LIMA — An update on the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant was the main topic of discussion at the Task Force LIMA meeting on Monday.
There is about $14,000 left from the OEA grant, according to Cynthia Leis, Allen County Project Manager of the Defense Community Assistance Program. The grant, which was created to better the Lima region, will be coming to an end sometime at the end of February.
Throughout the term of the grant, Leis and her team have been working on a boomerang program where they search for individuals who used to live in the region through various social media platforms and try to recruit them back.
Other initiatives include the engineering executive luncheon program at Ohio Northern University, where five junior and senior engineers will meet with area executives to fill vacant positions. Also, there is the trailing spouse program, which helps get spouses of doctors and higher-level executives who moved from other areas acclimated to the Lima region.
Leis plans to speak with county commissioners about extending the grant for 30 more days to see if the remaining balance can be spent. If the grant is extended, it would end March 30.
Despite the grant coming to an end, Leis urged the community to still uphold the initiatives of the grant through organizations like Greater Lima Region, Inc., a non-profit focused on creating community, economic, and workforce development success within the eight counties that surround Lima.
“I’ve made an effort in going out and meeting with all the regional and economic chamber directors from all seven surrounding counties, and I’ve previewed the web portals, giving them an update on the development of the Greater Lima Region, Inc., and the meetings went really well,” said Leis.
Leis said that the economic and chamber director in Mercer County as well as other counties are supportive of Greater Lima Region, Inc. and their plans.
“We are all in the same boat and we are trying to attract people,” said Leis. “I’ve had one county say that when we need financial support, let them know because they want to support us and they like what we are doing.”
On Feb. 22, Leis said that there will be a six-month community update meeting, where she plans to have a table where all regional partners from the eight counties will discuss their plans for building the region.
Reach Camri Nelson 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.
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