MATTOON — Coles and other area counties are participating in a new project to connect manufacturers and other businesses to aerospace industry purchasing and supply chain.
The Business Navigator Alliance of Clark, Coles, Crawford, Edgar, Effingham, and Moultrie counties is developing this project for NASA, Air Force, and U.S. Department of Defense opportunities.
Coles Together, Coles County’s economic development organization, said in a news release that with the dynamic changes and growth occurring in aerospace, it is important that this region be at the forefront- custody of connecting goods and services to this industry.
“Developing a training program and mechanism to connect the needs of the aviation and aerospace industry with suppliers and researchers in this region is one way to leverage the positive impact of the Navigator Group,” said Angela Griffin, president of Coles Together.
John Sankovic, CEO of the private, nonprofit Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland, said the institute and NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are “eager to discover new suppliers in the six-county area.” . The institute’s mission is to connect Ohio’s aerospace industry with new suppliers, researchers, and opportunities.
Coles Together said the project will take place in three phases, beginning with an industry and workforce analysis of the six county region. Using information from the study, the group will develop a marketing plan to educate business leaders about the opportunity and invite them to be part of a program to connect their capabilities to opportunities in new supply chains. .
The group will then facilitate connectivity and train companies in aerospace activities with the aim of generating economic development and creating new jobs. The program will train companies on how to acquire credentials and make connections to do business with the federal government, facilitate company site visits for government procurement officials to regional businesses, and conduct corporate site visits to NASA’s Glen Research Center and the Wright Patterson. AF base in Dayton.
“This allows the group to leverage the collaboration between the six navigator organizations and key contacts in Cleveland and Dayton to implement a training and connections program that could lay the groundwork for an entirely new industry to emerge in this region”, said Griffin.
Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud