State Reps. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) and Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) today announced the release of $440,000 in state funds to the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) to advance its Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. The funding was approved by the state Controlling Board, a panel tasked with oversight of state spending.

“In a 21st-century economy, encouraging technological development is vital to maintaining Ohio’s competitive edge in the industry,” said Ashford. “I am glad to see the state support projects that will foster innovation, create jobs and establish new opportunities for economic growth in our community.”

MEP is a manufacturing assistance program that delivers services to companies nationwide. CIFT will serve as one of MEP’s regional service partners in Ohio.

“CIFT serves as an important resource for new and growing businesses in our region,” said Sheehy. “It is exciting to see a partnership between CIFT and MEP, and I look forward to our community benefiting from the technological and manufacturing improvements this collaboration will create.”

The state funding provided to CIFT will be used to deliver MEP services to small and medium-sized manufacturers in northwest Ohio, as well as provide expertise in agricultural products and food processing throughout the state.

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