Buckeye Hills Regional Council announces grants application process

OHIO VALLEY — Buckeye Hills Regional Council is committed to assisting counties across the region with securing grant funding for projects. For consideration of funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (for federal ARC funding), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA), applicants should complete a Project Profile. The Profile is now available at http://buckeyehills.org/development/project-profile/. Project funds are available in two distinct categories – regional job training and public infrastructure.

The simple, self-explanatory project profile form collects basic information about projects including contact information, project description, type and readiness, regional impact, project partners, funding sources and total project costs.

Qualifying state and local agencies and governmental entities, local governing boards (such as county commissioners), and nonprofit organizations (such as schools and organizations that build low-cost housing) may apply for the competitive public infrastructure grant programs. These same parties are eligible to apply for Regional Job Training funds, as well as private companies that may expand or improve employment opportunities in the region.

Representatives from these organizations may draw from the expertise and assistance available from Buckeye Hills to navigate the grants process. Based on the project information provided, staff will determine the appropriate potential funding sources best matched with the activity described. Matching funds are required to secure public investments in eligible public infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure projects must serve residents in one or more of the region’s eight counties: Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington. While each funding source has specific goals, they generally address the following issues: creation/retention of private sector jobs; extension or upgrade of water or sewer services; provision of quality health care; provision of job skills training; and/or development or improvement of infrastructure for residents.

In 2018, the project profile will also include pre-applications for the Regional Job Training Program funded by The Ohio Development Services Agency (through The Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia). This program is focused on providing opportunities in the Buckeye Hills region for workforce development and job training activities utilizing Ohio Casino Licensing Fee funds allocated to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Matching funds are not required for this program, but applicants who can contribute resources toward the completion of the proposed activity will be considered more competitively. Requests greater than $250,000 may require additional information and review.

Applicant organizations are encouraged to leverage existing workforce programs in conjunction with regional job training resources requested from Buckeye Hills. Applicants are also encouraged to demonstrate meaningful outcomes in the following areas: businesses served, communities served, students served, workers/trainees served, businesses improved, communities improved, students improved, workers/trainees improved, costs reduced, jobs created, and jobs retained. Items listed as ‘served’ are those involved with or generally benefiting from the project, items listed as ‘improved’ indicates those receiving a measurable impact as a result of the project, such as an industry credential, certificate, academic degree, or similar. Regional Job Training projects should serve the same geographic areas as the public infrastructure program.

The project profile is available on the Buckeye Hills web site at http://buckeyehills.org/development/project-profile/. Upon selecting public infrastructure or regional job training, the form will provide the relevant questions. All project profiles are due to Buckeye Hills no later than 4 p.m. April 10, 2018. Applicants are asked to prioritize their activities, and to submit no more than three projects for each program. For answers on questions regarding the project profile process call Melissa Zoller at (740) 376-1027.

Total costs for projects completed over the past year were approximately $50 million, with local communities and private business leveraging $19.5 million (39 percent) against the $30.8 million (61 percent) provided through state and federal funding sources. Buckeye Hills Regional Council helps local communities work cooperatively to improve the region. A voluntary organization of local governments, Buckeye Hills serves eight Southeastern Ohio counties including Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington.