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Government Spotlight | September 20, 2022

September 20th, 2022

Intel Funds Semiconductor Education and Research Program

Intel announced the first phase of funding its Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program on the occasion of Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony. The tech giant is providing $17.7 million over three years for eight proposals led by the University of Cincinnati, Central State University, Columbus State Community College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, Ohio University and two from Ohio State University. More than 80 higher education institutions will be involved in the projects. The investment is phase one of Intel’s plans to directly invest $50 million in grants to Ohio higher education institutions over the next 10 years as part of efforts to build the necessary manufacturing workforce.

Intel Hiring Management and Engineering Positions

Intel is hiring experienced professionals for management and engineering positions at its New Albany factory, mostly in terms of facilities and site services. Some positions involve temporarily relocating to Arizona or another site for training assignments lasting from six months to one year. Management roles include site operations and commissioning, as well as project manager roles. There are also openings for chemical, mechanical, electrical and manufacturing network engineers. The full list, which is subject to change, is available at https://tinyurl.com/mr2zb8px.

Franklin Co. Grants Funds for Affordable Housing

The Franklin County Commissioners voted to approve a $5 million grant to the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County, which is an independent non-profit lender that works to develop affordable housing in Central Ohio. 

The Affordable Housing Trust will use the commissioners’ funding to establish a new program to increase the amount of affordable housing that is available in Central Ohio by engaging with more minority and women developers.  The new initiative will provide both technical assistance and working capital to new projects from program graduates.  Participants will take part in a six-month educational course, and then have access to one-on-one consulting and be able to apply for low interest loans from the Affordable Housing Trust.  The City of Columbus and JPMorgan Chase are also partnering on this project.

More than 30,000 evictions have been filed in Franklin County since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a quarter of Ohio renters lack confidence in their ongoing ability to pay their rent. The funding for this grant was made possible by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). To learn more about the ARP and how the commissioners are using this funding to help our community recover from the pandemic, visit Recovery.FranklinCountyOhio.gov.

Helping Ohioans Pursue Employment (HOPE) Initiative

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) kicked off National Workforce Development Month by announcing a new outreach effort to help unemployed Ohioans quickly find new jobs. Through the Helping Ohioans Pursue Employment (HOPE) initiative, the department now emails unemployment applicants extensive information about the free in-person, employment services available at the state’s 88 OhioMeansJobs Centers, in addition to the self-service features available at OhioMeansJobs.com.

ODOT’s Local Major Bridge Program

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is now accepting applications for funding as part of the Local Major Bridge Program, which provides federal funds to counties and municipalities for bridge replacement, bridge rehabilitation and bridge demolition projects. More locally-owned bridges would be eligible for funding as part of the program. Modified program requirements opened eligibility to 238 bridges, up from 54. During the current funding cycle, the program will pay up to 95 percent of the construction and engineering costs for major bridge projects, with a cap of $20 million.

Styling for Democracy. Now Vote!” initiative

Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced the re-launch of the “Styling for Democracy. Now Vote!” initiative that he started in 2020 to get more Ohioans registered to vote and to recruit more poll workers. The partnership works with barbershops, salons, and barber schools to encourage members of their community to sign up to be poll workers, register their family and friends to vote, and educate the community on the multiple ways to vote. Barbershops and salons looking to partner with LaRose on the initiative may contact Henry Curtis at hcurtis@ohiosos.gov.

Broadband Infrastructure Training Program

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced a newly designed “Broadband Infrastructure Training Program” at Buckeye Hills Career Center in Rio Grande. The program will train Ohioans to help with the buildout of the state’s broadband expansion. Students will go through an approximately 12-week interactive learning journey that includes the design, installation and service components of broadband networks.

Ohio Business Sponsor-A-Highway Program

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced this week a new litter control program that brings in the business community to help in the effort. Over the past few weeks, the first signage related to the Sponsor-A-Highway program has been installed along highways in the northeast Ohio area. The statewide program allows businesses and groups to fund litter removal services along one mile, one-direction segments of state highways. In exchange for their sponsorship, the name of the business or group is displayed on a sign within their sponsored segment. The program complements ODOT’s existing Adopt-A-Highway program, where volunteer groups adopt a two-mile segment of two-lane highway.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced it will host five (5) regional forums in Columbus, Parma, Oregon, Cincinnati and New Philadelphia to help small businesses earn tax credits through the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program. The WOTC offers incentives for companies to hire individuals “from targeted groups, including veterans, public assistance recipients, restored citizens, individuals with disabilities and others,” according to ODJFS. The tax credits range from $2,400 to $9,600 depending on the group. ODJFS has certified over 100,000 WOTC applications since October 2021 and thousands of Ohio employers have received more than $240 million in tax credits. Attendance is free but space is limited; Email CL.SL.Area.3@irs.gov to register.

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