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Sherrod Secures Major Investment To Create, Retain Thousands of Northeast Ohio Jobs

COLUMBUS, OH – This week, Sherrod announced a major investment for Akron’s Polymers Tech Hub after leading the bipartisan CHIPS Act and securing a tech hub designation for Akron last year. The $51 million investment will position Akron as a global leader in next generation rubber and plastics manufacturing and create or retain 4,000 new jobs. Sherrod worked closely with labor unions, local leaders, and the Akron Chamber of Commerce to secure this investment.

Read and watch more below: 

Akron Beacon Journal: ‘Akron earned this one’: Polymer industry partners land $51 million in federal funds
Patrick Williams – July 2, 2024

  • Akron’s Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub is receiving $51 million in federal funds to expand, which supporters say will create or retain more than 4,000 jobs, as well as boost training, vocational, college and university education opportunities.
  • “Akron earned this one,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, told the Beacon Journal, adding that “the chamber of commerce, the organized labor, local government, Akron U. came together.”
  • The EDA investment will help Greater Akron “lead in developing and producing the next generation of rubber and plastics,” according to a news release from Brown’s office.
  • “And there’s no place more suited to do that, in my mind, than Akron,” Brown said. “And we now finally, in this country, have an industrial policy where the government works in cooperation to invest in manufacturing.”

Crain’s Cleveland Business: NEO Polymer Cluster awarded $51 million in federal funding
Dan Shingler – July 2, 2024

  • The polymer cluster formed and led by the chamber, but which stretches across Northeast Ohio, is receiving $51 million from the federal government for the effort, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced Tuesday, July 2.
  • The funding is being given via the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Chips and Science Act, which Brown helped write
  • “It was put together by local governments, the Akron Chamber, the University of Akron, my office, organized labor — and we had exactly these things in mind when we wrote the Chips and Science Act,” he later added in an interview.
  • [Brown] said he and his staff lobbied hard for Akron’s award. The city’s expertise in polymers stands out when it’s considered and Brown said he wanted to make sure the Commerce Department did just that.
  • “My office wouldn’t let it not stand out, we were all over the commerce department about it,” Brown said.

WSYX: Sherrod Secures Investment, Establishes Akron as Manufacturing Leader
WSYX“New funding announced for a dozen regional technology and innovation hubs, including one here in Ohio. Senator Sherrod Brown announces the Akron sustainable polymers tech hub will get $51 million to help the facility develop the next generation of rubber and plastics. This Akron site beats out nearly 20 other finalists and more than 500 initial applicants in getting this funding.” 

Ideastream Public Media: Akron receives more than $50 million in federal funding for sustainable polymer tech hub
Abigail Bottar – July 2, 2024

  • Akron will receive more than $50.5 million to develop and produce the next generation of rubber and plastics, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced Tuesday.
  • “This innovation and jobs and research and commercialization that results from that will help to change the world,” Brown said. “It’s a really big deal.”
  • “This was really a big way to turn that corner and bring manufacturing back to Ohio in an important way,” Brown said.
  • “The Department of Commerce would not have chosen Akron out of 400, 450 … communities if they didn’t think by looking at this application that it would have broad and deep impact on all of Northeast Ohio,” he said. Akron tech hub gets $51M from feds to address rubber, plastic effects on climate and the environment
Sabrina Eaton – July 2, 2024

  • Akron’s hub brings together the greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, the University of Akron, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and other Summit County stakeholders to create jobs, support the growth of local businesses, and develop the polymers of the future to continue the state’s leadership in manufacturing and innovation, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said.
  • Brown said the federal money will position the region to lead in developing and producing the next generation of rubber and plastics, help create good paying jobs in the polymer industry, support new training opportunities, and give students at local universities and colleges the chance to work in a cutting-edge field.
  • The Cleveland Democrat called the grant “a major win for Akron,” and said it beat out nearly 500 other applicants from all over the nation “because no one does manufacturing like Ohio workers.”
  • “We worked with local leaders and the business community to highlight Akron’s manufacturing history and leadership, and pushed the Administration to make this happen,” said a statement from Brown. “This investment will position Northeast Ohio to lead in producing the next generation of rubber and plastics, creating local jobs, growing local businesses, and expanding opportunities in Akron for decades to come.”