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Funds available for local defense manufacturers

By John Bush - jbush@civitasmedia.com

LIMA — Manufacturing companies in the region have an opportunity to receive funding assistance through a new program organized by three universities, an official with the Ohio Manufacturing Institute said Monday.

The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program, organized by The Ohio State Lima News, Ohio State Defense Manufacturing Assistance ProgramUniversity, Purdue University and the University of Michigan, provides recovery  [Lima News Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program] plans for companies and communities to counter spending cuts by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Kathryn Kelley, managing director of the Ohio Manufacturing Institute, spoke about the program at a Task Force L.I.M.A. meeting.

“The funds that are provided go through a third-party contractor, and we do the due diligence to make sure that funding is going to someone who will be able to solve what the particular company thinks is the issue,” Kelley said.

To qualify for the program, a defense manufacturing company must be a prime contractor or subcontractor; has experienced a minimum of 5 percent sales/production or employment loss in the last 24 to 36 months, or the next 24 months; or has a loss of a major product line defined as 25 percent of total sales production.

The third-party contractor selected for each company will help “re-engineer” resources and/or markets, Kelley said. DMAP will pay 50 percent to 80 percent of the service provider bill, and the company will have full rights to the plan and benefits from its implementation.

Contractors can provide a market research study, identify new technologies and products for market diversification, and more.

“We set up the contract so that there are milestones that have to be met in order for the company to receive payment,” Kelley said. “When a third-party contractor reaches that milestone, we pay a portion of the bill, and then the company pays a portion directly to the contractor.”

Kelley added that if a company qualifies, so does the community it resides in.

“Where we may provide a 50/50 or 80/20 match, for the community, it’s 100 percent,” she said,”so the community doesn’t have to do the cost match.”

Cynthia Leis, project manager for the Allen County Office of Economic Adjustment and the Allen Economic Development Group, said she will be coordinating with Kelley to identify local companies that could qualify for the program.

Verhoff Machine & Welding Inc., of Continental, has applied for the program and is waiting to learn how much funding it will receive. Another company that would qualify is Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.

For details or to apply for the program, call 614-688-4116 or email kelley.81@osu.edu.

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.