Awards & Events

Development Conference Honors Regional Chamber Initiatives

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has been recognized for two of its initiatives by the Mid-America Economic Development Council.

At its annual Competitiveness Conference and Site Selector Forum in Chicago, the council honored the chamber’s Victory for the Valley initiative – which sought to capitalize on the Mahoning Valley’s proximity to the 2016 Republican National Convention – as the winner in the 2017 Economic Development Awards’ Marketing Program category.

The conference was Dec. 3 through 5.

The overall goal of Victory for the Valley – perhaps best known for the manufacture of two lifesize bobbleheads of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates – was to promote the Valley as a viable place to do business. Through the initiative, the chamber brought to town site consultants from all over the United States for familiarization tours and scheduled meetings with political dignitaries.

The Community Connectors program was chosen as a runner-up for the Workforce Development category. Aimed at 11th and 12th grade students, the program – a collaboration of the chamber, area school districts, community organizations and businesses – aims to address employers’ concerns about the lack of soft skills in workers and their difficulty in finding and retaining applicants for jobs.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers for a job well done,” said Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of economic development at the Regional Chamber.

“Victory for the Valley was an exciting and unique opportunity for our market to be highlighted on a national level, and we’re pleased with the results of our efforts,” she continued.

“Community Connectors has been an ongoing success in the Valley, and we look forward to its continued growth.”

Pictured: Ron Starner, executive vice president of award sponsor Conway Inc , Lauren Johnson, manager of the 422 Corridor and Mahoning County Business Development for the Regional Chamber,  and Kathryn Kunert, president of the the Mid-America Economic Development Council.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.