Economic-development funding up in Ohio

Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio

Over the past four years, grant dollars earmarked for economic development in Ohio have jumped 152 percent, says a new report from the Foundation Center.

In 2008, 70 foundations together awarded 410 grants totaling $61.8 million for economic development in the state, up from 329 grants totaling $24.6 million in 2005.

Economic-development grantmaking accounted for 14 percent of $451 million in total grant dollars awarded in Ohio in 2008, the report says, twice the share invested in 2005.

Within the economic-development field, employment and training services received the largest share of grant dollars, followed by urban development and general economic development.

However, the large share received by employment and training services is due in large part to a $20 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is supporting an effort to boost the quality of life in Akron by bringing in significant investment and creating 2,100 jobs.

That large grant catapulted the Knight Foundation into the top spot as the largest funder of economic development in Ohio, with 4 grants totaling $20.9 million, followed by the Cleveland Foundation, which awarded 58 grants totaling $13.5 million.

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