Stark County Wins Three Job Ready Site Grants – On Friday afternoon, July 30, Kimberly Zurz, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce, announced that three Stark county projects had been awarded Job Ready Site grants. The Job Ready Sites (JRS) program is a competitive funding program designed to increase the supply and quality of Ohio’s inventory of available sites and facilities served by utilities and transportation infrastructure. Stark County was awarded three grants out of a total of fourteen (14) awards statewide. The Stark County Port Authority was awarded a $750,000 grant under the low intensity category and will use the funds to assist in the purchase and expansion (to 22,000 sq. ft.) of a building on 5th St. in Canton which will house the Canton Corrugated Paper Center. The facility will also house the only pilot corrugated paper line in the world running at industry speeds, and the only research and development center in corrugated paper in the United States. Kohler Services, the holding company of Kohler Coating, will be partnering with Cargill in the research and development and will be setting up a customized training program and curriculum with Stark State College to train technicians in the new technology developed at the center. Perry Township and the Village of Navarre through their JEDD were awarded $1.1 million in high intensity JRS funds and $2.4 million in state 629 road funds. These dollars will be used to provide infrastructure (bridge, road extensions, and utility extensions) for the 340 acre Prospect Industrial Park, formerly the County Farm property. Finally, the City of Louisville was awarded $3.5 million in JRS funds to improve the infrastructure for the Beck Industrial Park. The 300 acre industrial park will use the funds to enhance access to the park with road improvements, a bridge, and utility extensions. To read more about the award of these grants, click on this Canton Repository article.
Business “Booms” at Stark County Company – The ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has given opportunity to American ingenuity and hard work at a company in Massillon. Stanwood Boom Works (SBW), a small manufacturer that didn’t exist until May 19, shipped its first oil containment booms on May 24 to the Gulf of Mexico to help cleanup efforts after the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout. The company started with empty space, organized the factory floor, installed machinery, and hired people, all in just five days. As of the first of July the company had 90 shift employees working six 12–hour days, producing 2.5 miles of boom a day. Scott Miller is president and owner of SBW which is an offspring of family-owned Miller Weldmaster Corp.—an 80 employee industrial fabric welding company in nearby Navarre that has customers worldwide. “For about 25 years, we’ve been building equipment to produce oil boom,” Miller said. “It’s all heat sealing, heat welding equipment.” SBW’s containment booms are temporary plastic-and-foam floating barriers used to hold spilled oil on the surface of the water until it can be collected. There was so much boom needed, and Miller Weldmaster had the machinery and talent to make it happen. “It’s a testament to our people in Stark County that’s really allowed us to be where we are today in the manufacturing of the booms,” Miller said. To learn more about this great Stark County story, click on this Beacon Journal article.
Cisco Picks Northeast Ohio to Test Networking Technologies – Cisco Systems, one of the world’s largest technology companies, plans to use the fiber-optic communication infrastructure in Northeast Ohio as a testing ground for some of its latest network technologies. The company has partnered with the local nonprofit organization OneCommunity to use its ultra high speed network that connects more than 1,500 hospitals, schools, libraries, and government buildings. OneCommunity has been building the network since 2003. Cisco says it plans to use that infrastructure to offer cutting-edge communication services in areas such as healthcare and public safety. Cisco is investing more than $500,000 in equipment for testing the new technologies. Elizabeth Zornes, who heads Cisco’s “Smart+Connected Communities” initiative in North America, said to expect more news of technologies being launched in Northeast Ohio. To read more about Cisco’s investment in Northeast Ohio, click on this Plain Dealer article.