Welcome to Growth Report 2

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – This edition of The Business Journal – Growth Report 2: Business and Industry – provides 112 pages of optimism and inspiration.

It begins with Dan O’Brien’s cover story that highlights how manufacturing is rebounding thanks, in part, to the reshoring of automotive components and chip manufacturing, strong output from steel producers and a recovering energy sector.

Case in point is Starr Manufacturing in Vienna, which supplies the oil and gas industry. “We’ve received so many orders so quickly, we’re still trying to ascertain just what the impact is,” says sales manager Matthew Foerster.

Beginning on page 6, George Nelson looks at how local governments are allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan. Some are using that money to provide direct assistance to businesses, to encourage redevelopment by removing blight and to make other community investments that promote economic growth and quality of life.

“Before now, everything was just a plan because we didn’t have the funding to support them,” says Nikki Posterli, chief of staff to Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and director of the department of community planning and economic development. “So why not use these dollars while we have them available?”

For sure!

Growth Report 2 contains 140 other stories shared by companies across the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

These include reports of expansions, large and small, from Pondi’s Restaurant & Bar in Lisbon, which expanded its dining and kitchen space and launched a market and carryout kitchen, to the Eastwood Mall Complex in Niles, which defies the trend of shrinking shopping centers by adding new retailers and restaurant tenants.

Then there are stories of evolution and innovation.

 HBK CPAs & Consultants tells how the pandemic necessitated a hybrid work environment, which has  become the norm at many companies.

Greg Greenwood, owner/operator of Greenwood Chevrolet, observes: “Twenty years ago, it was almost unthinkable that people would walk around with a small computer in their pocket every day. But that’s how the cellphone has evolved and the future of EVs will be the same.”

Some companies highlight the conclusion of major projects, such as work by DeSalvo Construction on the renovation of Stambaugh Auditorium, or announce future projects, such as plans by Mercy Health–Youngstown to build two new hospitals.

There is no question that our region still faces the bruising legacy of industry exodus, population declines and workforce shortages.

But the stories shared by area companies should inspire optimism that whatever the future holds, businesses are working to overcome the challenges.

Enjoy these stories as you and your business begin to write your 2023 growth report.