Economic Development

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With Cafaro Gift, ‘Drive It Home’ Nears Fundraising Goal

January 3, 2019

NILES, Ohio – A $25,000 donation from the Cafaro Foundation has boosted the Drive It Home campaign, bringing the fundraising total for the effort to support the General Motors Lordstown Complex to nearly $50,000.

The purpose of Drive It Home “is to demonstrate the intrinsic value of this facility and its workers to the leadership of General Motors, with the ultimate goal of securing a new product to be manufactured at the complex,” the foundation said in a news release announcing the donation.

“The Lordstown Complex and its thousands of skilled employees are too valuable a resource to squander,” said William A. Cafaro, a foundation trustee. “We think it is important to support and preserve this important part of our local economy.”

GM plans to discontinue production of the Chevrolet Cruze in March and has not allocated a new product for the plant. Some 1,600 salaried and hourly employees work at the plant, with several hundred more employed at companies that supply the plant. Two local suppliers, Comprehensive Logistics and Lordstown Seating Systems, have already said they will cease operations when the plant is closed.

The gift from the Cafaro Foundation brings the total raised for the campaign to nearly $50,000, according to Kim Calvert, vice president, marketing and events, for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

The Regional Chamber Foundation is administering the funds for Drive It Home, which initially set a $60,000 goal for the marketing, social awareness and media campaign. Am additional $10,000 of in-kind services has been provided for the initiative.

The $25,000 contribution follows last week’s donation of $15,000 by the Lordstown Energy Center. At that announcement, chamber CEO and President James Dignan said the money from Lordstown Energy Center would be used to develop a website for the campaign and promote the effort statewide.

The Cafaro Foundation is a charitable entity established by the Cafaro family in memory of William M. Cafaro, the founder of the Cafaro Co., the real estate development and management company that bears his name.

“We are hoping to hear further announcements in the coming weeks,” Dignan said Wednesday afternoon.

Dave Green, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, expressed his membership’s appreciation to the foundation “for recognizing their hard work as well as their continued dedication” to the Mahoning Valley.

“We are hopeful other organizations will be as generous,” he said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.