Ground Broken For Wind Energy Research Center The Timken Company, Stark State College, and the Stark County Port Authority officially broke ground on the first-of-its-kind Wind Energy Research and Development Center in North America. At the center, Timken will develop ultra-large bearings and seals on sophisticated equipment that replicates the operating environment of large multi-megawatt wind turbines. The $11.8 million research and development center represents a collaborative effort by Stark State, Timken, the Stark County Port Authority, and the Stark Development Board. The center will anchor the College’s new Emerging Technologies Airport Campus on 15 acres of property adjacent to the Akron Canton Airport. The 18,000 sq. ft. center will secure 65 jobs directly while creating a unique research practicum and technical certification program for Stark State students. It will also provide critical training for current and future technicians across the spectrum of operating services required by today’s wind turbine manufacturers and operators. To read more about the groundbreaking project, click on this Timken press release. Click here for a photo of the event.

Call Center Starts Operations in Canton VXI Global Solutions has started call center operations inside the four-story former Ohio Bell building on the northwest corner of Cleveland Ave NW and Fourth Street. Founded in Los Angeles in 1997, Global Solutions now employees 10,000 people in the US, China, and the Philippines. It has ten (10) call centers, including locations in Youngstown, California, and Texas. Mayor William J. Healy had this to say: “We are extremely excited that VXI Global Solutions has made a decision to make a major investment in our downtown. Not only will this bring 1,000 new employees to the downtown arts district, but it also ensures a long-term presence for (the company) in Canton.” Global Solutions is renovating the AT&T building and will continue to recruit, train, and place employees as renovations are completed. They previously were looking to lease the Macy’s space at Canton Centre Mall. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved job creation tax credits worth as much as $1.0 million based on an eventual annual payroll of $21.8 million. The City of Canton has also offered a grant of $700,000 based on the payroll projections. To read about this new call center in Canton, click on this Canton Repository article.

Kent State University Signs Agreement with Stark State College Ohio’s second largest public university has partnered with an associate degree college to simplify and guarantee the transfer process between the two institutions. Kent State President Lester A. Lofton and Stark State President John O’Donnell signed an institutional articulation agreement on July 7. The articulation agreement eases the transfer process and promotes the closer coordination of academic courses, programs, and degrees offered by the two institutions. The agreement guarantees admission to Kent State for any Stark State student who has completed an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. The transfer students can pursue their bachelor’s degree at any one of Kent State’s eight campuses located throughout Northeast Ohio. To learn more about this collaboration, click on this Kent State press release.

Stark State College Partners in Innovation Fund Stark State College has been named a new partner of the Innovation Fund. This regional fund, established by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, focuses on supporting technology-based entrepreneurial endeavors to help great ideas develop into viable businesses and create jobs in the region. The opportunity was made possible by a $2 million grant from the Ohio Third Frontier Pre-seed Fund Capitalization Program to the Lorain County Community College Foundation. It ties into Stark State’s construction of a new Business and Entrepreneurial Studies building. The Innovation Fund is supported and administered through a regional and state network of higher education, government, and economic development partners. “This is an important step in launching a robust, community entrepreneurial support program encouraging economic growth in Stark County,” according to Stephen Paquette, president and CEO of the Stark Development Board. The fund provides awards of up to $100,000 to promising technology-based start-ups located or willing to locate within 21 counties of Northeast Ohio. To read more about Stark State’s partnership in the Innovation Fund, click on this press release.

Akron-Canton Airport Has Busiest Month Ever With 151,115 passengers traveling to and from the Akron-Canton Airport in the month of June, a new monthly record was set in the 64-year history of the airport. This beats the old record set in July 2008 by 1,358 passengers. Passengers aboard AirTran Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, increased 6 percent compared to June 2010 carrying 70,600 passengers to nonstops in Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, New York, and Boston. Plus, SkyWest Airlines’ (in partnership with AirTran) flights to Milwaukee posted a 5 percent gain. Frontier Airlines and Delta Airlines were also up compared to last year. To read more about the new record, click on this Akron-Canton Airport press release.

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