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Program aims to boost wood products jobs in Appalachia


The U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Douglas Kramer joins Ohio University officials and area economic development leaders to announce a significant investment to accelerate business growth in the Appalachian Ohio region. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs partnered with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth and Rural Action to do research on area economics and innovation. (Photo: Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)

Appalachian Ohio is being targeted for job creation through the wood products industry.

Exactly how many jobs is unknown, but the 32-county region is one of three around the nation that learned this week it will receive up to $2.5 million over five years from the Small Business Administration’s regional innovation clusters initiative.

Clusters are public-private partnerships that center around a particular industry in one region to drive economic development, according to Douglas Kramer, SBA’s deputy administrator. The clusters act…

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Appalachian Ohio gets federal funding for wood industry

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck got a $500,000 grant from the Small Business Association? Well, that remains to be seen, but the wood manufacturing business in Appalachian Ohio is hoping to see a big boost thanks to the recent award.

On Thursday, Douglas Kramer, deputy administrator for the Small Business Association, announced that Appalachian Ohio will receive funding through the agency to enhance its wood products industry. The announcement was made at the Ohio University Inn.

The Appalachian Ohio Wood Products Cluster was one of three “clusters” to receive $500,000 announced on Tuesday. The other clusters include a bioscience cluster in St. Louis, Missouri, and an unmanned aerial systems cluster in south Kansas and Oklahoma.

“Clusters are public-private partnerships that are driving innovation and job creation in our most promising regional hubs,” Kramer explained. “SBA has built a strategic infrastructure of financing and consulting…

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PA, WV, OH team up on shale gas related manufacturing and chemical development

After years of competing against one another to land big petrochemical projects powered by their growing natural gas industries, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio announced Tuesday they would work together to market and develop their region as a center for shale-related manufacturing.

The states announced a three-year cooperation agreement at the Tri-State Shale Summit in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The states say they will organize conferences to share best practices for economic development around shale gas and related manufacturing, develop workforce development programs, and market the region to petrochemical and other industries that can use shale gas for manufacturing.

“We must work together to ensure our region has the skilled workforce necessary to fill jobs and attract new employers,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said. “The demand for workers by the energy industry and off-shoot industries, especially manufacturing, is high…

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SBA Funds Three New Regional Innovation Clusters

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today the addition of three new clusters to the portfolio of communities it supports through the Regional Innovation Clusters initiative, raising the total number of clusters in the program to fourteen.

SBA Deputy Administrator Douglas Kramer“Clusters are public-private partnerships that are driving innovation and job creation in our most promising regional hubs,” Deputy Administrator of the SBA, Douglas Kramer explained.  “SBA has built a strategic infrastructure of financing and consulting resources in key regions to help new companies launch and small companies grow, particularly in underserved communities across the country. We’re unleashing the full potential of entrepreneurs who are developing cutting-edge products and processes that will help ensure American global competitiveness, creating supportive environments for small businesses in regions with the most need.”

The three new Regional Innovation Cluster awardees were selected from more than…

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