WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal resources will provide Ohio Christian University with a new economic development center that will serve Fayette, Pickaway, and Ross counties. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that Ohio Christian University will receive a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build the Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center, a mixed-use incubator that will focus on agribusiness and technology-based entrepreneurs. The project is expected to create 200 jobs and leverage $25 million in private investment.
“These federal resources will lay the groundwork for small businesses throughout south central Ohio to have a better shot at creating new opportunities and jobs,” Brown said. “Small businesses are essential to our economy, and through this award, Ohio Christian University can lead the way in economic development.”
EDA has approved a $2,454,800 grant to Ohio Christian University.
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.