Times Reporter

January 18, 2007

Space, Regula districts to get federal technology money

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON – Ohio’s Appalachian region, including Tuscarawas County, will get as much as $5 million to promote the growth of the computer gaming industry in Ohio, federal officials said Wednesday.

The grant also could benefit affiliated organizations, including the Ralph Regula School of Computational Science.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the Appalachian region is among 13 regions across the nation receiving a total of $65 million to boost economic development.

The primary recipient in Ohio appears to be the Athens-based Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio, a nonprofit organization promoting the information technology industry.

Each recipient will receive an initial $500,000 grant with the expectation of collecting an additional $4.5 million after completing a regional implementation blueprint, officials said.

Rep. Zack Space, D-Dover, whose congressional district includes 14 of the 22 counties served by the alliance, said the the grant is “the start of something great” for southeastern Ohio.

Computer gaming refers to the use of computer games and animation for training, physical therapy and other uses. It is not related to the use of computers for gambling.

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, said other ventures that are part of a state partnership will benefit from the grant, including the Regula school, a statewide virtual school focusing on computer science; the Ohio University Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs; and the state’s Third Frontier Network.