Eastgate Contributes $100K to Lake to River Economic Development

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lake to River Economic Development, the newly established JobsOhio region, received a boost to its fundraising efforts Monday morning with a $100,000 contribution from Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.

Lake to River, which encompasses a four-county region covering Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, was announced April 27 as the seventh JobsOhio region.

“As an economic development partner, we certainly recognize the abundance of opportunity and business attraction that exist and look forward with great anticipation to what lies ahead as we grow together as a region,” said Jim Kinnick, Eastgate’s executive director.

The funding is the first Lake to River has received that it hadn’t counted on since local partners went to the state to request support for creating the new economic development district, according to Mike McGiffin, vice president of engagement and investor relations.

Lake to River “is a startup company that is arguably the state of Ohio’s most significant investment in our region in likely a generation,” McGiffin said. He attributed that investment in the “long-term commitment to change the landscape of economic development in our community” to the “historic collaboration” underway in the community over the past four or five years.  

“It’s exhilarating work that’s an honor to do because we all know how important it is to our region,” said Alexa Sweeney Blackann, Lake to River’s interim CEO. “Our collective pride for the Mahoning Valley and surrounding counties on either side of us drives us every single day.”

The money comes from the $2.5 million Eastgate received in 2021 from General Motors as part of GM’s settlement with the state of Ohio in the aftermath of the closing of GM’s Lordstown plant.

“Our operations are partially funded by JobsOhio, but a lot of what we do requires financial support from the community at large,” Blackann said. “We applaud the businesses and organizations in our region who recognize this and get behind our efforts.”

 Pictured at top: From left are Alexa Sweeney Blackann, Mike McGiffin and Jim Kinnick.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.