OH-Penn Interstate Region
Building on a previous study of advanced manufacturing and healthcare in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties in Ohio, Thomas P. Miller and Associates assisted the Oh-Penn Interstate Region with the development of a Regional Innovation Grant (RIG) Action Plan that outlines a sustainable and collaborative approach to further develop its workforce for key business sectors and to spur economic growth.
The nation’s first bi-state workforce area to be recognized by both Governor Strickland in Ohio and Governor Rendell in Pennsylvania, the region includes Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull Counties in Ohio and Lawrence and Mercer Counties in Pennsylvania. The bi-state workforce area is made up of three Workforce Investment Boards that share a state border, a common workforce, current and emerging industries, and a common vision to enhance economic and workforce development. During the engagement, TPMA conducted labor market research, employer interviews, stakeholder input sessions and an interactive Oh‐Penn Interstate Summit to collect and validate insights for strategies for economic growth.
The Oh-Penn Interstate Region Action Plan recommended a Competitiveness Council be created that would drive regional collaboration among the five counties. TPMA outlined a governance structure, goals matrix and plans for hosting and staffing the Council so that stakeholders could easily organize for continued regional development.
With TPMA’s recommendation and support, the inaugural Oh-Penn Competitiveness Council met in February 2010. It was comprised of members from each of the three workforce investment boards. TPMA continues to work with and provide strategic guidance to the Oh-Penn Competitiveness Council. In early 2010 TPMA assisted the region with their successful application for a $550,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s “America Works” Initiative in support of the implementation of the regional Action Plan.
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