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Gonzalez Helps Secure CARES Act Grant for The Manufacturing Growth and Advocacy Network to Recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, Representative Anthony Gonzalez helped secure a $624,316 grant from the US Economic Development Administration for The Manufacturing Growth and Advocacy Network (MAGNET) to launch a new program to help manufacturing companies in Cuyahoga County in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Gonzalez led a letter to then Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, requesting $650,000 through the CARES Act to implement a program to help over 200 small and medium sized manufacturers in Cuyahoga County rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Nearly 17% of Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from manufacturing accounting for about 700,000 jobs statewide,” Gonzalez said. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on significant economic challenges for businesses to grapple with. I am pleased to have helped secure this funding for MAGNET, which will retain 500 jobs, create 100 new jobs and facilitate $10 million in new investments to help our community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The people and manufacturers in Cuyahoga County will benefit tremendously from the support provided through this grant,” said Ethan Karp, PhD, President and CEO of MAGNET. “As MAGNET works with companies to drive new job creation and product launches, generate private investment, and create financial stability we are grateful for the vision of our government leaders and the support of our local members of congress, including Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, to help our community emerge stronger on the other side of this pandemic.”

The R-7 program – named for the seven r’s needed to help the more than 1,800 manufacturing companies in Cuyahoga County – provides hands-on consulting to help small and medium-sized manufacturers restart their production, relaunch using new technologies, refocus on growing industries, reconnect with customers, reskill their workers, reshore their supply chains, and resecure their businesses.

The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network is a non-profit consulting group. MAGNET is part of the NIST and Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program to support small and medium manufacturers across the US.

Text of Gonzalez’s June 2020 letter to the Department of Commerce is below and a PDF of the letter can be viewed here.

The Honorable Wilbur Ross Secretary
U.S. Department of Commerce 1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dana Gartzke
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
U.S. Department of Commerce 1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Ross and Assistant Secretary Gartzke:

I am pleased to write to you today in support of the application submitted by MAGNET for the Economic Development Administration's CARES Act Recovery Assistance. MAGNET, the central organization overseeing manufacturing innovation and development for Northeast Ohio, seeks $650,000 to implement a program to help over 200 small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Cuyahoga County rebound from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The requested federal funds will be matched by $130,000 in non-federal funding. Of note, much of this work will occur in Opportunity Zones in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs.

One in five jobs in Northeast Ohio is in the manufacturing industry, which supports nearly 50 percent of our region's economy. The COVID- 19 pandemic caused the unemployment rate in Cuyahoga County to increase from 4.5 percent to an estimated 23.3 percent. The program proposed by MAGNET will retain 500 jobs, create 100 new jobs, and facilitate $10 million in new investment. As the Northeast Ohio affiliate of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, MAGNET has a proven history of success in ensuring that manufacturers have the tools they need to create new products, increase revenue, and compete in the global economy. As part of the proposed program, MAGNET will provide technical assistance developed especially for small manufacturing businesses to assess worker safety, improve internal operations, evaluate product mix and origination, enhance marketing, and prevent hackers and other cybersecurity threats.

MAGNET will partner with a number of Ohio stakeholders including state and local units of government, institutions of higher education, economic and workforce development organizations, federal labs, and local nonprofits to offer our manufacturers a comprehensive plan with a tangible return on the federal investment. Consistent with all applicable laws and regulations, we urge your full and fair consideration of Gateway's application. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Anthony Gonzalez

 

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