YBI Celebrates Acquisition of Fifth Building

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The staff and directors of the Youngstown Business Incubator and its various federal, state and local partners celebrated the official announcement this morning that YBI would move forward on the fifth building of its downtown campus.

Work will begin later this year to convert the former Vindicator office building, which at one point housed its newsroom and printing operations, into incubation space and advanced manufacturing operations.

Conversion of the 57,700-square-foot building, which is adjacent to YBI’s main building and America Makes, is the biggest project YBI has ever undertaken, said Barb Ewing, the incubator’s chief operating officer.

“This facility is truly one in a lifetime for us,” she remarked.

Ewing also pledged to “do all we can to preserve the legacy” of the newspaper in the building and the Maag-Brown-Jagnow family that owned and operated it.

Among those participating in this morning’s ceremony was Jay Williams, assistant U.S. secretary of commerce, who is administrator of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. EDA provided a $3 million grant toward the $6 million project.

“This day has been a long time coming,” said Williams, a former mayor of Youngstown. When the building was being constructed nearly 85 years ago, Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley were in the early stages of becoming a rising industrial powerhouse, he remarked.

“The irony is not lost that this very same building of concrete and steel is taking another step to shake the rust from our past” Williams observed.

Martin Abraham, interim provost at Youngstown State University, said he was “thrilled” to be a partner with YBI to develop the building. “Together we can do things alone we couldn’t begin to attempt,” he observed.

Other funding partners include the city of Youngstown and the state of Ohio.

“The city is thrilled for this opportunity to celebrate another success for YBI,” said T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development. The incubator has “contributed significantly to the fabric of downtown.”

Pictured: Jay Williams speaks at this morning’s YBI press event.

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