Amazing news for our region was released today as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik announced the first major development projects that will move forward with support from Ohio’s $500 million Appalachian Community Grant Program, and several of the programs and agencies receiving the grants are in Athens and our surrounding areas!

The announcement included the following quote from Governor DeWine: “‘The projects we’re announcing today are just the beginning of the long-term, impactful change that’s in store for Ohio’s 32-county Appalachian region,’ said Governor DeWine. ‘There is so much potential in Appalachia Ohio, and this historic $500 million investment will help open new doors to growth, innovation, and opportunity for those living here.’

Images provided by the State of Ohio.

‘With today’s announcement, new doors are opening in Appalachian Ohio, creating a new generation of opportunities,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “This funding will allow these communities to think bigger and expand the scope of their local economy, making their communities more attractive to live, work and invest.'”

We are thrilled that so many of our Chamber members and the organizations that we work with were awarded grants! Local recipients listed in the announcement were as follows:

  • The City of Athens will receive an Appalachian Community Grant of up to $17,674,641 to revitalize 80,000 square feet of downtown space with the rehabilitation of six historic buildings in Coshocton, Logan, Somerset, and Athens. The buildings include the Athens Armory, Coshocton Collaborative, Somerset Builders Club, Logan Theater and Community Arts Center, Hocking Hills Children’s Museum, and Hocking Hills Chamber.
  • The Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program will address social determinants of health challenges in Athens, Glouster, Nelsonville, Gallipolis, and Middleport by establishing a mental health drop-in center and advocacy trauma center and expanding four New Leaf Recovery Villages. Turning Over a New Leaf for Appalachia Families Through Wealth, Health, and Technology will be funded through an Appalachia Community Grant of up to $25,793,806.

  • The Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia will receive an Appalachia Community Grant of up to $4,175,136 for the Southeast Ohio Nature, Heritage, and Art Sustainable Tourism Anchor Development to Transform the Appalachian Ohio Economy project.

Read more about each recipient and the projects that the grants will fund at the press release here.