Ohio Mayors Alliance Announces New ‘Collaboration Lab’ to Help Cities Best Utilize State and Federal Resources

June 3, 2022

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Mayors Alliance (OMA) announced today the formation of a new Federal Resources Collaboration Lab, which will help leverage state and federal resources for Ohio’s cities. This initiative includes the formation of a working group of mayors to collaborate on how to best utilize state and federal funds, a customized grants navigator for OMA member-cities, and a revised webpage that will highlight the impacts these resources are having in Ohio communities.

The Federal Resources Collaboration Lab has convened a group of mayors and city administration officials to meet regularly and share their ideas and plans for federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds and competitive grants, and other state and federal grant programs.

“The Collaboration Lab is helping us ensure that we spend these once-in-a-generation funds wisely and responsibly, and that we aren’t reinventing the wheel if other cities have already done or are planning to do a similar project,” said Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail.

OMA mayors will also be able to use a customized Grants Navigator to get help identifying projects and plans that may qualify for the influx of federal and state grants arising out of the federal government’s historic investments in COVID-19 recovery, local governments, and public infrastructure.

“Getting help to make sure we don’t miss out on grant opportunities is crucial to ensuring Elyria gets its fair share of infrastructure funds that will boost jobs and our local economy,” said Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield.

Ohio Mayors Alliance cities have received half of the over $1.5 billion in ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds they have been allocated by the 2021 law, and will receive the second half this summer. OMA highlighted how cities have allocated funds in the January 2022 report, “How the American Rescue Plan is Supporting Economic Recovery in Ohio Cities.” OMA will be posting new and updated information about how OMA cities are spending ARPA and other federal funds on its new Federal Resources Collaboration Lab webpage.

The federal government has already begun posting funding opportunities for both new and expanded grants over multiple federal agencies as part of the IIJA–the bipartisan infrastructure law passed by Congress late last year–and will continue to distribute funds to both state and local governments over the next several years.

“It is crucial that Ohio cities start planning now to ensure that they are well positioned to compete for and win federal grants,” said Keary McCarthy, Executive Director of the Ohio Mayors Alliance.

The Collaboration Lab was created with the support of the Joyce Foundation. OMA will collaborate with several organizations and resources on the substance of the work, including Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Local Infrastructure Hub, Bloomberg Cities Network and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Federal Assistance e311 portalBrookings Metro, and Power a Clean Future Ohio’s Infrastructure Grant Assistance Program.

The Ohio Mayors Alliance will provide updates and stories from the Collaboration Lab as the projects and discussions develop.

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The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of mayors in Ohio’s largest cities. It has been working to strengthen the partnership between state and local leaders since its formation in 2016. For more information on the group’s policy priorities and its membership, please visit: www.OhioMayorsAlliance.org.