Local Agencies Assisted With $1.092 Billion of Investment In 2016

Apr 17, 2017
Private companies invested more than $1.092 billion in the Valley last year with the help of regional economic development agencies—a significant increase from 2015, when investment totaled about a billion less.

Private companies invested more than $1.092 billion in the Valley last year with the help of regional economic development agencies—a significant increase from 2015, when investment totaled about a billion less.

According to data compiled by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and its economic development partners, and published in the 2016 Economic Development Report Card, 111 projects resulted in $1,092,613,252 invested, 1,253 new jobs and another 3,092 retained jobs. In 2015, 78 projects resulted in nearly $93 million of investment and 1,006 new jobs.

The Regional Chamber, in partnership with 15 other agencies, gathers data on economic development investment in the Valley annually. The entities’ combined resources assist companies with infrastructure investment, tax incentives, loans, project coordination, grant oversight, technical advisement, property development and other services. 

Each individual agency provides project investment for business attraction, retention/expansion and/or startup; job creation/retention; and notable activity that occurred within their reporting year. The collective efforts of the agencies are screened for duplication and then presented in the report card.

Michael Conway, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation—one of the agencies included in the piece—said, “We consider the Report Card to be an effective method of reporting back to our constituency and stockholders the efficacy of our collective economic development efforts.”

The City of Youngstown, also a partnering agency of the piece, concurs. “The Report Card is a great way  to let our residents and the entire Valley know the investments being made yearly in Youngstown and surrounding communities and also lets companies outside of our region see the economic tools at our disposal to help bring business to Youngstown,” said Mayor John McNally.

While the Valley’s investment numbers soared in 2016, the State of Ohio’s did not follow suit. Privatized jobs-creation entity JobsOhio reported a down year in 2016 compared to 2015, statewide, with about $2 billion less in investment and 3,000 fewer jobs. In our region, the $900 million Lordstown Energy Center in Trumbull County, a project supported by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, was not only the largest project announced in the 18 counties that comprise northeast Ohio last year, but also enabled northeast Ohio attraction arm TeamNEO to count the project among its results, helping the organization to exceed its investment numbers from 2015 by more than $829 million. The Chamber itself exceeded its 2015 investment number by more than $961 million.

Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber, said that in addition to the ED report card’s being used to inform the local community, regional partners and site consultants of our efforts and results, the piece is also shared with companies looking to locate in the Youngstown-Warren region.

“The companies considering an investment here are always interested in learning more about the local economy and investments made by other firms. The report card is always well-received,” she noted.

Other highlights in the ED Report Card include:

  • TBEIC’s bringing nine new companies to Warren through its incubation program, while the Youngstown Business Incubator accepted six new start-up ventures.
  • A $16.7 million increase in exports.
  • $24 million in transportation/infrastructure funding and nearly $27 million in public works funding.
  • Area construction of more than $1.3 billion.
  • Continued work on a $600,000 brownfield assessment grant.
  • Accolades for the Export Internship Program, OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative, Ohio SBDC and TBEIC.

The Regional Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Trumbull and Mahoning counties. Its partners include the Business Resources Network/OhioMeansJobs, CASTLO Community Improvement Corp., the cities of Warren and Youngstown, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Ohio Small Business Development Center and SCORE, both housed at Youngstown State University, Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network, Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, Trumbull County Planning Commission, Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp., Western Reserve Port Authority/Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, Youngstown Business Incubator, and Youngstown State University – Regional Economic Development Initiative.