Export Initiative Reps Attend Brookings Conference

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Representatives of the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative say they are encouraged by what they heard while attending the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Summit last month.

Attending the summit were Moussa Kassis, director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University; Dorte Heffernan, international trade manager for the Northwest Commission in Pennsylvania; and Michelle Phillips, research analyst at the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

According to a news release issued by the chamber, they were invited by Brookings to join leaders from metro cities worldwide at the summit.

“Being part of the Global Cities Summit confirmed that we are on the right track with our cross-border regional initiative,” Hefferman said. “Our export plan looks at export trade and foreign direct investment growth from a practical standpoint while considering common traded clusters, already-existing workforce initiatives, top-notch universities to foster R&D, internships and private sector collaboration, and at the same time, not feeling restricted by geographical borders.”

The summit marked the five-year milestone of the Global Cities Initiative, a $15 million joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that is helping U.S. and international metro areas strengthen their global economic connections and competitiveness.

Meeting with representatives from other countries gave the export initiative “great exposure and created huge opportunities” for companies in the 10-county region, Kassis said.

“Meeting our counterparts from cities around to world to share in best practices, discover new resources and build city-to-city relationships was an experience that will definitely benefit our area businesses and enhance supply chain opportunities,” Phillips said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.