Chamber Hires Attorney to Head Military Commission

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Vito Abruzzino, an attorney with Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell Ltd. has been retained to spearhead the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission. He formerly served with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber established the commission to enhance the military value and national defense excellence at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and other installations throughout eastern Ohio.

“Our local military installations, especially the air base in Vienna, play significant roles in our local economy and in national defense,” said Tom Humphries, chamber president and CEO. “It’s important that we educate the Pentagon and the local community on the vital operations that take place throughout eastern Ohio.”

The Youngstown Air Reserve Station pumps approximately $180 million per year into the Valley’s economy, Humphries noted. However, just two years ago the station generated more than $200 million annually for the local economy. The transfer of four planes, and the personnel that services them, to other installations has caused the reduction.

The military affairs commission will address the Pentagon’s redeployment decisions. The commission will also prepare for another federal Base Realignment and Closure process whereby Congress works with the Pentagon to make the U.S. military more efficient.

“Along with many peers, we continue to see local operations shrink,” said John Rossi, Chamber Foundation president, who has spent the past 18 months coordinating activities that led to the commission’s creation. “Instead of merely witnessing reductions, we choose to embrace the military decision making process and demonstrate the value of our base and importance of our mission.”

Abruzzino, a Mahoning Valley native, is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law whose background includes time spent as a special assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbia, S.C.

“I am impressed with the research that has already been done to protect and potentially grow military operations in eastern Ohio, and the energy that local leaders have already contributed to this cause,” Abruzzino said. “I look forward to working with everybody on the local, state and national levels to enhance local military operations.”

In 2014, the Chamber organized a series of meetings to again address base stabilization and enhancement issues and opportunities.This coincided with the Ohio General Assembly and Gov. John Kasich creating the Ohio Federal and Military Jobs Commission to enhance the state’s competitive position in order to retain, grow and leverage jobs associated with Ohio’s significant military and federal installation assets.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.