BGSU Center for Regional Development awarded $140,000 federal grant

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Center for Regional Development (CRD) at Bowling Green State University has been awarded a five-year, $140,000 U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) annual grant to continue its important mission of strengthening northwest Ohio's economy.

One of only roughly 60 centers like it in the country, the BGSU CRD fosters community partnerships and resources in the region to attract new business and grow the workforce.

"It's an absolute honor for the Center for Regional Development to be named as a recipient of this grant," said Dr. Russell Mills, senior director of the CRD. "This funding shows the EDA recognizes the University's commitment to and engagement in economic development in the region, which spans 31 counties."

As the only EDA university center in northwest Ohio, the CRD will use the grant to provide cutting-edge data and analytics to community partners, serve as a neutral facilitator of regional planning processes, and conduct applied research and program evaluation. Funding also will be shared with Ohio University to advance the State of Ohio's Rural Universities Program.

"The BGSU CRD brings together experts from all sectors to drive economic development in northwest Ohio, and securing this grant allows it to happen," Mills said. "Research and guidance provided by the CRD facilitates improvements to infrastructure, livelihoods and the economic vitality of the region."

Additionally, EDA funding has helped the CRD conduct its annual State of the Region Conference and implement the all-new Reimagining Rural Regions (R3) Initiative, which leverages assets and expertise to attract people to live and work in small Ohio communities.

"This grant really makes the CRD and its resources accessible to support important, economy-boosting programs," Mills said. "There are not a lot of places in the county where a university like BGSU is relied upon to lead regional development initiatives on a regular basis. This is some of the most important funding the center receives."

Thanks to that crucial funding, the BGSU CRD stands ready to help communities and businesses alike adapt to an ever-changing economic landscape.

"There has never been a busier or better time for the CRD," Mills said. "There is such an increased demand for the insight and expertise that a center like this can provide to the region. Northwest Ohio has so much great potential to support the jobs and industries of the future, and the CRD is ready to assist its partners in helping them thrive in our region."

Updated: 11/03/2021 01:32PM