Two Youngstown organizations are receiving a big boost in funds to help expand broadband services and workforce development in the area.

U.S. Senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman along with Valley Congressman Tim Ryan awarded Youngstown State University and Western Reserve Port Authority with grants amounting to a total of $1,204,850.

The grants are being provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative.

YSU's Broadband and 5G Readiness Training Program is receiving $1,154,880 to train 165 students for the broadband industry sector at Appalachian Ohio.

The following $49,970 is going to WRPA's Trumbull County Broadband Preliminary Engineering Study. The study looks at "a proposed fiber optic loop designed to provide high-speed broadband service to four underserved communities in Trumbull County," according to the press release.

"This new investment will help provide diverse opportunities for the Mahoning Valley," Brown said. "If we want to promote economic development throughout Ohio, we need to ensure that businesses and communities have tools and resources they need to succeed."

"This much-needed funding will help ensure that towns and communities across our state have the resources they need to address emerging infrastructure needs, expand broadband in underserved areas and bolster workforce training," Portman said. 

"I am proud of the incredible work that Youngstown State, led by President Jim Tressel and the Western Reserve Port Authority have done to put our region at the center of emerging technologies and the industries of the future," Ryan said.

ARC is focused on strengthening economic growth in the Appalachian region while POWER is focused on rebuilding areas affected by job losses in the coal industry, according to the press release.