In January 2021, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funded the Resilience Initiative for Southeastern and Eastern (RISE) Ohio under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program. RISE Ohio is a joint project of Ohio University’s George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service (GVS), the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA) and Buckeye Hills Regional Council (BHRC). The project was designed to assist the region with economic diversification and transition with decline in the coal economy. Over a three-year period, RISE Ohio has catalyzed regional collaborations to accelerate the region’s transition out of the coal economy through a potent portfolio of economic development implementation and actionable applied scholarship in entrepreneurial growth, workforce development, industry cluster expansion, opportunity zone enhancement, and infrastructure investment.

Coal Supply Chain Analyses

The coal supply chain includes all the industries and business related to converting raw material (coal) into finished products and services (electricity, plastics, chemicals, etc.). This also includes industries and business that build machinery used in coal-related industries and the transportation of the coal and coal-products. Our analyses include:

  • Coal Supply Chain Impacts
  • Core Competency Assessment
  • Skillshed Analysis


Industry, Business, and Market Analyses

These analyses examine the existing make-up of industries and firms in the region and their potential for the future. The investigation industry clusters identified several areas of advantageous enhancement opportunities that would strengthen existing industries and support the development/attraction of additional firms to expand the region’s current clusters. In particular these analyses emphasize a shift towards diversification and away from heavy reliance on one industry or firm. Additionally, the analyses determine areas or growth such as high growth companies and entrepreneurship, but notes that limited capital resources in the region is impacting the ability of the area to capitalize on such growth. Our analyses include:

  • Industry Cluster Analysis
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunity Assessment
  • Housing Market Study
  • Hotel Market Study


Strategic Planning and other Planning Studies

These planning documents provide communities with effective tools for envisioning their future and taking the steps needed to make it a reality. These plans:

  • Provide a realistic and objective appraisal of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • Develop achievable goals and objectives.
  • Engage and communicate with the community.
  • Formulate action plans to realize desired goals.


Opportunity Zone Strategies, Prospectuses, and Project Identification and Support

Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool for financing projects, but communities often need assistance to fully capitalize on their ability to generate increased local investments. These reports help prepare communities to become investment ready. This includes identifying best strategies for attracting investment and supporting projects in Opportunity Zones with technical assistance.