Ryan Announces $14M in Earmarks for Valley Projects

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning Valley initiatives including runway resurfacing at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, electric vehicle technology training and an emergency department expansion project are in line to receive nearly $14 million.

The funding is part of the $19 million that U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan secured for the 13th congressional district through the House Appropriations Community Projects Funding process.

“Since day one, I have fought to revitalize our region, bring good-paying jobs back home, and invest in our greatest asset — our workers. I am proud this funding delivers for Northeast Ohioans as we rebuild for the future,” Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said in a news release.

Ryan, who is chairman of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee and vice-chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, secured funds for all 15 projects he submitted, he said.

The community project requests will be included in the fiscal 2023 government funding legislation that will be considered by the full House of Representatives and Senate before being signed into law by President Joe Biden, according to Ryan’s communications director, Caty Payette.

The funding Ryan secured included $5 million for resurfacing a 3,000-foot section of the 9,000-foot main runway at Youngstown-Warren Regional airport in Vienna Township. The funds would be used towards milling and paving along with associated drainage upgrades and required pavement markings.

The project is needed to establish long term sustainability of the Air Force Reserve Station, which shares runways with the regional airport, will aid existing private and corporate aviation users and help to attract new commercial and cargo service to the airport.

“This investment is critical towards promoting the longevity of our most valuable asset and will allow YNG to continue to promote itself as a hub of commercial and general aviation, as well as military operations of the 910th Airlift Wing which are critical to national security,” said Anthony Trevena, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority. “In total, YNG and YARS have a combined $130 million annual economic impact on the Mahoning Valley.”

The congressman’s office also earmarked $2 million for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s Boardman campus, which is expanding its emergency department. This expansion would create 20 full-time jobs and would increase capacity from 17 standard rooms to 23 family-centered care patient rooms with space for six more rooms and increase the department’s square footage from 8,300 to 30,800.

“Each day, we are surpassing the capacity our ER was designed to accommodate. Federal funding, as well as private donations, will help us better serve the children of the Valley who are ill, injured and in emotional and behavioral crises,” said Chris Gessner, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital.

A $914,000 allocation for Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown would allow the institution to expand its electric vehicle technologies training programs, preparing students for in-demand jobs in a growing sector and supporting national efforts to switch to green energy.

“This request for funding would create specific programs that EGCC is looking to develop and implement to meet the basic service technician role for the EV industry, which would open the door to students seeking to gain more advanced skills,” according to the release. “As the region transitions from traditional manufacturing to one based in advanced technologies and electrification of the automobile industry, EV training programs provide new pathways to those entering the workforce as well as upskilling the existing manufacturing workforce.”

Another $2 million allocation would support expansion of the Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center in Campbell. The project would include the Mahoning Valley Wellness and Rehabilitation Center to expand access to health-care services and improve training opportunities within a medically underserved area.

Funding would be used to secure specialized medical equipment for vision, dental and other services and offer space for training programs for current and future health professionals.

Matt Bowen, Campbell City Schools superintendent, said the medical pathway programs being scaled at the wellness and rehabilitation center represent the final phase of the Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center.

“Advanced STEM learning opportunities through the Northeast Ohio Impact Academy with expanded adult medical programs offered through Eastern Gateway Community College are exactly what our Valley needs,” he said,

Ryan’s Valley funding requests also included:

  • $2.5 million for improvements at Waddell Park in Niles;
  • $650,000 for Trumbull County’s Voltage Valley Young Dronepreneurs program, to engage 44 additional middle school and high school teams in the county’s youth drone-racing league;
  • $550,000 for Sight for All United and United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley for a Sight for Kids “vision van” to provide eye care for students;
  • $170,000 for the Warren Police Department for mobile forensic survey equipment and mobile license plate readers.

In addition to Valley projects, Ryan’s requests also included $400,000 for the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council’s Small Business Energy Efficiency Support Program. The program provides businesses with tools to encourage them to grow, reinvest and become more energy efficient, and the funds will go toward expanding providing additional resources for outreach and engagement with small businesses.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.