Smart Growth American Visits Youngstown for Small-Scale Manufacturing Initiative
Sara Wenger, Economic Development Program Manager
Eastgate Regional Council of Governments
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.
Rural communities are prime targets for companies considering a corporate site location project. Rural areas in the U.S. cover 97 % of the nation’s land area but contain 19.3 % of the population who are more likely to own a single family home, are older and less likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or be in poverty than their urban counters.read more
American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) has promoted Timothy J. Wells to vice president, Sales, Economic and Business Development, effective Nov. 2, 2020. Wells replaces Mark James who retired last month.
Wells, 55, will lead AEP’s efforts to attract new commercial and industrial customers to its service territory and help existing customers take advantage of AEP’s growing menu of business consultation services. AEP has unique expertise in the energy field and has become a trusted energy advisor to many of its larger customers. Wells will be responsible for leading growth in services that fall outside of the distribution and transmission of electricity, in addition to helping communities bring new jobs to their local economies.read more
As the economy recovers and Ohio businesses across the state work to stay open or in some cases reopen, JobsOhio’s Northwest Ohio Network Partner, the Regional Growth Partnership, hosting OHZone, a virtual career fair, on Thursday, November 5, 2020.read more