector approach can focus on the dual goals of promoting the long-term competitiveness of industries and advancing employment opportunities for workers.
The SECTORS Act would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry – multiple firms, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators – to develop plans for growing that industry. Eligible entities would be able to apply for a one year planning grant of up to $250,000 and a three year implementation grant of up to $2.5 million.