DeWine to Visit Valley for Economic Development Announcement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine and J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO, plan to make an announcement Wednesday regarding economic development in the Mahoning Valley.

According to a media advisory from the governor’s office, DeWine and Nauseef will make the announcement at 2:30 p.m. at the Eastwood Event Centre in Niles.

The media advisory did not offer details about the announcement.

Local discussions have been underway regarding the formation of an economic development district that would include Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, which are currently part of the 18-county Team NEO region.

Articles of incorporation for Lake to River Foundation were filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office Oct. 2, 2023. The entity was being organized to permit the four member counties “to meet economic development goals by maintaining focus and sustained effort toward strategic initiatives, prioritizing and allocating resources, and enforcing accountability, for the purpose of improving the prosperity of the region,” according to the documents.

Local partners began studying the prospect of creating a four-county economic development district to address the increased number of leads the region is receiving more than a year ago, said Guy Coviello, president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. The new entity would be able to focus on the four member counties as opposed to the 18 covered under the current 18-county Team NEO footprint, they said.

In addition to the chamber, architects of the new organization include Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Western Reserve Port Authority, Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, Youngstown Foundation and Columbiana County Port Authority. Among the local business leaders involved are Alexa Sweeney Blackann, former president of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, and Dave Johnson, CEO of Summitville Tiles Inc.

Pictured at top: Gov. Mike DeWine gives his 2024 State of the State address in the Ohio House chambers at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on April 10, 2024. (Barbara J. Perenic | The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.