PIKETON, Ohio — Construction of a new Ohio State University business facility, designed to increase jobs and boost economic development throughout southern Ohio, is now complete and open for business.
The 27,000 square-foot Endeavor Center Business Incubator and Training Facility, located on the grounds of Ohio State's South Centers at Piketon, is available to assist local business owners in expansion or to help jump-start new businesses.
"We are striving to use the Endeavor Center as an economic tool that will allow us to create new jobs and wealth, said Steve Shepherd, the Endeavor Center's program manager. "All of this will be done through providing an atmosphere for networking, shared services, flexible lease space and a full-time staff for assistance."Shepherd holds appointmenst with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
The business incubator offers 26 spaces differing in size and use for entrepreneurs. The training wing of the new building also provides housing for Ohio State's Learning Center South, which currently provides programs for the community in a small computer lab and auditorium. The new and expanded learning center facility includes two classrooms, a computer laboratory and conference areas to accommodate meetings for various sized training classes. Tailored programs are being developed for the needs of businesses and citizens throughout the region, as well as professional development classes for local K-12 teachers and administrators.
Some organizations are already using the facility. The Scioto Valley division of the American Society for Quality was the first to use the Endeavor Center to conduct business.
"The building is fantastic. I am sure we will be meeting there again. For those of you who are looking for an off-site location for a meeting or conference, I can attest to the fact this would be a great place to hold them," said Pamela Sperling, chair of the organization. "Not only are there facilities for small companies to use as start-up offices, there is also a well-appointed training center."
The Endeavor Center project was funded by grants from the U. S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, the Southern Ohio Agriculture and Community Development Foundation, the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia and U. S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. Local matching funds for the grants are being provided by Ohio State University Extension (funds generated from the State Capital Budget, awarded by the Controlling Board), Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative and Scioto County's Office of Economic Development.
Shepherd said that Ohio State has received over $4 million in grants to assist in the construction and operations of the facility and provide equipment and furnishings.
Individuals or businesses seeking assistance or that could benefit from the Endeavor Center's services may contact Steve Shepherd at (740) 289-2071 for more information.