May 18, 2015 – LimaOhio.com, By Danae Kin
LIMA — Task Force L.I.M.A. is hoping to get the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center “on the mind of decision makers” when it comes to the Ohio Federal Military Jobs Commission.
After receiving the commission’s initial report about a month ago, Lima Mayor David Berger was disappointed.
Now, members of the task force he co-chairs are working to connect with decision makers, such as a member of the commission and state Sen. Chris Widener.
The initial report, released in April, only mentioned the JSMC to say that the commission visited it in February.
“The JSMC didn’t figure prominently into that,” Berger said, of the report, at a Task Force L.I.M.A. meeting on Monday.
Denny Glenn, JSMC retiree and project manager of a national grant, talks about the Office of Economic Adjustment grant the Allen County commissioners got at the Task Force L.I.M.A. meeting on Monday. (Danae King/The Lima News)
Task Force L.I.M.A. is a group of local officials and community leaders who meet once a month and are focused on keeping the government-owned, contractor-operated tank and military vehicle production facility open.
“We are going to very much pay attention to the relationship with the state,” Berger said. “How we got ignored in this initial report is not very explainable at this point. We just have to continue to pursue this relationship.”
Berger said he’s not sure what the next steps are.
Members also discussed a grant awarded to the Allen County commissioners in July, which is focused on helping to stabilize the workforce at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.
Phase one of the grant, from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, was recently granted a 90-day extension, with the hope of phase two, not yet funded, beginning right after phase one ends Aug. 31, said Denny Glenn, project manager of the grant.
Phase two, if funded, will include going to private businesses in the area to get them more involved. The next meeting will be hosted June 8, during which the grant consultants will come back to form an action plan, hopefully to be implemented during phase two.
State Rep. Robert Cupp was also at the meeting and told the attendees of the budget the Ohio House passed.
Part of it, $2.5 million a year, addresses helping “military facilities in Ohio be in a better position in order to survive,” Cupp said. “It’s something that hasn’t been done before, it’s a start.”
It’s just a proposal now and still must go on to the senate and governor for approval. Cupp said the focus now is on other military installations, not the JSMC.
“We’re eligible, the issue is how do we compete,” Berger said.
The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.