College@Elm project in Oxford bringing dozens of jobs boosted by state grant

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Jul. 3—A $1.5 million state grant has moved Miami University's business incubator project closer to reaching its $10.7 million funding goal for creating a unique partnership with the private sector.

The recent announcement of the new state grant for "College@Elm Innovation & Workforce Development Center" in Oxford is the latest example of momentum for the new project, said Miami officials.

The $1.5 million JobsOhio Vibrant Community grant will help create 50 local jobs and assist Miami and its private industry partners behind the new center to "serve as a catalyst for economic growth with the infusion of 20,000-plus Miami students, faculty, and staff into the local and southwest Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystems," Miami officials said.

"Ohio continues to experience momentum as it emerges strong from the pandemic. The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Grant Program invests in important, transformative projects to ensure under-represented population groups and distressed communities fully participate in the economic recovery," JobsOhio president and CEO J.P. Nauseef said.

"Oxford will realize this goal, serving as an example of how developing public-private partnerships can spur job creation and revitalization of our beloved downtowns."

The Center will be located in the former Miami food service building, which was built nearly 70 years ago at 20 South Elm Street near the College Avenue intersection.

Its 39,000-square-foot space will be modernized into business development space to attract private industries into partnerships and research with Miami.

The College@Elm Center will have three anchor tenants: Miami, operating an entrepreneurship center and providing entrepreneurial support functions; The Fischer Group, a Butler County manufacturing company, operating a business "innovation extension" and the city of Oxford, operating a workforce development and small business resource center.

In addition to the $1.5 million Vibrant Communities award, the center has received a $1 million jumpstart in funding earlier this year from Ohio's 2021-2022 state capital budget. The university has raised an additional $2 million.

Total cost for the renovation project and center development is $10.7 million.

REDI Cincinnati, a private nonprofit economic development corporation, was instrumental in assisting Miami and the city of Oxford with its successful application to the JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program.

Miami University President Gregory Crawford said, "We are thrilled that JobsOhio Vibrant Community program and REDI Cincinnati recognize the tremendous value of College@Elm and have been willing to invest in its potential to elevate our community, the surrounding area, and Ohio."

"College@Elm will demonstrate the value of infusing young people into the local entrepreneurial ecosystems while also providing a template for how rural communities like Oxford can replicate this to advance their local economies."

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