Columbia Gas of Ohio announced today its first award from its Jobs Growth Fund....a 50,000 dollar grant to Coll Materials Exchange.
Columbia Gas started the Jobs Growth Fund in July 2010 to help provide financial assistance to new and existing companies that create new jobs in its 61-county Ohio Service Territory. Columbia Gas of Ohio President Jack Partridge says Coll Materials, a plastics recycling business, is the ideal first recipient.
"Obviously, our state's objective is jobs, as is the country's, given our economy. We, companies like Columbia Gas, need to find creative ways to help that effort and find sources of dollars and also work on behalf of customers in our area to create new jobs. It's absolutely critical," said Partridge.
The Jobs Growth Fund expects to invest money in job-creating projects. It has 1.55 million dollars to award through April 2012, or until the funds are exhausted. Coll Materials President and CEO Brian Coll says funds give entrepreneurs more opportunity to try to expand their business and grow.
"It is a honor. We went from having a business in our basement to being one of the larger employers in the county. All that hard work and recognition that we are getting from Columbia Gas...it's humbling," said Coll.
Coll Materials plans to invest in new equipment to increase recycling capacity at its Zanesville Plant. The expansion will create 25 new jobs and keep 48 existing positions.