Inclusive Project Planning Program

The Inclusive Project Planning Program recognizes that small and medium-sized distressed communities may not have adequate resources to develop catalytic economic development projects necessary to transform the community and attract private investment. This program offers targeted technical assistance to address gaps in capacity and expertise in order to ultimately generate more actionable projects across the state. Additionally, services provided will advance your community’s overall capabilities moving forward.

JobsOhio identified 96 cities with populations between 5,000 and 75,000 with poverty rates at or above the state’s average poverty rate that are eligible for support from this program.


Program Overview

Assistance will be offered in one of two manners:

  1. Grants to eligible communities of up to $20,000 and not more than 50% of total planning costs, should the community engage their own vendor(s).
  2. Assistance provided through a vendor contracted by JobsOhio.

Communities may receive support through partnerships with JobsOhio and the JobsOhio regional network partners.

Scope of Assistance

Planning services are intended to assist communities with identified, prospective projects that they have been unable to implement but that are strategic and potentially catalytic in nature. Services are intended to take projects from the idea phase to implementation. Examples of assistance include:

  1. Market and industry studies.
  2. Building or site due diligence.
  3. Capacity planning and stakeholder coordination.
  4. Capital or budget planning.
  5. Advising on local economic development tools (e.g., zoning code, building and development codes, and financial tools).
  6. Development timeline planning.
  7. Marketing and prospectus development.

Required Community Participation

Communities requesting assistance will be required to provide the following:

  1. Identified Local Leader: This person will serve as a point of contact for the planning process.
  2. Identified Stakeholders: These should be representative of the community or neighborhood and should include elected officials, private sector leadership, the public, nonprofit groups, schools, etc.

Community and Project Selection

Project will be vetted by the JobsOhio Inclusion Team. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee project support. Funding decisions will be based on a variety of factors including:

  • Anticipated project feasibility.
  • Project alignment with broader JobsOhio goals of job creation, capital investment.
  • Project alignment with existing community goals and vision.
  • Previous effort to advance project locally.
  • Investor, developer or private sector interest in project.
  • Anticipated total costs of project.
  • Strength of community stakeholder engagement.

Eligible Applicants

Most eligible applicants will be public sector agencies responsible for the planning function in the community. This includes:

  • Local governments.
  • Local economic development organizations.
  • Nonprofit or public/private partnerships.
  • Port authorities.

Under special consideration, neighborhood groups and business improvement districts may be eligible with the support of the governmental planning agency and business community.

Ineligible Applicants

Ineligible applicants may be partners in an identified project but will not be the primary applicant for support. These include:

  • Developers.
  • Private companies or corporations.
  • Non-established or new nonprofit entities with no or limited operating history.

For additional information and to seek support for a catalytic project in your community, please contact your JobsOhio regional network partner.

Northwest: Regional Growth Partnership
Northeast: Team NEO
Western: Dayton Development Coalition
Central: One Columbus
Southeast: Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE)
Southwest: REDI Cincinnati


Terry Slaybaugh
Terry Slaybaugh
VP, Sites and Infrastructure
Economic Development Infrastructure
Kristi Tanner
Kristi Tanner
Senior Managing Director