Appalachia Office Chief Tours Columbiana County Businesses

LISBON, Ohio – Over the course of the last three years, development initiatives in Columbiana County have received more than $500,000 in grant money from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, a department designed to assist business and economic growth in 32 designated counties across Ohio.

On Dec. 2, John Carey, director of the office, received a firsthand look as to how this money is put to use.

“We wanted to demonstrate how important this is,” Penny Traina, executive director of the Columbiana County Port Authority says of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia.  “We’ve had a great relationship with them.”

Port authority board members, elected officials and development specialists hosted Carey on a tour of area businesses and sites that have benefitted from grants allocated by the agency. 

Among the sites the director visited were the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center’s training center, Compco’s training center and CTM Labeling Systems, all in Salem. The director also toured the Global Investment Hub in Leetonia and finished the visit at the Wellsville Intermodal Facility.

The Compco training center received a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia Regional Job Training Program. The port authority, along with the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association, helped secure the grant to assist Compco in building its training room and to develop programs.

Since the training room was built, Compco has trained more than 500 people in various disciplines, Traina says. 

Another $250,000 grant was secured for the Port Authority’s Global Investment Hub, which would be located in the Leetonia Industrial Building, Traina says. The project was earlier awarded about $400,000 in funding from the state’s capital budget.  The objective of the project is to attract new business in the form of petrochemicals and additive manufacturing.

The Leetonia industrial building also received a $77,000 energy grant from the Appalachia office to install new HVAC and LED lighting in the complex.

Carey also toured the Wellsville Intermodal Park, which in the past has secured grant money from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia. “We’ve done a lot with them over the years,” Traina  says. “We’re extremely appreciative.  We wanted to show them how important these grants are to Columbiana County.”

Pictured: Penny Traina is executive director of the Columbiana County Port Authority. John Carey is director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia. The last stop on their tour was the Wellsville Intermodal Park.