Phase II of Economic & Workforce Development in Lima / Allen County

The second phase of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment Workforce Development grant is officially underway. On Tuesday, May 17, stakeholders gathered in the City Club to review Phase 1 and discuss the action plan for Phase 2. Dave Beurle, CEO of Future IQ Partners, presented some of the issues that were identified in Phase 1 and an overview of the action plan to resolve those issues.

Each initiative in Phase 2 will be rolled out over the course of two years. During which time, Future IQ Partners will work closely with the Allen Economic Development team and other stakeholders. Lima/Allen County was awarded a two-year grant for $3 million in September 2015 from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The goal is to utilize the funding to implement initiative that will make the regional economy viable over the long term. The focal points of Phase 2 include cultivating local and regional collaborative growth, expanding industry innovation and entrepreneurship and developing a communication and social media plan to help market the region with one voice.

“In Phase I, we identified two key elements: workforce and innovation. So we applied for  additional funding, and the Office of Economic Adjustment agreed to fund us for Phase II,” said Jeff Sprague, CEO of Allen Economic Development Group. “On the innovation side, the Ohio Energy Advanced Manufacturing Center on South Main Street has been doing a lot of work to develop that area. We’re really looking at the work they’ve been doing and how it will play out for the development of future products. The workforce piece really ties in to the work that has been done over the last 18 to 24 months with Link Lima. The timeline for Phase II is a 24-month process, and we’re right in the beginning, so we’re probably going to take another 18 months.”

Click here to read the Lima News Article, written by Craig Kelly.