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Ohio Earns Major Defense Manufacturing Designation

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2020
Contact: Todd Walker at (614) 644-0247 Todd.Walker@development.ohio.gov

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the U.S. Department of Defense has made a commitment to Ohio’s defense manufacturers and put the state in position to receive a $5 million grant to improve manufacturing processes and train workers for next-generation jobs. 

The Defense Department has designated Ohio as a Defense Manufacturing Community, which is a program designed to support long-term community investments that strengthen national security innovation and expand the capabilities of defense manufacturing. 

“The agility, speed, and resilience of Ohio’s manufacturing base offers a vital resource to the Department of Defense in its efforts to broaden and deepen the domestic defense supply chain,” Governor DeWine said. “The same model that realigned the entire Ohio manufacturing base to fight COVID-19 can be realigned to re-shore, innovate to solve Defense Department challenges, and produce equipment at scale.” 

The next step in the process is for Ohio to apply for the $5 million grant, and the Defense Department will help Ohio apply for the grant. 

Ohio will use the funds to help the state’s manufacturers adopt new processes and technology to make the state a pre-eminent defense supplier. The funds also will be used to help workers prepare for the new high-tech jobs that employers will create and to attract new people to the manufacturing workforce, including people of color, women, veterans, and others. 

“This project continues this administration’s goals of building a stronger tech workforce in Ohio,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “Ohio has a talented workforce, great infrastructure, and an exceptional cost- and quality-of-life rating, which makes us an attractive state to do business.” 

The Ohio Development Services Agency led the effort for the state to be designated as a Defense Manufacturing Community. The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is a program within Development, will take the lead in the project and will be aided by numerous organizations and businesses throughout the state, including the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, JobsOhio, Dayton Development Coalition, America Makes, and Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing. 

“Ohio will create the nation’s premier defense manufacturing community,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Development Services Agency. “Becoming an official Ohio Defense Manufacturing Community will accelerate and scale manufacturing initiatives, and thereby strengthen the defense supply chain. Ohio is committed to building an inclusive, skilled manufacturing workforce to support the project.”