March 29, 2024

Reminder: State Capital Budget/OTSCIF Applications Due to Ohio Senate

As you may recall, the House passed its version of the State Capital Budget on February 7, 2024, and included $350 million (of the total $700 million) in One-Time Strategic Community Investment Funds (OTSCIF) for “transformational” community projects. This would leave the Senate with $350 million in OTSCIF to allocate for priority projects. As many involved with this process know, there is still work to be done and existing support from within the House-passed version is subject to change. Because of this, we strongly urge interested parties to continue advocating to their state legislators.

The Ohio Senate’s deadline for community project funding requests is Monday, April 8. Interested parties seeking funding should fill out the Ohio Senate Capital Budget/OTSCIF Application and reach out to their legislator(s) as soon as possible. For additional information on the Senate’s application process, review this memo from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Matt Dolan.

If you have questions about this process, please reach out to John Rizzo, Vice President, Akron-Canton Advocacy Alliance, at

ACAA Visits D.C. to Advocate on Capitol Hill

Earlier this month, members of the Akron-Canton Advocacy Alliance met with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to advocate for the Akron-Canton region’s pursuit of Phase 2 funding for the Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub proposal and the “Reconnecting Canton” Recompete Plan proposal.

This D.C. Fly-In followed the Polymer Industry Cluster’s official submission to the EDA for the Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub Implementation Grant on February 29. This proposal requested $70 million for eight projects designed to reinvigorate the ecosystem for polymer startups in the region, add workforce capacity, invest in new technologies, and further build partnerships and innovation in the sector. Matched by over $11 million in public and private investments from local agencies and corporations, the tech hubs designation signifies a commitment to boost the local tech industry, create jobs, and enhance the U.S. economy.

Additionally, Canton became one of the finalists for four to eight, $20 million Recompete program grants at the end of 2023. Led by the Stark Economic Development Board, the Reconnecting Canton Recompete Plan proposed a place-based, comprehensive plan to mitigate conditions contributing to poverty and economic distress. The grant would allow Canton to invest in workforce and development strategies, expand community resource hubs, remove transportation barriers, and enhance small business growth.

Tech Hub grant winners and Recompete Pilot Program grant winners will be announced in the summer of 2024. Leading up to and throughout the evaluation process, it will be important for members of ACAA to present a united approach from the Akron-Canton region to advocate for success of both of these critically important opportunities. Akron and Canton are the sole applicants for each respective program in the entire State of Ohio. Success in these pursuits could yield hundreds of millions of dollars for our region and solidify Akron-Canton’s position as an epicenter of innovation and growth.

Primary & General Election Update

On March 19, Ohio conducted a Primary Election which included key votes on bonds, levies, and candidates who will be moving onto the ballot for the November General Election. Details about the primary election results can be found here.

2024 is an important election year as we look ahead to the June 11 Special Election and November 5 General Election. Our region will vote in a presidential race, as well as several races for U.S. Congress and the Ohio General Assembly. The table is set for more detailed, issue-oriented conversations with Republican and Democratic nominees ahead of the November General Election.

Making your voice heard in the upcoming election(s) is critically important to the success of our business community. Having conducted a series of conversations with candidates ahead of the Primary Election, the table is set for more detailed, issue-oriented conversations with Republican and Democratic Nominees ahead of the November General Election.

Details about the primary election results can be found here.

To find out if you are registered to vote, change your voting information, or find out where to vote on election day, visit your county board of elections:

Whether you vote in person or through an absentee ballot, it is important to ensure that your voice is heard.

For more information, contact John Rizzo, Vice President, Akron-Canton Advocacy Alliance, at