Major Expansion Planned at Akron-Canton Airport ­ Akron-Canton Airport officials announced a ten year, $110 million project which will open the airport to international and transcontinental flights. The largest component of the project is a $60 million runway extension which will extend the runway to 8,200 feet. The longest direct flights are currently to Denver and Las Vegas and this runway extension will enable flights to anywhere in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The runway extension is scheduled to be completed by 2010. Included in the total project would be a customs and border patrol facility to handle the international flights. Additional improvements include the following: expanding the upper-level concourse and adding three gates, increasing parking space by 50 percent, improving the aircraft parking and several aviation areas with new ramp space for private pilots, and replacing the aircraft rescue and firefighting-maintenance facility with a new 30,000 sq.ft. structure. To read more about the expansion, click here for the Canton Repository article.

Ohio Ranked No. 1 Choice for Capital Investment ­ Site Selection Magazine, one of the nation’s leading location assistance publications, has awarded the State of Ohio the 2007 Governor’s Cup Award. The No. 1 ranking for Ohio was based on the number of private capital investments for new or expanded facilities that involved an investment of at lease $1 million, created a minimum of 50 new jobs, or added at least 20,000 sq.ft. of new floor area. According to Site Selection’s rankings, Ohio had 399 facilities that met these criteria. Illinois came in second at 362. Ohio’s Governor Ted Strickland had this to say: “In Ohio, we are taking aggressive steps to ensure that this state remains business friendly. From already enacted tax reform to ongoing public-private partnerships aimed at transforming the state’s business climate, we’re making it easier for companies to compete in a global economy.” To read more about the award, click here for the Site Selection Magazine article.

Rolls-Royce Awarded Third Frontier Grant ­ Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, headquartered on the campus of Stark State College of Technology, was awarded a $1 million Third Frontier Grant this past week. The grant was awarded for the development of a High-Pressure Stack Block Test System that would be placed in a Fuel Cell Power Module Overhaul Facility. Rolls-Royce is developing a mega-watt scale solid oxide fuel cell for stationary power generation. Both Stark State College and the Stark Development Board were collaborators on the grant request. The creation of this facility will assist Stark State in developing its fuel cell technician training program. They will assess the training needs of facility personnel and incorporate them into future curriculum. The Stark Development Board will be working with Rolls-Royce and Stark State College of Technology on the development of the Overhaul Facility. To read about Rolls-Royce’s grant award and other Third Frontier Fuel Cell awards, click here.

Stark State College Awarded Two Significant Grants ­ Stark State College of Technology will receive a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and a $1 million grant from the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program. The Department of Labor grant will be used to prepare students for careers in high-growth, high-demand health occupations in Stark and five surrounding counties. This employment-focused competitive grant brings together 21 business and community partners who will collaborate with Stark State on the education and training project. This ECHO (Expanding Capacity in Health Occupations) Project is focused on meeting current and projected health worker shortages in the region. Congressman Ralph Regula and his staff were instrumental in securing the grant. The $1 million Choose Ohio First Program grant will be used to provide scholarships in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical fields (STEM). Stark State will be partnering with three other Northeast Ohio institutions to attract and graduate about 800 students in STEM fields in five years. The group’s proposal demonstrated innovation in the areas of student learning communities, early academic intervention, and redesigned science modules. To read more about these awards, click here.


Stark Development Board

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