(WKBN) – Grants have been awarded to assist in broadband expansion in the region.

The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded $1.15 million to Youngstown State University for broadband and 5G readiness training across eastern Ohio.

The award to YSU’s Division of Workforce Education and Innovation will allow 165 people in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Ashtabula, Jefferson and Belmont counties to earn 375 credentials for careers in broadband and 5G, said Jennifer Oddo, executive director of the division.

“The deployment of 5G is expected to create approximately 32,000 jobs in network infrastructure over the next several years,” Oddo said. “This funding allows YSU to continue its leadership in ensuring that we develop the trained workforce to respond to those demands.”

The commission also awarded a $49,970 grant to the Western Reserve Port Authority that will go toward a preliminary engineering study for broadband expansion in Trumbull County.

The funding is part of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s $47 million POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. In all, the program is supporting 52 projects in nine states in this latest round of funding.