Smart Growth American Visits Youngstown for Small-Scale Manufacturing Initiative

Sep 6, 2017 | News, Newsletter |

Sara Wenger, Economic Development Program Manager
Eastgate Regional Council of Governments

Smart Growth America Tour Youngstown Business Incubator’s New Renovated Tech Building 5, opening soon as YBI’s Additive Manufacturing Hub

Smart Growth America, a national organization, recently visited Youngstown as part of an initiative on small-scale manufacturing as a placed-based economic development tool. Small-scale manufacturing is an umbrella term for small businesses of up to twenty people producing tangible goods such as textile, hardware, wood, metal, electronics, and 3D printing. It’s closely associated with the Maker Movement and is key to neighborhood-level economic development as it creates local manufacturing jobs. Additionally, it is a tool for redeveloping historic commercial and downtown properties.

Youngstown was one of four communities across the United States chosen for this opportunity. Given its rich manufacturing background and the success of the Youngstown Business Incubator and additive manufacturing technology, the consulting team expressed interest in developing strategies for connecting and increasing the visibility of high technology and innovation to corridors of the distressed city.

The Youngstown team was joined by Ilana Preuss, founder of Recast City LLC, a firm that specializes in the real estate needs of entrepreneurs and small manufacturing businesses. Over a three-day period, the team toured local manufacturing companies including original equipment manufacturers and met with property owners, home-based businesses, and the local economic development community. In total over sixty-five interviews were conducted. Following the visit, Recast City LLC will issue a report with recommendations for improving the business climate of makers such as marketing and networking with the manufacturing community to create more business to business opportunities. Additionally, the city will work to streamline policies for live-work spaces and address other real estate gaps such as built-out retail and fabrication space. Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, the Economic Action Group, and the greater economic development community look forward to using these recommendations to grow jobs and increase the vitality of neighborhoods and the downtown.

Senate President Obhof Appoints Kimberly Marshall to the Ohio Public Works Commission

Senate President Larry Obhof of Medina has appointed City of Medina Economic Development Director Kimberly Marshall to the Ohio Public Works Commission.

The Public Works Commission provides financing for local public infrastructure improvements through both the State Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) and the Local Transportation Improvement Program (LTIP). SCIP is a grant/loan program for roads, bridges, water supply, wastewater treatment, storm water collection and solid waste disposal. LTIP is a grant program for roads and bridges only.

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Ohio Economic Development Institute Graduates First Group of Certified Economic Developers

The Ohio Economic Development Institute, a continuing education program for experienced economic developers, has graduated its first seven participants. Another 16 will complete the program in six months.

The program offers hands-on, practical training in economic development to career professionals with at least three years of experience in the field. The institute is facilitated through a partnership between the Ohio Economic Development Association, the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and JobsOhio. Launched in 2016, it is the first state-level economic development certification program in Ohio.

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