Ohio Community Development Association Gathers Next Week in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Nearly 200 community development professionals from across Ohio and the region will gather here and virtually next week for the 37th Annual Conference of the Ohio CDC Association.

Meeting at the DeYor Performing Arts Center, DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown and the Youngstown Flea, this year’s conference highlights the Mahoning Valley’s resiliency, community economic development and collaborations. 

“Community development corporations across the state are empowering communities to take local action creating local results,” says Nate Coffman, executive director of the Ohio CDC Association. “Given the pandemic’s disparate impacts on low-income and communities of color, the work of community developers is increasingly vital to an equitable recovery. We’re excited to visit Youngstown to shine a light on their collaborative spirit and innovative strategies that are improving the quality of life and creating economic opportunities throughout the Mahoning Valley.”

The conference will open Wednesday afternoon, continue all day Thursday and conclude Friday at noon. Through neighborhood tours and workshop sessions over three days, participants will learn about:

  • The Mahoning Valley Community Store Initiative.
  • Neighborhood Stabilization in the Idora Neighborhood and Glenwood Avenue Corridor.
  • The city’s “cultural corridor,” historic Wick Park and North Side institutions.
  • CityScape at Briel’s and other revitalization efforts throughout the Mahoning Valley.

The keynote speaker is Evelyn Burnett, a Youngstown native and co-founder and CEO of ThirdSpace Action Lab and Third Space Café headquartered in Cleveland.

Local tours feature several themes and covering multiple corners of the valley, including the Idora neighborhood with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.; Oak Hill Collaborative and Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association; Commonwealth Kitchen Incubator; and a tour of Warren led by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

“Every year, the tours are one of the highlights of our conference,” Coffman says. “Our members look forward to the ideas and inspiration they can take home to their own communities across Ohio. Our volunteers look forward to sharing Mahoning Valley success stories and methods to meet the many challenges in communities across Ohio.”

Conference sponsors include Premier Bank, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, PNC Bank, Raymond John Wean Foundation, Huntington Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Fifth Third Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Finance Fund, KeyBank, Third Federal Savings & Loan, US Bank, First Financial Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank, Mahoning County Land Bank, Enterprise, Regionomics LLC, NeighborWorks Collaborative of Ohio, IFF, L’uva Bella Winery & Brands and the National Equity Fund.

For more information, visit the Ohio CDC Association’s website. To review the complete conference schedule, click here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.