A consortium aimed at promoting advanced manufacturing applications in northwest Ohio plans to create a new innovation center using a portion of the $3.0 million grant that DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) previously awarded to benefit the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC), a government-owned, contractor-operated facility that produces tanks and military vehicles in Lima.
“The OEAMC [Ohio Energy and Advanced Manufacturing Center] will be using those OEA grant funds along with some other state grants they have to create a center that fosters innovative processes and products, not only for JSMC but for other companies related to the defense industry, suppliers and entrepreneurs,” said project manager Cynthia Leis, reported limaohio.com.
The innovation center will explore new manufacturing techniques, such as high strain metal forming, to cultivate a more efficient manufacturing process at JSMC and help the plant remain competitive. The $900,000 in funding slated for the OEAMC also will be used to conduct a feasibility study for a petroleum laboratory, which would research alternative uses for refinery products.
The funding is intended to foster “brain power” and work in coordination with other efforts to boost workforce growth in Allen County, according to the story.
“We’re all pushing that boulder in the same direction,” Leis said.
The OEA grant Allen County received last year represented the second phase of the agency’s effort to support businesses and workers harmed by defense cutbacks at JSMC. In the first phase, the county developed strategies to maintain and enhance the skill sets of workers at JSMC.