The Ohio Department of Development Offers Multiple Programs to help your Business Thrive

The Ohio Department of Development hosts a number of programs that are aimed at helping your business thrive in the post-COVID-19 economy. From grant opportunities, to business advice, ODOD or their partners likely offer a program that will fit your needs. Read more below:


Husted Announces Updated Top Jobs List

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, this week announced the launch of Ohio’s updated Top Jobs List.

The list, which contains both In-Demand Jobs and Critical Jobs, is an online tool to help people take advantage of employment opportunities and reflects the current workforce needs of Ohio businesses and communities. It is created, in part, through feedback from Ohio’s business community, which increased by nearly 13 percent compared to the previous response rate.

“There are many opportunities here in Ohio for those who are ready to begin their careers or are looking to learn something new,” Governor DeWine said. “Our updated Top Jobs List outlines the most in-demand and critical professions for 2022.”

In 2019, Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of, which transitioned the once-static In-Demand Jobs List into an interactive tool to help guide the educational choices of students, educators, and workers. In 2020, Governor DeWine announced the creation of Critical Jobs to prioritize current economic needs with the health and well-being of Ohioans.

“Ohio’s Top Jobs List is designed to help people identify growing industries and guide them toward the education and training needed to enter that career path,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “This updated list is a great resource for Ohioans to find new or better opportunities so they can live their version of the American dream.”

Ohio is required to maintain a list of jobs that are in high demand. An “in-demand job” in Ohio is defined as one that pays at least 80 percent of the state median wage ($14.90 or more per hour) and has an annual growth in the number of jobs higher than the statewide average of 20 or annual job openings greater than 620. The In-Demand Jobs List is updated every two years using predictive data from three key sources: state labor statistics and projections, electronic job posting trend data, and business responses to the In-Demand Jobs survey.

Critical Jobs focus the state’s workforce efforts on supporting the health and well-being of Ohioans, their families, and their communities. They are identified through the help of experts and stakeholders in eight career clusters:

  • Children and community health
  • Early childhood education
  • First responders
  • Lead abatement and construction
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Wellness research and technology

“The Top Jobs and Critical Jobs lists are among the many resources available to Ohioans looking to get back into the workforce, further their career, or even change careers,” said Matt Damschroder, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. “We encourage individuals to go to or their local OhioMeansJobs center where they can explore career options, get training and resume-building help, and apply for jobs.”

Ohio’s Top Jobs List plays an important function as it directs 85 percent of federal job training funds offered through OhioMeansJobs Centers. Ohio currently has 88 centers across the state that offer a variety of services to job seekers, including connecting them to job training, practice interview skills, and help writing a resume.

View the updated list at To find your local OhioMeansJobs Center, visit


Companies Can Apply Now for Ohio Export Internship Program

The Ohio Export Internship Program matches businesses interested in growing exports with highly motivated college students who have taken export-focused coursework. The Ohio Department of Development offers participating small to medium-sized businesses a 50 percent reimbursement for the wages of the intern.

This year, there were 44 student/company matches across the state. The program is a partnership between the Department of Development, The Ohio State University, Youngstown State University, Cleveland State University, and the University of Dayton.

The internships have a track record of helping businesses achieve export success. In the 10 years of the program, 359 student-company matches were created, resulting in 114 internship extensions, 57 new job positions, and 365 new international markets, distributors, or customers.

Companies can apply now. Development’s Export Assistance Office is reviewing applications through Feb. 1. Internships will run from May to August 2022.

For more information and to apply, click here.


Grants Can Help Grow Your Business Internationally

The International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) provides eligible businesses a 50% reimbursement of up to $10,000 for activities that promote international business. Activities include:

  • Website development
  • International advertising
  • E-commerce
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Marketing and website translation
  • Compliance testing
  • Trade shows (international, domestic, and virtual)
  • EXIM Credit Insurance Premiums

The second application period opened Dec. 13, 2021, and closes at 3 p.m. Jan. 12, 2022. Funding for the second round can be used for activities between Jan. 1, 2022, and March 31, 2022. Additional IMAGE funding opportunities will be announced quarterly subject to funding availability.

Applications must be approved before starting grant activities. For more information and to apply, visit IMAGE.Development.Ohio.Gov, email IMAGE@Development.Ohio.Gov, or contact an Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network director near you.


Series Shows How Certifications Can Help Businesses

You’re Certified! Now What? is an eight-part training series that can help businesses make the most of the certifications they have received from the state of Ohio.

It is specifically designed to help businesses that have been certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE); a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE); a Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise (VBE); and an Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) business.

The series is held periodically, and the next one begins Jan. 11 and runs through March 1, 2022. It will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesdays, and the sessions will be virtual through Microsoft Teams. There is no cost to participate.

Each session will provide information about making the most of business certifications, including advice on landing contracts with federal, state, and local governments.

For more information or a detailed agenda, email Timothy.Collins@Development.Ohio.Gov or Michael.Lester@Development.Ohio.Gov. To register, click here.

To learn more about becoming certified, visit Minority.Ohio.Gov and click on Minority and Small Business Certifications. Businesses also can reach out to a Minority Business Assistance Center near them for help.


TechCred Announces Results, Next Application Period

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, recently announced the results of the October round of TechCred, which will provide the opportunity for Ohioans to earn 2,997 tech-focused credentials.

“TechCred helps businesses of all sizes upskill current and prospective employees with the tech skills they need to compete in today’s economy,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “As Ohio continues to create jobs faster than we can fill them, it is important that TechCred adapts to the needs of employers. We are implementing updates to the program that will streamline the process for businesses, helping more Ohioans learn new skills that can lead to a higher wage.”

The October round of TechCred marked the 11th round of the program. Lt. Governor Husted said 252 Ohio employers were approved for funding, resulting in Ohio employees earning up to 2,997 technology-focused credentials. Businesses of all sizes are utilizing the program, with 93 new employers joining the program for the first time this round.

“TechCred is helping Ohio businesses upskill their workforce,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “These credentials will help Ohio compete in today’s tech-driven economy.”

With the approvals announced last week, 1,615 Ohio employers have been approved for funding, supporting the earning of 32,269 tech-focused credentials by Ohio employees.

Starting with the January round, the following updates have been implemented to provide additional flexibility for businesses:

  • Grant agreements will no longer be separate documents; they will be incorporated into the online application portal.
  • Training for approved credentials may start on or after the first day of the month immediately following the last application period. Training programs must still be completed in less than 12 months from the award date.

The next TechCred application period opens Monday, Jan. 3, and closes at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31. Businesses with employees who have completed their TechCred training should submit proof of credential completion to receive reimbursement at TechCred.Ohio.Gov.

To learn more about the program, visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov.


Loan Programs to Help Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

Two new loan programs have launched to help minority- and women-owned businesses grow and boost the Ohio economy.

The new Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program and Ohio Micro-Loan Program were both priority initiatives of the DeWine-Husted Administration included in the 2022-2023 operating budget.

  • Women’s Business Enterprise Loan Program: These loans will be offered at or below market rate and currently are up to 3%. The minimum loan amount is $45,000 up to a maximum of $500,000. Loans will be repaid within 10 years for equipment and machinery and 15 years for owner-occupied real estate. Businesses must be 51% ownership and control by women or be certified as a Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).
  • Ohio Micro-Loan Program: These loans will have a 0% interest rate. The minimum loan is $10,000 up to a maximum of $45,000. Loans will be repaid within five years for permanent working capital and seven years for equipment. Businesses must be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or a Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

The loan programs will be administered by the Ohio Department of Development through the Minority Business Development Division. They join four other capital programs offered by Development’s Minority Division: the Ohio Minority Business Bonding Program, the Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program, the Collateral Enhancement Program, and the Ohio Capital Access Program.

Information about the loans, including program guidelines and fact sheets, can be found online at Minority.Ohio.Gov. To start the application process, click here.

Businesses also can reach out to a Minority Business Assistance Center near them for help with the application process and assistance with business planning, access to capital, and state business certifications. For more information about the MBAC network, visit MBAC.Development.Ohio.Gov.


Training Program Leads to ‘Export Success’

A 10-session training program helps meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses interested in expanding into global markets. The program, called Export Success, can help companies develop plans to identify global markets, improve export efficiencies, understand export financing, and develop market-entry strategies.

Export Success participants meet monthly via Zoom for a targeted topic session. Topics include:

  • International sales process
  • Legal issues
  • International marketing, banking, and finance issues
  • Logistics and incoterms
  • Cross-cultural communications
  • Developing and executing an export plan

Export Success provides a collaborative environment for participants to build their export knowledge. Participants will learn how to arrange resources to enter the global marketplace. Participants will have an opportunity to work with experienced exporters and others from the public and private sectors who offer current best practices for operating in global markets. The knowledge and tools learned in Export Success will enable companies to execute global strategies more quickly and effectively.

Companies can apply now for the next 10-session course, which begins February 2022. The cost to participate is $2,000 for Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce members an $2,300 for non-members. Companies throughout Ohio can participate.

Companies also may qualify for 100% reimbursement under the Export Training Grant through Development’s International Market Access Grant for Exporters. For more information about the Export Training Grant, email IMAGE@Development.Ohio.Gov.

For more information about Export Success and to apply, click here. Can Help Businesses Find Workers

Businesses that are looking for workers can find help at The website helps job seekers find work, and it also can help businesses find their next employee. The site now has more than 2.2 million resumes posted by people looking for a new job.

In addition, the Employer page on the website provides other resources, such as tips on hiring veterans, people with disabilities, and restored citizens. currently has more than 249,000 jobs posted, including more than 144,000 that pay more than $50,000 per year.

To find the OhioMeansJobs center near you, visit and select “FIND A JOB CENTER” at the bottom of the page or call 1-888-296-7541.


Small Businesses Can Get Federal Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) current relief efforts can be found at

  • Paycheck Protection Program: The SBA is no longer accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) after providing $798 billion in economic relief to small businesses and nonprofits. Loan recipients still can apply for loan forgiveness, but deadlines for some recipients are coming up. For more information, click here.

COVID-19 disaster loans: Businesses have until Dec. 31, 2021, to apply for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Visit the webpage for more information.


Businesses Can Arrange Workplace Vaccination Clinics

Ohio is helping employers and other organizations offer workplace vaccination clinics. Vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, churches, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations. Employers and organizations are encouraged to reach out to their local health department and vaccine providers to set up vaccination clinics.

For more information about the program, click here.

All Ohioans 12 years old and older are eligible for vaccinations at clinics and sites across the state. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH).