YSU Selects Next President; Foxconn Vets Inquiries

On Thursday afternoon, Youngstown State University trustees voted 8-1 to offer the position of university president to U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th. Michael Peterson, trustees chairman, said he was “pumped” about the selection. But Trustee Molly Seals, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said, “I do not believe the congressman is right for this job.”

Earlier in the week, The Business Journal published the second installment of the Inside Foxconn Ohio series. Dan O’Brien, managing editor, looked at Foxconn’s process for developing partnerships. Potential customers are put through a dedicated vetting process that dives deep into their business that, in the end, will determine whether that company is the right fit for Foxconn.

O’Brien also talked with Tom Harvey, learning and development manager at the Foxconn Lordstown plant, who was selected among 42 applicants from the U.S. region of the global corporation to represent the U.S. as a social media ambassador for Hon Hai Tech Day in Taiwan.

In East Palestine, senior reporter Deanne Johnson talked with Edwin Wang, a business owner who filed a $500 million lawsuit against Norfolk Southern. “Our future in the steel mill industry was canceled,” Wang said. “We have no future.”

Here’s a look at those stories and other top stories this week from BusinessJournalDaily.com:

YSU Selects Congressman as Next President; Process Draws Criticism from Faculty Union

Congressman Bill Johnson
U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson tours the Windsor House in Canfield in January 2019.

Youngstown State University trustees have made their choice for the next person to lead the university as president, and the selection process is drawing criticism from the faculty union. Trustees voted 8-1 Thursday afternoon in an emergency session to offer the position of university president to U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th.

Mark Vopat, president of the YSU-Ohio Education Association faculty union, called the process “disheartening.” READ

Foxconn Vets Inquiries for Space at Lordstown Plant

Employees assemble battery packs for Monarch Tractor’s MK-V at Foxconn’s Lordstown plant.

The conversation begins with some form of outreach. Perhaps it’s an engineer or executive touching base through social media, a phone call, an email, or text message. Or it could be a chance meeting at a trade expo or some other function.

Those in business development and operations at Foxconn Ohio field plenty of these inquiries.

“Foxconn is established and reputable around the world,” says Michael Repetto, senior director of project management at Foxconn Ohio’s Lordstown plant. “A lot of people are knocking on our door.” READ

Business Owner Filing $500M Lawsuit Against Norfolk Southern

Edwin Wang, owner of CeramFab Inc., WYG Refractories and CeramSource Inc.

Nine months after the train derailment in East Palestine, a lot has been done to clean up the site, and East Taggart Street has reopened.

But not everything is back up and running on that end of town – including CeramFab, which had the derailed Norfolk Southern train go right past its back door on Feb. 3. Then a controlled vent and burn released chemicals into the air, water and soil just to the east of the plant.

With the exception of a short time right after the derailment, CeramFab has been unable to reopen. READ

Del Sinchak, Valley’s Longtime Polka King, Will Take a Final Bow

Youngstown accordionist and polka legend Del Sinchak.

Del Sinchak estimates he has played at least 4,000 gigs in his career, although the number could be higher. He’ll play just one more.

The Youngstown accordionist and polka legend will give his final performance on New Year’s Eve. It may seem hard to believe, but after 74 years of making music, the 88-year-old Sinchak is retiring. READ

Ultium Workers OK UAW Bargaining Agreement with GM

The Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown. (Gene J. Puskar | Associated Press)

Hourly workers at Ultium Cells LLC’s plant on Tuesday evening overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bargaining agreement that would place them under the scope of a national contract between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Co.

Workers voted 97% to 3% in favor of the agreement after two days of voting at the plant, a union official confirmed late Tuesday. READ

Fundraising Professionals Celebrate Local Philanthropy

From left are Joni Blase, Rick Blase, Scott Schulick, Marlene Braunlich, Karen Kohli, Chander Kohli, Macenzee Gaal, Sergul Erzurum, Jon Dunn and Josh Dunn.

Local institutions such as The Butler Institute of American Art and Stambaugh Auditorium wouldn’t exist in the first place or have operated for the past century without philanthropy, Rebecca Davis, The Butler’s development director, said.

Elevating that kind of philanthropy is why the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon is important. Davis and Leah Sakacs, executive director of Sight for All United, co-chaired this year’s event, which is put on annually by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mahoning-Shenango Chapter. READ

Other Top Stories

A Firsthand Look at Hon Hai Tech Day
Expansion Is Brewing: Koehler Readies New Castle Brewery
L’uva Bella Enters into Partnership with Brew Kettle
Westside Bowl Owners Purchase Former Clark Bar Building
Veteran’s Haven Breaks Ground on 14-Bed Building
Noble Creature Wins Silver Medal at National Beer Competition
Opera’s Move to Powers Auditorium Will Improve Quality
Music Director Mourns Loss of David Vosburgh
Fisker: Deal with Foxconn Needs to be Done ‘This Year’
Riviera Creek Readies Expansion Plans After Passage of Issue 2
Workforce Symposium Addresses Barriers to Employment
‘State of the City Is Strong,’ Youngstown Mayor Declares
Youngstown Warehouse, Manufacturing Site Sold for $900K
Columbiana County Sports Complex Sold for $1.1M
Hubbard Trustees File Objection to Proposed Injection Well
Butech Founder Among Those Honored by Salem Chamber
New Gas Station Planned for East Liverpool Property
Journal Opinion: Some Encouraging Signs
Column: We Built It and ‘They’ Are Coming
Commentary: My Christmas Toys Brought Childhood Joy
Drilling Permits in Columbiana County Jump in November

From Around Ohio

Middlefield Banc Corp. Appoints Zimmerly as New CEO
Survey Shows Widening Gap in Industry 4.0 Technology Adoption
Report: Much Industry-Produced Methane Wasted in Ohio
Ohio TechCred Sees Record Results in September
Team NEO Tool to Boost Readily Available Manufacturing Sites
Dollar General Settlement to Benefit Ohio Food Banks
Ohio Unemployment Ticks Upward in October
Ohio Teacher Bootcamp Program Accepting Applications

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