Project is One of 10 Funded By U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor, and the Delta Regional Authority To Spur Business Investment and Job Creation In the Region U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, along with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, today announced that the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District of Reno, Ohio will receive $1,700,844 as one of 10 winners of the Make it in America Challenge, an Obama Administration initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States.

 

The Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District and the nine other grantees will receive a total of $20.5 million to fund projects supporting regional economic development, advanced skills training, greater supply chain access and other enhancements.  The programs are designed to encourage U.S. companies to keep, expand or re-shore their manufacturing operations—and jobs–in America, and to entice foreign companies to build facilities and make their products here.

 

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) are providing funding for the winning proposals. Additionally, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) plans to make awards in early FY2014.

 

“Given our competitive advantages in energy costs, research and development, labor productivity, and intellectual property protection, there is no better place to do business than the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. The Make it in America Challenge grants support innovative, regionally-based strategies that will encourage businesses to capitalize on those advantages.”

 

“Making smart investments in a skilled workforce is critical to continuing our recovery and unleashing the economy’s full potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “In an increasingly sophisticated economy, equipping workers with the skills they need to succeed on the job isn’t just a workforce development issue, but also an economic development issue and these partnerships are helping to lead the way.”

 

The Make it in America Challenge was issued on March 18, 2013. Under President Obama’s leadership, federal agencies are collaborating more effectively to make smart investments that provide stakeholders with a seamless process for applying for federal resources.  To that end, the Make it in America Challenge allowed applicants to submit one application to fund their projects.

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·         EDA’s Challenge investments will help distressed regions build on existing assets and create a competitive environment for foreign-owned and domestic firms to establish and grow their U.S. operations and create jobs.

·         U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Challenge investments will provide H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant funds targeted to developing a skilled workforce for specific industries.

·         The Delta Regional Authority will support the winner from the agency’s congressionally designated area.

·         When they are announced in early FY2014, NIST-MEP’s grants will focus on developing greater connectivity of regional supply chains in addition to assisting small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

These grants will help identify, research and document attributes of up to 1,000 development sites in the region, make the findings available online, and create a GIS database and maps spotlighting characteristics of those sites and of regional economic and workforce development assets to draw the attention of developers and site selectors. The project also includes workforce training focused on targeted industries including metal fabrication, polymers and chemicals, and wood furniture manufacturing.  The project’s plan is based on an incumbent worker training model that fosters increased productivity, wage gains, and transferable skills for the region’s targeted industries.

 

The Make it in America Challenge builds on the United States’ significant competitive advantages – from a strong business climate to a highly skilled and productive workforce – that make it a profitable place for businesses to invest. Investing in businesses and production here can help put more Americans back to work. Some of the ways in which the Administration has already helped American workers and businesses thrive include enhancing the general business climate, securing access to markets for U.S. exports, providing financial and technical support for companies to grow and expand, providing funding to improve education and training opportunities to develop a skilled workforce, and enforcing global trade rules to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.

 

For more information on the Make it in America Challenge, please visit: http://www.eda.gov/challenges/MakeItInAmerica/.

 

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