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June 8, 2015 – LimaOhio.com, By Danae King

LIMA — In the coming days and weeks, Denny Glenn and others will be working to submit a grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment.

Glenn, project manager for the grant, calls the grant he and others are applying for “phase two,” as the Allen County commissioners currently have a grant from OEA and are going for more funding for the same purpose.

“Phase one” of the grant ends Aug. 30, and was awarded for the purpose of funding workforce strategies, specifically in relation to the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. The Ohio Regional Growth Partnership also awarded the commissioners a $25,000 grant for the same purpose.

On Monday, consultants presented the work completed during phase one, which Glenn and others hope to continue in a potential phase two.

The presentation focused on “action steps” for the city, county and region, with the hope that community stakeholders will start work on them if new funding is received in September, Glenn said.

Jeff Sachse giving a presentation to the county on the workforce grant
Jeff Sachse, with consulting firm Future iQ Partners, presents the county's action steps for a workforce grant. (Danae King/ The Lima News).

A survey of community stakeholders determined what the top five, of 16, most important actions are in the coming months: Creating an Allen County Plan for Collaborative Growth; initiating a series of strategic investments in the region’s K-12 system; funding an initial endowment of the Link Lima Foundation; conducting a comprehensive gap analysis of the region; and establishing a regional center for innovation excellence.

For those steps, the county is requesting $840,000, with the total preliminary amount requested for the plan, and the second phase of the grant, $3.6 million. The end amount could fluctuate, Glenn said, as the grant proposal is not completed.

Future iQ Partners, a consulting firm hired for phase one of the grant, presented the action steps determined at the April workshop.

About 25 business people, educators, nonprofit representatives and elected officials attended the action plan announcement.

“It’s about the community, it’s for the community,” Glenn said. The April workshop and subsequent survey “gave us a validated path forward for our action plan,” he said.

All of the action steps and the order they were presented in was based on feedback from the community participants, said Jeff Sachse, senior economist at Future iQ Partners and a consultant for the grant.

David Beurle, CEO of Future iQ Partners, explained that Lima and Allen County has business advantages and organizational strengths that compare to a region three or four times its size.

Glenn said he’s proud of the community.

“Regardless of OEA funding, we’ve got an action plan we as a community can choose to go forward with,” Glenn said. “I think we now have that collated, validated action plan we’ll now move forward with.”

Glenn plans to have the phase two grant proposal to the OEA by the end of June, and, if funded, the grant period will begin right after phase one ends — on Sept. 1.


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.

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