Business Journal Launches 15-Month ‘Brain Gain’ Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Business Journal will launch an enterprising, 15-month multiplatform program beginning Oct. 1, that examines economic innovations to retain and attract our best young talent, build a culture of entrepreneurship and promote workforce development.

This infinite objective has been written about, talked about, studied and debated over many years in an effort to curb human capital flight – or “brain drain” as it’s colloquially known. 

But the fact remains that approximately six people move out of the Mahoning Valley every day, according to a 2017 study by the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments. 

The state mirrors the trend, according to a congressional Joint Economic Committee report that ranks Ohio fifth in the nation in the percentage gap between those who leave and those who stay.

In an effort to advocate and drive a change agenda, Business Journal Publisher Andrea Wood and CEO Jeff Leo Herrmann have embraced a commitment to advocate for the future of our kids. 

The result is “Brain Gain: Building a Culture of Entrepreneurship and Promoting Workforce Development,” an unprecedented program with a strategic approach that goes beyond traditional reporting, storytelling and audience delivery.  

“For 35 years, The Business Journal has worked to change the narrative of our area; and we have,” Wood says. “This program is meant to drive a change agenda in our community through active engagement and multi-generational dialogue to prompt forward-thinking solutions.”

Throughout the program, The Business Journal will use its integrated platform across print, digital and social media to deliver the business community’s voice to the ones who need to hear it the most: our youth.

But the efforts go further than just talking to young people. Brain Gain will engage them in the conversation.

“Jeff’s progressive approach in developing community sponsorships, partner contributors and multimedia innovation will give the project a never-before-seen blend of past and present media accessibility,” Wood says.

Blending real-time conversations and strategies with support from headline sponsors already on board will separate and elevate this program from those of the past, according to Herrmann. “We have a chance to create an inimitable project by outlining an editorial strategy that contains inclusive community engagement to encourage solutions from creators and not critics,” he  says.

Media platforms include our twice-monthly print publication, a digital destination within our website and expanded social media platforms to engage and communicate with regional talent of all ages.

Community engagement is key. If you are interested in sitting on a panel, taking part in roundtable discussions or want your child to participate in an ongoing engagement panel between businesses and students, contact us. We need businesses, high school and college students and young adults for dialogue sit-downs. 

If you returned to the area to work or make a difference, or becoming an entrepreneur is in your future, we want to hear from you. Contact Lisa Solley at or 330 531 8412. 

If you want to be a business headline, level or partner sponsor, email Herrmann at or call 330 227 7155.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.