Feds Spend $1.7 Million To Attract ‘Potential’ Foreign Investment to Ohio

November 7, 2013 - 4:28 PM


Ohio factory worker

Auto worker at GM's Lordstown factory in northeast Ohio. (AP photo)

(CNSNews) - Even though factory activity in the U.S. expanded last month at the fastest pace in two-and-a-half years, the Obama administration awarded three northeast Ohio non-profits and one county government agency a total of $1,796,867 to “help identify up to twenty-five firms with the potential to attract foreign investment from the bio-medical, automotive, and advanced energy sectors.”

The awards were part of a larger $20.5 million “Make It In America Challenge” grant.

Ohio lost 224,698 manufacturing jobs between 2003 and 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s North American Industry Classification System.

Manufacturing was down in the Buckeye State from 838,725 paid employees in 17,082 establishments in 2003 to 614,027 paid employees in 14,526 establishments in 2011.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio’s unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in August was the same as the national average that month.

When CNSNews.com asked whether any firms have been selected for the project so far, Jenny Febbo, vice president for marketing and communications for Team Northeast Ohio (NEO), one of the grant recipients, stated that “identifying these 25 firms is part of the process moving forward.”

“The 25 firms we will be working with will be domestic firms,” she emphasized.

Febbo explained that the grant, which will be used to attract foreign direct investment, “gave us an opportunity to build upon a manufacturing trend we are seeing in Northeast Ohio, specifically growing interest for expansion and investment within these sectors.”

“Additionally we will focus on re-shoring – or bringing back to the U.S. (in our case Northeast Ohio) operations of domestic organizations that would be part of the supply chain for these 25 companies and/or sectors.  We also will consider foreign organizations in these supply chains that desire to expand into North America.”

Grants ware also awarded to the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET), Medina County Workforce Development, and WIRE-Net by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP), the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).