Youngstown OKs $30K for Community Center Study

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation will move forward on a study that could lead to development of a new community center focused on job training and youth development.

The city’s Board of Control approved entering into an agreement with the federation to engage Manchester Bidwell Corp. to conduct the $30,000 study using American Rescue Plan funds allocated for the 1st Ward. The study will determine what type of job training and youth development facility might be needed.

Earlier this year, a group of community partners, including the federation and Councilman Julius Oliver, 1st Ward, had explored the possibility of siting such a center in a former Meridian HealthCare building on Ridge Avenue that the Western Reserve Port Authority was acquiring on the city’s behalf. That building instead will house a senior center operated by Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership.

The federation is acting as the fiscal agent for Friends of Youngstown, the “loosely formed group” that has been working on a plan for the proposed new arts and technology center, said Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, YAJF’s executive director of community relations/government affairs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Manchester Bidwell, which also was involved in developing the Hope Center for Arts & Technology in Sharon, Pa., will be engaged in a seven-month consultancy, Burdman said. During that time, the consultant team will examine existing city programs and assets to determine what is being done well and what is missing, “ultimately making a recommendation on the back end of this consultancy on what type of program and what type of center would work best here in the city of Youngstown,” she said.

When that is done, the consultant team will look at details on how to create the new program and what kind of building might be required.

“All the different stakeholders in town, everyone who is already doing some of this existing work – whether it be workforce development, youth services, etc – they’re all going to be at the table and all part of the process to determine what the final outcome will be,” she said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.