Worthington receives EDA grant
WORTHINGTON -- The U.S. Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a $779,886 grant to the city of Worthington to help build a bioscience testing and training center and business incubator, which is expected to create 150 jobs...
WORTHINGTON -- The U.S. Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a $779,886 grant to the city of Worthington to help build a bioscience testing and training center and business incubator, which is expected to create 150 jobs and generate $20 million in private investments, according to grant estimates.
The EDA grant will help build a new 7,500-square-foot building addition and remodel the existing 15,000-square-foot building located in the bioscience industrial park.
Glenn Thuringer, manager of economic development and membership services, said the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation and the city of Worthington have put a lot of work into the Worthington Bioscience Testing and Training Center and the business incubator.
A WREDC committee tries to oversee some of the activities at the bioscience park, and Thuringer said the TTC is a major component of what they are trying to accomplish.
"Our ultimate goal is to be able to furnish a pool of lab technicians for the bioscience industry," Thuringer stated, adding the testing component is also significant.
The WREDC happened to come upon the grant and thought it be worth it to apply.
"We did it in the city's name because of their ability to service something of this magnitude," Thuringer said.
What distinguishes this project from others, said Worthington City Administrator Craig Clark, is that it isn't about a building.
"It is about a concept," he stated. "It combines education, business and training."
The city sent in the grant application in the early fall of 2009, and Clark said they felt good about the grant going in to the project. The EDA had several technical questions throughout the process, but in the end, all the players involved thought it was pretty much a sure thing.
"This is fabulously exciting," Clark stated. "It took a lot of initiative and effort and it is great to see a long- time project come to fruition."
The TTC could lead the more routine sample testing being done at the bioscience park into something much bigger, he added, leading to higher-paying jobs in the area and more business development, and tying business in with research and higher education institutions.
"The bioscience TTC as well as the business incubator will not only help to strengthen the existing bioscience and green technology cluster, but will also promote it into a larger-scale player," stated Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh in a news release. "The EDA investment helps us diversify the regional economy by supporting the high-tech and renewable energy business."