Fund for Our Economic Future Awards $5.3 Million in Grants to Regional Economic Development Organizations

Funding to Support Regional and Collaborative Efforts to Add Jobs, Grow Incomes in Northeast Ohio 

WOOSTER, OH--June 13, 2011--The Fund for Our Economic Future has awarded $5.3 million in grants to regional economic development organizations collaborating to improve Northeast Ohio’s economic competiveness.

Six grants were made during the Fund’s quarterly Funders Committee meeting June 9th at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. The grants will sustain the work of the organizations, all of which have a long relationship with the Fund and have made a positive cumulative impact in Northeast Ohio.

 Each of the one-year grants was made to regional nonprofit economic development organizations that are collaborating to implement Advance Northeast Ohio, the region’s economic competitiveness agenda. Performance metrics and milestones will be required of each organization.

Grant recipients and the maximum amount they will receive are:

• BioEnterprise, which helps grow bioscience and health care companies: $995,000• JumpStart, regional entrepreneurial assistance organization, $1,170,000• MAGNET, the region’s manufacturing advocacy organization: $390,000• Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+,  provides business growth services to Hispanic- and African-American-owned businesses with at least $2.5 million in sales: $680,000 NorTech, which helps grow technology-based industries: $1,320,000• Team NEO, the region’s business attraction organization: $745,000

“Collectively, these six organizations have strengthened Northeast Ohio’s economy contributing more than 2,000 new jobs, $47 million in payroll and attracting $371 million in capital,” said David Abbott, chairman of the Fund and executive director of The George Gund Foundation. “The Fund is pleased to continue supporting the work of these organizations which embody our commitment to building a vibrant regional economy.”

“The Fund believes that each of these grantee organizations value collaboration and a regional approach to economic development and job creation in Northeast Ohio,” said Christine Mayer, vice-chair of the Fund and chief operating officer of the GAR Foundation in Akron. “Our investment in successful regional initiatives that generate jobs, elevate incomes and reduce poverty further strengthens the economic foundation of the region.”

The Fund is a collaboration of philanthropic organizations and individuals that have united to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio through grantmaking, research and civic engagement. The Funders Committee consists of 57 members that have contributed at least $100,000 to the Fund.

Partners in Advance Northeast Ohio collaborate to address four regional strategic economic priorities:

• Business Growth• Talent Development•  Racial & Economic Inclusion• Government Collaboration & Efficiency