More Economic Development Work Being Done at the Lancaster Campus

Cheri Russo
July 30, 2013

Lancaster – The Ohio University Lancaster Campus is committed to helping grow the economy of the Fairfield County region. Now, more tools to assist businesses and economic development are available on campus.

The Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs has recently opened a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in Brasee Hall. The PTAC helps local businesses navigate the process of securing government contracts. Mike Blythe, who has an extensive background working with the military and federal government, runs the Lancaster office as a PTAC Procurement Specialist.

"Lancaster is the county seat of Fairfield County. There is a lot going on here. I think business owners will be excited to have us here," said Blythe. "Our goal is to help businesses tackle the government contracting process at the federal, state and county levels and help them successfully compete to be awarded contracts."

Blythe has an eight county service area which includes Fairfield, Knox, Licking, Pickaway, Coshocton, Hocking, Muskingum and Perry Counties. OHIO PTACs are also located in Athens, Columbus and Akron. They are funded by a combination of Department of Defense, State of Ohio and Ohio University commitments.

"The government is usually required to award a certain percentage of their contract dollars to small businesses," said Blythe. "But, the application and certification process to go after these contracts can sometimes be intimidating to small business owners."

"We wanted someone in Fairfield County because there was a need," said Regional PTAC Director Sharon Hopkins. "We had a lot of companies from that area coming to our Columbus office for help."

Blythe's office on the Lancaster Campus is located in the Community and Corporate Learning Office on the third floor. The Community and Corporate Learning Office works with area businesses on training and development initiatives.

"The employees in the Lancaster Campus Community and Corporate Learning Office are going to be a valuable resource. We will work closely together," said Blythe. "Our joint objective is to help businesses grow throughout this area."

"The Lancaster Campus works with area economic development leaders to make sure we are offering courses and majors that will fill the job needs of the region," said Lancaster Campus Dean Jim Smith. "When the Voinovich School approached us about having a PTAC Office on our campus, we thought it would be a great fit and another way to contribute to the growth of the region."

Blythe plans to hold an open house in August and will invite area business owners, economic development officials, small business development partners and county veteran's affairs leaders to campus to network and discuss opportunities to help their businesses grow.

To learn more about the Ohio University Lancaster campus click here.