Chamber Reports Projects in Region Total $173M in 2018

YOUNGSTOWN, OhioPrivate companies invested more than $173 million in the Mahoning Valley last year, many with the help of regional economic development agencies, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber reports.

According to data compiled by the Regional Chamber and its economic development partners, and published in the 2018 Economic Development Report Card, a total of 102 projects resulted in $173,364,100 invested, 1,157 new jobs and another 3,271 retained jobs.

That compares to 367 company projects resulting in $216,256,009 of investment and 926 new jobs in 2017.

Economic development agencies assisted with 75 projects in 2018, resulting in more than $155 million in investment, creation of 1,016 jobs and retention of 2,914 jobs, according to the report card.

The Regional Chamber, in partnership with 15 other agencies, gathers data on economic development investment in the valley annually. The entities’ combined resources assist companies with infrastructure investment, tax incentives, loans, project coordination, grant oversight, technical advisement, property development and other services. Each individual agency provides project investment for business attraction, retention/expansion and/or startup; job creation/retention; and notable activity that occurred within its reporting year.

The collective efforts of the agencies are screened for duplication and then presented in the report card. Among the projects specifically identified in the report card are the opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown hotel which opened last May, renovation work on the former Harshman Building for use by Eastern Gateway Community College, the opening of the Youngstown Business Incubator’s fifth building, and the award of a $10.8 million federal transportation infrastructure grant for downtown Youngstown.

Partners include CASTLO Community Improvement Corp.; the cities of Warren and Youngstown; Eastgate Regional Council of Governments; Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp.; OhioMeansJobs Mahoning and Trumbull counties; Ohio Small Business Development Center and Export Assistance Network and Regional Economic Development Initiative, all of which are housed at Youngstown State University; Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center; Trumbull County Planning Commission; Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp.; Western Reserve Port Authority/Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority; Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.

In addition to the report card being used to inform the local community, regional partners and site consultants of the local efforts and results, the piece is also shared with companies looking to locate in the Youngstown-Warren region, said Sarah Boyarko, chief operating officer at the Regional Chamber.

“Many companies considering an investment here are interested in learning more about the local economy and investments made by other firms. The report card is always well-received,” she added.

“The Economic Development Report Card is a valuable aggregation of all activities related to economic development in our area in a given year,” Jim Kinnick, Eastgate executive director, said. “As an agency that oversees several state and federal programs, we use the report card to measure investment in the region and our movement toward achieving the goals and objectives outlined in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.”

Pat Viesz, director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center and Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University, agreed that the report card showcases the collective efforts of business, government, community and educational partners to transform the region.

“The results of these partnerships have had a significant impact on the economic growth of the Valley that should stimulate even greater opportunities for the future,” she noted.

 Click here to read the full 2018 Economic Development Report Card.

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