What is Economic Development?

Economic development varies between different communities and companies. The scope of an economic development project can include anything from site selection and infrastructure development to workforce, grants and financing.

The economic development team at The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has more than 25 years of working with businesses to help them invest and prosper in the region. In this installment of It Starts Here!, the Chamber’s 422 corridor and business development manager, Lauren Johnson, explains the Chamber’s approach to economic development.

“When a lot of people think about economic development, they think about projects like Amazon’s HQ2 search,” Johnson said. “And while that’s certainly an exciting project, it’s not by any means the norm for economic development.”

In fact, more than 80% of a community’s investment is generated by existing companies, Johnson says. So, the Chamber spends much of its time working with businesses in the community to help them grow and be sustainable, while advocating for the Mahoning Valley to attract new business to the area.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is a private, non-profit organization that provides leadership and business services to promote the growth of our nearly 2,600 members—representing more than 125,000 employees in the Valley. We offer our membership access to a range of benefits, from discounts on healthcare and workers’ compensation to networking opportunities at more than 100 events annually.

Furthermore, as the lead economic development organization representing Ohio’s Mahoning and Trumbull counties, the Regional Chamber is the single point of contact for all business-related services, coordinating local development efforts among the many organizations working to serve the business community.


“To provide economic development, advocacy and business services to promote the growth of our members and Valley.”


“To be a catalyst for economic success, creating a prosperous Valley that is the preferred community in which to live, learn, work, and play.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.