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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.15 Million to Support Innovation-Fueled Business Growth in Ohio

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.15 million grant to Ohio University of Athens, Ohio, to help upgrade the Ohio University Innovation Center. This grant will be matched with $287,684 in local investment, and is expected to attract an eventual $20 million in private investment and create 100 jobs.

“In addition to eliminating job killing regulations, the Trump Administration is working hard to create new opportunities and revitalize the economies of coal communities across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This investment will help Ohio University create jobs for Southeastern Ohio and rebuild industry in the region.”

“This grant is great news for Ohio University and southeast Ohio,” said Senator Portman. “I want to thank Secretary Ross for this investment in Ohio University’s Innovation Center, which will create jobs and opportunity for hard working Ohioans.”

“When I visited the Ohio University Innovation Center recently, I saw first-hand its potential to spur local economy and provide entrepreneurs with the tools to accomplish their goals for years to come,” said Congressman Steve Stivers. “I am hopeful that this tremendous investment will advance education for students and businesses throughout our community. I thank all of those who provided overwhelming support and commitment to bring this investment to fruition.”

This project will assist the school with funding for necessary upgrades to the Ohio University Innovation Center, which provides an array of business incubation resources to the students and businesses in the surrounding region. Specifically, the project will focus on updating the building’s infrastructure, including constructing new biotechnology wet lab and light manufacturing spaces, air filtration and access control improvements, HVAC upgrades, and expanded virtual technology conferencing capacity.

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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