COLUMBUS - State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) today announced that the Buckeye Hills Regional Council has been awarded $1.2 million in funding for the Regional Innovation Gateway Network.

“I am pleased to hear of the announcement of these funds for such an important and beneficial project,” said Senator Balderson. “The Innovation Gateway Network will provide invaluable resources for Ohioans to secure jobs and support their families. It is a great step towards improving the economy of Southeastern Ohio by offering leadership programs and fostering collaboration between community leaders and those who want to learn.”

The funds were awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission to support the Buckeye Hills Innovation Gateway Network of Appalachia Ohio project. This project is focused on increasing employment and prosperity through alternative learning and career pathways. 

Serving eight counties in Southeast Ohio, including Morgan, Hocking, and Athens counties, the Gateway Network will consist of three multi-use facilities. Each location will be equipped to support a craft specialty as well as basic maker activities and will host a variety of learning providers using classroom spaces.
In an effort to reduce the regions geographic isolation, each of the Innovation Gateways will be technology-intensive facilities with commercial grade broadband access and will be well-stocked throughout with computers.
The Gateway Network of Appalachia Ohio project is one of 18 projects to receive funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission. In total, the 18 projects will receive $15.7 million and will create or retain more than 1,700 jobs, benefiting nearly 1,200 students and workers, leveraging an additional $64 million into the Appalachian Region.

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