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Government Insider | May 3, 2022

May 3rd, 2022

Intel Seeks Ohio Suppliers

Intel is looking for Ohio suppliers as it prepares to break ground on its new fab in the Silicon Heartland. A portal has been created to help facilitate local supplier engagement for the company’s newest manufacturing investments. Suppliers have been grouped into eight categories including Employee Services, Logistics and Transportation, and Factory Materials.

The portal is available and provides information on how to become an Intel supplier. Needs for the Licking County “mega-project” will only increase as the project gets underway. Companies looking to establish a foothold with Intel are encouraged to engage sooner than later.  

Ohio Chamber, Battelle Seeks Clean Hydrogen Hub Designation

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce joined JobsOhio and Battelle Memorial Institute to urge the Biden administration to name Ohio one of four Clean Hydrogen Hubs to be funded by $9.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, Ohio Chamber president, joined Battelle CEO Lewis Von Thaer, Managing Director Matt Cybulski of JobsOhio’s Energy and Chemicals division, CEO Kirt Conrad of Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and CEO Angelo Kafantaris of Hyperion Corp., a hydrogen car manufacturer that launched in Columbus 10 years ago and is relocating its headquarters to the capital city after moving to California.

The group said Ohio not only has not the shale natural gas for “blue” hydrogen production but also the biomass for renewably driven hydrogen and the generation capacity for “green” H electrolysis. The latter produces no carbon dioxide waste, which otherwise must be sequestered underground, and benefits from low- to zero-carbon electricity as the major input.

Administration Targets Investments in Appalachia

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced details of their proposal to make a comprehensive investment in the Appalachian region of Ohio. The $500 million initiative would support local initiatives to revitalize downtown districts, improve the quality of life, and help rebuild the economies of Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties.

The $500 million proposal, dubbed “Ohio BUILDS – Small Communities, Big Impact – A Plan for Appalachia,” would infuse funding into three priority areas of restoring historic downtowns, improving community health, and rebuilding the local workforce.

The proposal includes a $50 million planning phase to allow Appalachian communities and regional partnerships to develop plans that incorporate each of the three funding priorities. Following the planning, $450 million in implementation grants would be invested to help communities and regional groups carry out qualifying projects to rejuvenate the region and stimulate economic growth.

The 32-county Appalachian region encompasses 39 percent of the state, from Clermont County through the southern and eastern portions of state, north to Ashtabula. The region is historically economically disadvantaged and sparsely populated, with 124 persons per square mile compared to the statewide average of 285.

Ohio’s 32 contiguous Appalachian counties include Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.

Once funding is secured, the program is to be administered through the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia within DOD and other agency partners. The program will be part of DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that affect quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.

Webinar: Housing Affordability and the Role of the Business Community

Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing Americans today is affordable housing. To address this issue, cities will require commitment, investment, and perhaps most of all, innovation. Please join the Columbus Chamber on May 12, at 9AM, for a virtual panel discussion and Q&A to learn more about why housing affordability is a critical factor in attracting new employers and helping existing businesses grow.

Affordable housing uplifts residents, encourages social connection, reduces overcrowding, increases adjacent property values, and attracts businesses and jobs. Our panelists will also highlight strategies that can improve housing across the income spectrum as a way to better attract and retain workers.

This event will feature elected officials and subject matter experts that will share their insights and perspectives on new methods and technologies that will impact how we deliver affordable housing in the future. Register Here: https://columbus.org/events/government-spotlight/

Extra Federal Funding for Local Infrastructure Projects

Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration will be sending $47.5 million in extra funding for local bridge projects for the next five years thanks to federal funds enacted as a part of the federal bipartisan infrastructure law. The extra funds will bring Ohio’s annual investment in county and municipal bridges to $112.5 million per year.

Funding from ODOT for bridges maintained by the state’s 88 county engineers will increase from $34 million to $74 million annually, and municipal-owned bridge funding will increase from $11 million to $18.5 million each year. The additional $47.5 million is part of the $104 million in bridge funding that Ohio will receive in each of the next five years as part of the federal infrastructure bill. It requires Ohio to spend $15.6 million of the $104 million each year into bridges owned by municipalities, townships and counties.

Redistricting: 4th Set of Maps Struck Down; Fed Intervention Likely

The fourth set of state legislative maps was ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court. Options for the federal panel of judges vary but include approving an earlier map already ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, instituting alternative maps, ordering maps of their own making, or issuing a continuance of the 2010 district lines. The Ohio Redistricting Commission has until May 6th to file a new set of maps for review.

dez bryant
Dez Bryant
Vice President of Government Relations
dezbryant@columbus.org