EDA Program Rep Ellen Heinz Visits Projects in the OVRDC Region
Waverly, OH – OVRDC welcomed Economic Development Administration (EDA) Ohio Program Representative Ellen Heinz to the region this month to visit existing EDA projects under development and to visit propose future projects that have the potential for EDA funding support. OVRDC planning staff members Jessica Keeton and Michele Throckmorton, along with Executive Director John Hemmings III, accompanied Ms. Heinz on site visits to several counties, including Vinton, Jackson, Scioto, Ross, and Fayette counties.
“We appreciate Ellen taking time to come and see some of the important projects and needs in our region over her two-day visit,” said John Hemmings III, OVRDC Executive Director.
The goal of Ms. Heinz visit to the region is to share potential projects and familiarize the EDA representative with opportunities for economic development that, if funded, would have a positive impact on the region. EDA provides grants and technical assistance to economically distressed communities to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs, and to stimulate industrial and commercial growth through a variety of investment programs.
EDA received a record influx of additional funding from COVID-related emergency relief programs, including the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act designed to boost potential transformational investment in the region. Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding and will dedicate $100 million on the Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding and $200 million of the Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
EDA also supports these communities through its Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative. Through ACC, EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities impacted by the declining use of coal through programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
The first stop for Ms. Heinz was in Vinton County at the Parks District for the Bridges and Rail Trail project. Next, the tour included a look at the Shawnee State University Kricker Innovation Hub in Portsmouth, where facility renovations are projected to finish up next year, as well as a visit to the City of Wellston to see plans for a water plant upgrade which would benefit residents and businesses. The second day of the visit included a meeting with Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney and a tour of the Ross County Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is one of the biggest projects in the region. The last stop was the Fayette County Mega-Site project to discuss continued development of the industrial park site with Fayette County Commissioners.
For more information about EDA program funding working in our region, contact Jessica Keeton, OVRDC Economic Development Coordinator, or Michele Throckmorton, OVRDC Planner, at (740) 947-2853.