Northeast Ohio Awarded Make It In America Grant

Northeast Ohio Awarded Make it in America Grant

MAGNET, Medina County Workforce Development, Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO) and WIRE-Net are part of a Northeast Ohio collaboration that is among 10 groups nationwide to be awarded a Make it in America grant.  The $1,796,867 allocated to Northeast Ohio will be used to provide specialized assistance to as many as 25 firms that have the potential to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, specifically Northeast Ohio. 

Federal funding partners for the Make it in America grant include the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) and the department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). Awards announced on October 22 are from the EDA, the DOL-ETA, and the DRA.  NIST-MEP plans to make awards in early FY 2014.

The grant will assist up to 25 organizations in areas such as commercialization of new products or services, workforce development and/or training and assessment of critical manufacturing needs and capabilities within targeted sector supply chains.

Jay Foran, senior vice president of business attraction for Team NEO explained that WIRE-Net will take a lead role in identifying a pool of medium-size companies in biomedical, automotive and advanced energy sectors that use advanced materials such as polymers in their manufacturing processes.

“Preliminary analysis indicates that a focus on advanced materials technology has significant job-producing potential for Northeast Ohio” said Foran.  “This includes research, technical and process improvements, business and supply-chain enhancements, and talent development efforts to support a more competitive manufacturing region. The bulk of the grant will be used to fund the specialized technical assistance that these companies need to grow and create more jobs in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown and Lorain. ”

Team NEO’s primary role was bringing the Northeast Ohio organizations together to develop and submit the grant proposal. Moving forward, an advisory council, comprised of the other partner organizations, will oversee the identification, selection and analysis phases of the grant.  Team NEO’s core strength in business attraction will support the effort by helping to attract international companies that can play a role in the supply-chains of the targeted sectors. 

WIRE-Net, with its extensive manufacturing expertise, will work directly with the companies.  Ed Weston, director for WIRE-Net’s Supply Chain Services, said WIRE-Net is excited about working with its partners to support Northeast Ohio manufacturing.

“Working with MAGNET and others, we can help manufacturers tackle their major barriers to growth,” said Weston.  “We are also grateful for significant matching funds from The Cleveland Foundation that will support implementation of a companion Growth Accelerator in the City of Cleveland. The Cleveland Foundation recently announced a grant to WIRE-Net of which $170,000 is focused on the manufacturing and employment Accelerator.”

MAGNET will provide key resources and services focused on business growth, job creation, and talent development to the target sectors.

“Northeast Ohio’s Make it in America initiative builds on the already strong working relationships among the participating project partners,” said Dan Berry, President and CEO of MAGNET.  “For MAGNET in particular, this work enhances our organization’s ability to meaningfully reach out to the region’s manufacturers in the target sectors of biomedical, automotive and advanced energy.  We are proud to be part of this team working to bring manufacturing jobs back to Northeast Ohio.”

Medina County Workforce Development will focus on coordinating the services of higher education partners – Case Western Reserve University, Lorain County Community College, Stark State College and The University of Akron – and aligning those services with the needs of the companies selected.

 “Medina County Workforce Development has a strong history of connecting Economic Development with its Workforce Development activities and planning,” said Bill Hanigan, director, Medina County Workforce Development. “Our regional activities and partnerships offer the connectivity required in this undertaking.” 

Organizations interested in more information should contact Laura Hudak at

Founded in 1984, MAGNET, the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, (, is a regional economic development organization committed to establishing Northeast Ohio as a preeminent center for manufacturing growth….where jobs are being created, new products are being designed and produced, and the value of manufacturing companies is increasing. Since its inception, MAGNET initiatives have generated well over $1 billion in economic impact for the region’s manufacturers through increased sales, enhanced productivity, and jobs created or retained.

About the Summit-Medina Workforce Investment Board (WIB) 
The Summit-Medina WIB is a business lead organization that oversees the employment and training policies and activities of its two One-Stop operations.  This federally funded program assists employers in recruitment, assessment, placement and possible assistance in new hire On-the-Job Training (OJT’s) expense.   During economic downturns we provide transitioning services for those employees negatively affected.  The oversight similarly assists job seekers, whether they are recently unemployed, seeking a new position offering self-sufficiency or just entering the job market for the first time.

About Team NEO 
Team NEO is a nonprofit business attraction and growth organization that markets Northeast Ohio to the world, attracts new businesses and helps those that are here grow.  We are the Northeast Ohio regional partner for JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit corporation that drives economic development and job creation for the state. We also work closely with economic development organizations across our 18 counties. Since 2007, we have attracted 72 new company operations, more than 6,200 new jobs and $266 million in annual payroll to Northeast Ohio. Since becoming a JobsOhio regional partner in 2011, we also have helped 162 companies within Northeast Ohio create or retain almost 45,000 jobs and add more than $3 billion in capital investment. For more information, visit

About WIRE-Net 
WIRE-Net is a non-profit economic development organization dedicated to improving the community through nurturing manufacturing and the jobs and prosperity that come with it. WIRE-Net is a problem solver. It works as a consultant, collaborator, referral source and hands-on provider in workforce development, growth and operational improvement initiatives, peer to peer and expert knowledge sharing, supply chain development, governmental assistance programs and urban redevelopment.

  • Federal Grant