29 counties: Clermont, Brown, Highland, Adams, Ross, Pike, Scioto, Lawrence, Gallia, Jackson, Vinton, Hocking, Perry, Athens, Meigs, Morgan, Washington, Monroe, Noble, Muskingum, Coshocton, Holmes, Tuscarawas, Guemsey, Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson, Carroll, Columbiana
Target Industry: STEM
The Appalachian region of Southeastern Ohio, a 29-county area with more square miles than Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey combined, has been plagued by an increase in unemployment for the past five years. The Appalachian region of Southeastern Ohio seeks to make greater strides in workforce and economic development as a 2nd Generation WIRED region.
To address these challenges, the Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio, Inc (ITAAO) hopes to improve the region's current economic state by creating a Region of Excellence in Interactive Digital Technology (IDT) which focuses on the jobs in the computer gaming, serious gaming and simulation industry. Ohio's strong fiber optic infrastructure is essential to attracting new gaming companies to the region. Key WIRED partners have begun to offer educational programs in IDT to ensure that skilled workers are available to meet the growing demand.
ITAAO's current efforts include:
- Providing internships through the Ohio Department of Development Third Frontier Internship Program;
- Linking students to local jobs through the ITAAO Jobs Web site.
- Fostering relationships between these students and local companies, entrepreneurs and employment opportunities through job fairs:
- Developing and distributing publications and materials that introduce students to the IDT community in the region.