Chamber Report: YARS Has $137M Economic Impact

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Youngstown Air Reserve Station had an economic impact of $137.3 million in fiscal year 2020, the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission and Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber reported Tuesday. 

According to a news release issued by the Regional Chamber and EOMAC, last year was the sixth consecutive year the Vienna Township military installation’s economic impact rose. 

When the Regional Chamber founded EOMAC in 2015, the economic impact of YARS was barely more than $90 million, Regional Chamber President and CEO Guy Coviello said in the report. 

YARS also has been the top public policy priority during the Chamber’s annual Columbus Drive-In and D.C. Fly-In advocacy events.

Last year, the base’s impact included more than $103 million in payroll and $21.4 million in military expenditures on the base. The total personnel count at the base is 2,043, with personnel affiliated with the 910th Airlift Wing — 1,918 – representing the vast majority of those. 

Federal assets at the station include 321 acres, 71 buildings and eight aircraft with a total value of more than $1 billion, according to the military affairs commission

“With tremendous support from our state and federal government officials, as well as organizations throughout the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, we continue to make significant progress at YARS,” said Vito Abruzzino, EOMAC’s director. “The best is yet to come.” 

Abruzzino pointed out that funding for four new C-130J aircraft was secured in the latest National Defense Authorization Act. Advocacy work is underway to have those planes assigned to YARS and secure funding for four more. 

“The Valley is fortunate to have such a strong collaborative effort between Abruzzino, our congressional delegation and our state leaders. This track record of success speaks volumes and gives us reason for optimism that the future looks even better,” Coviello said. 

“This is remarkable news and just goes to show the positive impact the Chamber and EOMAC have had on our region,” state Sen. Michael Rulli, R-33 Salem, said. “Vito and Guy have worked tirelessly to ensure that YARS has strong advocacy in both Columbus and Washington, D.C. I am excited to see what we can do to expand these economic benefits in this year’s state budget.” 

Over the past four years, the state has invested $750,000 in EOMAC, which worked with Ohio’s congressional delegation to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investment. Local organizations including the Western Reserve Port Authority, Trumbull 100, Youngstown Air Base Community Council and the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio have contributed to the effort. 

EOMAC has also worked to help generate tens of millions in federal investment at the James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, which pumps approximately $40 million annually into the local economy. 

State Rep. Michael Loychik, R-63 Bazetta, introduced legislation to increase state support for EOMAC to $500,000 in each of the next two fiscal years. 

“As a former military service member and as vice chair of our Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m pleased to announce this amendment I’ve proposed for increased financial assistance of these two military facilities within our region of the state,” Loychik said. “The $500,000 proposed each fiscal year would really help the military assets and the military members serving here in northeast Ohio.” 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.