LISBON, Ohio – Securing and administering grants remains a growth area for the Columbiana County Port Authority that allows it to make a significant economic impact, according to CEO Penny Traina.
“We will continue building capacity in our grants department as well as increasing our business retention efforts, workforce development and applying for funding to upgrade the county’s infrastructure for future growth,” Traina says.
In 2021, CCPA received two grants totaling $728,000, including one from the Governors Office of Appalachia that will allow for further development of its Global Investment Hub in Leetonia, Traina says. The hub is designed to attract businesses from the petrochemical and 3D industries.
In addition to these two new grant awards, the CCPA is administering seven grants totaling nearly $3.4 million. Another three pending grants total almost $2.2 million. Projects earmarked with these funds range from street and road improvements and water/sewer projects to workforce development, maritime projects and the Global Investment Hub.
Also in 2021, the CCPA finalized a $200,000 Regional Job Training grant that helped Compco Quaker Manufacturing in Salem develop what Traina calls a “very impressive” training facility that has served 600 employees.
And the port authority collaborated with the state transportation department and many partner agencies along the Ohio River in getting the Mid-Ohio Valley Statistical Port approved by the Army Corp of Engineers. The new port district covers 220 miles of the Ohio River, including seven Ohio and nine West Virginia counties, making it the No. 1 inland port in the United States.
Last year the Ohio River Business Interactive map was launched on the CCPA website. It offers information about all river terminals in the county and commodities they move on the river.
This year, the port authority again will take part in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Recovery to Work Initiative, working with businesses to increase employment.
The port authority recently partnered with the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition and its Ohio to Work initiative. This program is a collaboration with state and local partners that connects employers with individuals seeking employment.
`Other highlights of 2021 included a visit by Governors Office of Appalacia Director John Carey, who saw how more than $500,000 in grants have been spent.
Banking on its success at securing grants, the CCPA made its grant writing services available to any government or private business.
“In order for our region to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, we must continue to collaborate with our partners and prepare for the future as we continue to grow the overall economy of the region,” Traina says.