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Congressman Tim Ryan

Representing the 13th District of Ohio


February 5, 2008
Press Release

 Workforce Investment Act Grant reinforces regional economic ties


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-17), Jason Altmire (PA-04), Steve LaTourette (OH-14), Phil English (PA-03) and Charlie Wilson (OH-06) announced a Workforce Investment Act Grant for the West Central Job Partnership of New Castle, PA. The Grant will provide $250,000 in funds that will be spent in Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania and Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties in Ohio.


“This grant furthers the work that we have been doing to present a regional economic model for our community,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “The federal government is beginning to see what we’ve been saying all along, that the border between Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio isn’t relevant in a global economy. I will continue to work with Congressman Altmire and others to attract federal investments in our community and show businesses that our region is ready to become the nation’s tech-belt.”


“If you’re without a job and need help, the last thing you need in your way is a geographic barrier,” LaTourette said.  “It makes sense to tap into shared solutions for shared problems, and I’m glad to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.”


“We must work across state and Congressional boundaries. We will rise or fall together as a region, so cooperation is essential to the economic development of this area. I’m proud that Congressmen Ryan, Altmire and I could collaborate and bring such an important project home,” said Congressman Wilson.


“Continuing to better coordinate economic development initiatives in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania will help our region become more competitive in the global marketplace,” Altmire said. “Congressman Ryan and I are committed to laying the ground work for future economic success by supporting programs like the West Central Job Partnership that will help to transform our region into the tech-belt and create new opportunities for local workers.”


“Today’s announcement is a real win for Mercer County and the surrounding region,” said Congressman Phil English. “This funding will go a long way in helping the West Central Job Partnership continue with its mission to help local workers that have experienced job losses get back on their feet and back into the workforce. By expanding resources to assist workers in both Pennsylvania and Ohio we can ensure that our region’s workers will have will have continued access to good paying jobs in the 21st century.”  


The funds for West Central Job Partnership will go toward the development and implementation of a plan to link education and workforce development services across the border in order to help workers who have lost their jobs. The goal of the project is to help workers get the training and resources they need to move into new careers after a plant or business closes.


“Communities on both sides of the border have faced similar job losses, it only makes sense that we work together to bring jobs back,” added Congressman Tim Ryan. “That is why I am working with Congressman Altmire to use all the tools at our disposal to make our area the nation’s leader in high tech manufacturing, alternative energy and healthcare.”


“Linking education and workforce development efforts across our state’s borders will increase the number of qualified workers and make this area even more attractive to new companies,” Altmire said. “By working together, Pennsylvania and Ohio will be able to multiply their efforts and create a more prosperous future for our region.”


“I’ve always said that our work force is one of the best in the country. This is a positive way to help some of the best workers around get the skills they’ll need for the jobs of tomorrow. Loss of jobs and subsequent loss of talented workers isn’t good for the region. We want to retrain and thus retain the hard working men and women of this region. They will help us attract new industry to the area,” continued Congressman Wilson.