$2.7M Infrastructure Grant Supports More Jobs in Golden Triangle

WARREN, Ohio – A $2.7 million federal infrastructure grant will help support 39 companies that comprise an “industrial neighborhood” that’s one of the largest metals manufacturing hubs in the state, officials said Thursday.

The 1,000-acre area, commonly known as the “Golden Triangle,” spans both the city of Warren and Howland Township. It has long been the target for new roadway enhancements to improve safety and efficiency for companies there, which collectively employ 1,181 workers in manufacturing and logistics.

The new infrastructure investment is estimated to support another 116 new jobs and generate another $47 million of new investment in this part of Trumbull County.

“Projects like this help us tremendously,” says Steve Bedard, general manager at Primetals Technologies, a 300,000-square-foot plant on Dietz Road.  “Road enhancements here made truck traffic much safer. The water line improvements were of great benefit to us,” he says.

Additional upgrades funded by the grant will allow for improved logistics and clarity for future plans or expansions, he says.

Primetals Technologies produces new and reconditioned components for steel mills all over the world, Bedard says. “We are the leading producer of oil film bearings for hot strip mills. We export that product to 17 different countries.”

The company hosted a check presentation ceremony Thursday attended by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 — the Democratic Party nominee in for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman. 

Primetals, now a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has 13 locations throughout the United States. The company provides service to all of the mills in North America, according to Bedard.

Approximately 80 are employed in Warren and another 50 at a second plant in Cortland.

Primetals acquired the Warren plant in 2013 and spent approximately $5 million in renovations. The plant expanded in 2017 after it relocated some of its oil-film bearing business from Massachusetts to Warren.

“We are busy all over,” Bedard says of the market.  “We’ve been like this over the last eight to 12 months. The mills are running straight out.”

The infrastructure funds were procured under the American Rescue Plan and the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment program administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration .

“This is almost $3 million for an area that has continued to grow here in Warren and Howland,” Ryan notes. “We want to continue to sustain this but also grow it. But they need the infrastructure.”

Steven Bedard is the general manager of Primetals Technologies.

The $2.7 million grant is earmarked for improvements on Bronze Road, the intersection at Larchmont Avenue/ Paige Road/Dana Street, and the Overland Road/Bronze Road intersection, says Darlene St. George, Howland Township administrator.

St. George says continued investments such as these are critical to supporting an industrial sector that she describes as one of the “largest primary metals manufacturing hubs in the state.”

To accomplish this, several public agencies, representatives of different political subdivisions, and business stakeholders in the area worked together to form the Golden Triangle Coalition to lobby for available grant monies.

The coalition includes Howland Township, the city of Warren, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, the Trumbull County Planning Commission, the Board of Trumbull County Commissioners, the Trumbull County Engineer’s office, and the Golden Triangle’s private partners.

“We went to each of these businesses and talked to them,” St. George recalls. “We learned what they make, learned what they do and learned what their needs were.”

A plan was put together that identified 13 different infrastructure needs for the area. These included road-widening projects, water and sewer improvements, signaling upgrades and Brownfield assessments.

The coalition has helped to attract approximately $6 million in improvements to the Golden Triangle, St. George says. The latest grant places total investment to nearly $9 million.

“We are exhibit one of what cooperation really means,” says Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.

State Rep. Michael O’Brien, D-Warren, applauded the work of all the stakeholders involved in these projects over the years.

“We’re here today to celebrate those collaborative efforts,” he said.  “What a historic day. It’s historic for Trumbull County, it’s historic for the industrial manufacturing neighborhood known as the Golden Triangle.”

Pictured at top: James Smith is a vertical mill operator at Primetals Technologies.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.