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Buckeye Hills Launches Appalachian Ohio Innovation Gateway Network

Monday, 22 January 2018 10:02

NEW_Innovation_Gateway_Network_LogoBuckeye Hills Launches Appalachian Ohio Innovation Gateway Network

Buckeye Hills was awarded $1.2 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to support start-up of the gateways. The Innovation Gateway Network focuses on increasing employment and prosperity through alternative learning and career pathways. It will serve residents in eight Ohio counties (Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry & Washington) and Wood County in West Virginia.

“Buckeye Hills Regional Council is pleased that the Appalachian Ohio Innovation Gateway Network project was funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. We are excited for the network project launch and how it will help workers and communities to recover employment and income, strengthen and diversify local economies and grow, retain and attract talent to the region,” said Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Director, Misty Casto.

The Innovation Gateway Network will consist of three multi-use facilities, one each in Somerset, Nelsonville and Marietta, Ohio. Each facility will host an innovative program of learning, makerspace activities and development of entrepreneurs. The project ties together the efforts of three Appalachian communities, magnifying the impact of their work in addressing common challenges.

Casto added that a variety of anchor regional partners are supporting the Gateway’s success including Ohio University LIGHTS program that is leveraging innovation gateways and hubs toward sustainability in a much broader portion of the Appalachian region.

Buckeye Hills Regional Council was founded in 1968. Visit us on online at


Buckeye Hills Receives National Innovation Awards

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 14:52

BuckeyeHills2017NADOAward-300x219Buckeye Hills Regional Council Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2017 Innovation Award

Buckeye Hills Regional Council based in Marietta, Ohio, has received a 2017 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Marietta Collaborative Parking Inventory project.

A result of the partnership between Buckeye Hills, Marietta College and the City of Marietta, the central Marietta business district has an updated parking inventory and the Marietta College students had a real-world project to work on with a local partner.

“When Dr. Matt Young approached us to assist with his new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class, we thought this would be a good opportunity to have the school accomplish something directly useful to the City of Marietta. This wasn’t a canned lab experiment, it was a real-world project,” said Development Director Bret Allphin.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.  2017 marked NADO’s 50-year anniversary of supporting regional economic development across the country.

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2017 Annual Training Conference. The 2017 class of award recipients consists of 80 projects spanning 21 states. These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:

“The Innovation Awards program is an opportunity to recognize the important work of regional development organizations that are promoting economic development and improving quality of life for local residents,” said 2016-2017 NADO President Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director of the South Eastern Council of Governments, located in Sioux Falls, SD.  “These projects demonstrate the diversity of work that regional development organizations undertake to benefit the communities and regions that they serve.”

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Development Director Bret Allphin at 1-800-331-2644.

Photo: Buckeye Hills Regional Council Development Director Bret Allphin; Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Director Misty Casto receiving the 2017 NADO Innovation Award and NADO President Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director of the South Eastern Council of Governments, located in Sioux Falls, SD.