Fund for Our Economic Future Awards $2.2 Million in Grants

The has announced two grants totaling up to $2.2 million for initiatives designed to bolster Northeast Ohio's economic competitiveness by growing the region's advanced energy industry and strengthening its talent development system.

, a technology coalition, will receive up to $1.7 million over two years for a new initiative designed to accelerate commercial activity, job creation, and capital attraction in the region's advanced energy industry. Developed in collaboration with the fund and the , the initiative will work to improve connections among companies, institutions of higher education, and the public sector in order to accelerate development of new commercial opportunities, expand existing businesses, and attract new ones, while attempting to boost state and federal support for the industry.

"Our region has tremendous energy-related assets that are generating job growth and attracting investment," said William R. Seelbach of the Cleveland-based , who co-chairs the fund's grantmaking committee. "We believe this collaborative initiative led by NorTech can help leverage those assets by linking them together, fostering new partnerships, and leading innovative projects."

In addition, the fund will award up to $500,000 to support development of the Regional Talent Network, an employer-led effort to strengthen the talent development system across Northeast Ohio. The network is in the formative stages and funding will be distributed as it achieves milestones, including developing an organizational structure and conducting an assessment of the trends and gaps in the supply and demand for talent in the region.

"How well we prepare our region's residents for the jobs being created in the knowledge-based economy will determine the economic future of our region," said Kurt Karakul of the . "It is vital that our region's talent development system is responsive to the needs of employers."

"." Fund for Our Economic Future Press Release 09/01/2009.