WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal resources will provide the Columbus 2020 Foundation with a new economic development framework, process, and strategy that will serve Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Columbus 2020 Foundation will receive a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support the update and maintenance of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the region served by Columbus 2020. The CEDS project will bring together public and private sectors and create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the region’s economy.

“These federal resources will lay the groundwork for small businesses throughout the Columbus area to have a better shot at creating new opportunities and jobs,” Brown said. “Small businesses are essential to our economy, and through this award, Columbus and its residents can lead the way in economic development.”

EDA approved a $50,090 grant to the Columbus 2020 Foundation. 

Brown is the author of the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would help ensure that Ohioans have the skills to qualify for new, good-paying positions and that businesses can hire from a local, skilled workforce. The SECTORS Act tailors workforce development to the needs of regional industry, allowing more workers to receive placements and attracting more businesses to a given region. The bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry—businesses, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators—to develop plans for growing that industry. A range of groups are supporting the SECTORS Act, including the National Association of Manufacturers, which asked Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership to include Brown’s legislation in larger job training legislation. The SECTORS Act was also included in the Building a Stronger America Act, a bipartisan bill introduced this month that is aimed at strengthening American manufacturing, exports, and competitiveness.