The Ohio State University was announced this week as the campus partner for the Alliance for the American Dream.
Schmidt Futures, a science-focused venture capital firm, is giving Ohio State a $1.5 million grant to develop ideas aimed at increasing economic opportunities for local families. Bruce McPheron, the provost at Ohio State, says they've already been collaborating on ideas.
“Some of the things we’re discussing are questions around workforce development, but also how changes in transportation or housing or utility or food costs might actually create a better bottom line for those families,” McPheron says.
McPheron says that the creation is far from some ivory tower think tank. They'll be including community partners to ensure the solutions are pragmatic and workable.
He says Columbus has seen a lot of positive growth, but huge disparities remain.
“One of our big issues to tackle will be in fact be addressing those local community needs, which are quite varied from location to location within the region,” he says. “It’s very granular, to actually have to understand that a particular community might have a solution with transportation changes, and another community might actually be better addressed by looking at health care issues.”
The Alliance for the American Dream will launch in May.