Buckeye Hills has completed its portion of a $1.7 million grant for the EDA-sponsored Make It In America Challenge serving a 28-county region in Appalachia. The grant was part of a national challenge grant program reclaiming investments and jobs lost to foreign competition during the last decade in the wood furniture manufacturing, and the polymers, plastics and fabricated metals industries.
Buckeye Hills supported the effort to launch an economic development site selection resource focusing on high-value river sites available at www.ohioriversites. This endeavor capitalized on efforts taking place in cooperation with Buckeye Hills staff as part of the Make It In America program.
At the outset of the project, there were only 460 complete sites in the Ohio InSite database, a tool used by JobsOhio for site selection prospects. With the efforts of the Make It In America challenge resources, Buckeye Hills’ Anthony Iachini, Develop Specialist III/Site Coordinator, was able to complete over 1,200 of the region’s development sites catalogued in Ohio InSite – a 118% increase!
“I’ve traveled 17,000 miles across the 28 county region to partner on cataloging our Ohio River site resources,” said Iachini. “It was a pleasure to work with so many diverse partners in fine tuning and adding sites to the prospective list for economic development efforts in the region.”
Other Buckeye Hills program components include extensive GIS and data support for the recorded available sites. Partners in Make It in America also included The Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) and the Ohio Valley Employment Resource (Workforce Investment Area 15), who coordinated the UpSkill workforce training program, and assistance provided to the region’s manufacturers in the form of supply chain analysis/training and identifying potential partnerships and export potential.