Youngstown Amends Steelite Grant Agreement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A job creation grant agreement between the city of Youngstown and Steelite International USA Inc. will now take effect in early 2024 and run through 2028, following a vote Thursday morning by the city Board of Control.

The original agreement, with an estimated $415,000, originally was scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of 2023. It was approved about a year ago as an incentive for the global tableware distributor to move its corporate headquarters from New Castle, Pa., to the Taft Technology Center downtown.

Under the grant agreement, Steelite committed to move at least 60 full-time employees with an annual payroll of not less than $5 million by last December. The grant will provide annual payments based on payroll tax withholdings, ranging from 100% during the first year of operations in Youngstown to 25% during its final year.

As of Thursday, Steelite has about 80% of the employees it committed to working in the Youngstown building now and is finishing half of the third floor space., Jon Miles, Steelite’s president and CEO, said.

“The main bulk of employees moved in June,” Miles said during a phone interview following the board of control meeting. “We do have still some construction in the welcome center but in terms of transitioned employees we’re about 80% or so there.”

Moving the start date of the agreement to next year will permit the company to get the full benefit of the grant, city Finance Director Kyle Miasek said. The first grant award would be in 2024, after a Regional Income Tax Agency audit to verify the amount.  

Also during the meeting, the board – which consists of Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Law Director Jeff Limbian and Miasek – approved a new five-year extension of its agreement with Ticketmaster to provide ticketing services for the city-owned Covelli Centre and Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre.

The city entered into its first ticketing agreement with Ticketmaster for what was then known as the Chevrolet Centre in March 2008.

Under the extension, which runs through June 30, 2028, the threshold for individual tickets being exempt from processing fees is increased from $12 to $16. In addition, the per-ticket charge increases by 85 cents for both Covelli Centre tickets, to 3.85, and amphitheater tickets, to $2.85, via Ticketmaster distribution channels.

Tickets sold at the box office remain exempt from processing fees.

Miasek praised the relationship with Ticketmaster.

“They do a lot on our behalf with regard to marketing. That goes a long way,” he said. 

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.