Ohio awards more than $2.5 million in Industry Sector Partnership grants

Northeast Ohio is set to receive the bulk of funding from Industry Sector Partnership grants awarded by the state’s Office of Workforce Transformation that are aimed at improving workforce outcomes for in-demand industries.

A total of $2.58 million in grants will go to groups focusing on workforce training for specific industry sectors, including information technology, manufacturing, health care, transportation and aerospace.

“The awards made today support Industry Sector Partnerships across the state as they expand best practices to help Ohioans enter the workforce in many different industries,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who is director of the Office of Workforce Transformation, in a statement issued Thursday, Jan. 6.

The state has invested more than $5 million over the last two years through the sector partnership program. In 2021, approximately $2.5 million went to 12 workforce training organizations helping bring Ohioans into the workforce pipeline.

The second round of partnership grant awards was announced in September by Husted at an event in Cleveland.

The partnerships awarded in Northeast Ohio include two programs led by the Greater Cleveland Partnership: Workforce Connect IT Sector Partnership and the Workforce Connect Manufacturing Sector Partnership.

Other regional organization receiving funding are as follows: Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition; Summit County’s ConxusNEO Industry Sector Partnerships; Great Lakes Regional Industry Sector Partnership; Lorain County Manufacturing Sector Partnership; Lake County’s Alliance for Working Together Northeast Ohio Sector Partnership; and Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership.

There were a total of 13 grants awarded statewide.

Organizations apply for either a Spark grant, which provides $50,000 to $100,000 in “seed funding” for emerging sector partnerships to fund startup activities, or an Accelerant grant, which provides $50,000 to $250,000 to existing sector partnerships.Freedom factor

Ohio ranked 35 out of all 50 states in a report commissioned by the conservative-leaning Buckeye Institute to measure economic freedom.

The Economic Freedom of North America 2021 report, released by the Columbus-based Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center in partnership with Canada’s Fraser Institute, evaluated every state and province in North America based on an “economic freedom” metric measured by three variables: government spending, taxation and labor-market restrictions. Higher grades were assigned to areas with less government spending, regulation and taxation.

According to a statement by the Buckeye Institute on the results, Ohio ranks “weak” in the field of government spending, where the state came in at No. 42 out of 50.

The study did rank Ohio “strong” — No. 18 out of 50 — for the ratio of government employees to the total number of workers in the state, for the marginal tax rate in the state (No. 11) and property tax rate as a percent of personal income (No. 17).

The report based the rankings on data from 2019 and did not “capture” the effect of COVID-19 on government regulations.

“The freest economies operate with minimal government interference, relying upon personal choice and markets to answer basic economic questions such as what is to be produced, how it is to be produced, how much is produced, and for whom production is intended. As government imposes restrictions on these choices, there is less economic freedom,” the report’s executive summary reads.Driven to succeed

Ohio students seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, will be eligible to receive financial aid under a new Ohio Department of Higher Education program.

“Commercial truck drivers are a vital part of Ohio’s economy, and this program will allow for the growth of this in-demand occupation,” said Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, in a Thursday, Jan. 6, news release about the program.

The Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid Program, created as part of the state’s biennial budget, has a total of $5 million in funding dedicated to increasing enrollment in CDL programs statewide.

Funds are available through a competitive application process for eligible educational institutions and will be disbursed as grants and loans to students enrolled in approved CDL training programs. Eligible institutions can request up to $200,000 annually to support the programs. Students receiving the funds must commit to residing and working in Ohio for a minimum of one year after completion of the program.

Read original release here.

Palmer, Kim. (2022, January 7) Ohio awards more than $2.5 million in Industry Sector Partnership grants. Crain’s Cleveland Business.  Retrieved from