Repopulating the Valley; Johnson’s First Day at YSU

As Mahoning Valley officials launch efforts to repopulate the region, one of their goals is attracting immigrants and refugees to help fill jobs that are here as well as those expected to be created over the next several years.

From The Business Journal’s Growth Report 1 issue, which was published this week and kicked off our 40th year of publication, Denise Dick, special projects manager, highlighted organizations that are providing services to help immigrants and refugees in the Valley.

Also, Dan O’Brien, managing editor of The Business Journal, explored how organizations are addressing a growing problem across the Mahoning Valley – the lack of sustainable, quality housing that ultimately could affect economic and population growth.

On Monday, as former U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson began his first day on the job as president of Youngstown State University, about 50 students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered outside Tod Hall to continue voicing opposition to his selection.

On Tuesday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials were in East Palestine to give an update on how far the cleanup from the Feb. 3, 2023, train derailment has progressed and how far things must yet go. That was followed by a visit Wednesday from Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, who said she can see cleanup and restoration work potentially completed sometime this summer.

Here’s a look at those stories and other top stories this week from

Helping Immigrants, Refugees Thrive in the Mahoning Valley

From left are Sofia Bolkmar, Olga Bolkmar, Rosa Denecena, Jonathan Ortiz, Carla Limon, Vasiliki Constantine, Robert Ortiz, Zoila Santos and Moises Lopez at the Michael Kusalaba Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments are embarking on a plan to repopulate the Mahoning Valley. It’s an effort to ensure there are enough workers to fill the high-skill jobs that currently exist as well as jobs that will be created over the next several years.

Officials point to a three-pronged approach: retain young people, return people who have left here and receive immigrants and refugees. As part of the effort, local organizations are providing services to help immigrants and refugees. READ

Taking on the Housing Crisis, One Dwelling at a Time

Matt Martin, executive director of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, stands before a mural celebrating the revival of Warren’s Garden District, a 22-block area.

Organizations are addressing a growing problem across the Mahoning Valley – the lack of sustainable, quality housing that ultimately could affect economic and population growth.

It’s a looming crisis that business and development leaders have not ignored. Indeed, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has made repopulation its No. 1 priority. READ

Journal Opinion: 40 Years of The Business Journal

This edition of The Business Journal kicks off our 40th year of publication. Each issue this year will include a look-back story. Who did what to advance our region?  What worked? What didn’t? Where are they now? In July, we’ll publish a double edition, “40 Years of The Business Journal.”

We could not foresee the changes that have taken place in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys since 1984, when the region was still reeling from Black Monday and seeking a quick-fix to move forward. READ

Johnson’s First Day as YSU President Met with Protest

Audrey Jobe, a YSU senior music education major, speaks to protesters outside Tod Hall.

About 50 Youngstown State University students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered outside Tod Hall on Monday to continue voicing opposition to the selection of former U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson as university president.

Monday marked Johnson’s first day on the job. READ

Valley Playwright’s ‘Star Trek’ Spoof Will Boldly Go to Central Ohio Theater

Spencer Cleland, Marshall Hall, Kevin Schreffler, Kari Beil and Brady Duncan in Stage Left’s most recent production of “A Star Trek Christmas.”

“A Star Trek Christmas,” a play written by Kandace Cleland, executive director of Stage Left Players, is being picked up by a central Ohio community theater that will stage it later this year.

For a playwright, having your work selected by another theater is the surest measure of its viability and quality. Cleland has written quite a few plays over the years, but this is the first time that another theater has shown interest in producing one of them. READ

Other Top Stories

Home Is Where Education Is for an Increasing Number of Children
Actor from Valley Has a Role in Oscar-nominated Film
‘Enormous Progress’ Made in East Palestine, EPA Officials Say
Restoration Work in East Palestine Could Be Finished by Summer
2024 Economic Forecast: Slower Growth, Lower Inflation
Columbiana Port Authority Welcomes First Global Hub Tenant
YWCA Mahoning Valley Breaks Ground on Housing Project
New Album by Third Class Plays Off Sci-fi Imagery
Brothers Building Affordable, Upscale Homes in Calcutta
Owner of East Liverpool Winery Receives Loan Extension


What is Multi-factor Authentication?
A Look at Inflation Trends and Industry Futures
YWCA Mahoning Valley Project Increases Affordable Housing in Youngstown
Valley Welcomes New Americans for Workforce Boost
Luxury Dog Grooming Service Hits the Open Road
#1 Cochran Donation Supports United Way’s ‘Care Closet’
Stories of Resilience
Homeschooling in Mahoning Valley Increasing
Inside Growth Report 1

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