Valley senators join state delegation working group

Jun 09, 2015
The Valley’s two state senators – Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman – along with State Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, have added their influence to the Valley State Delegation Working Group.
The Valley’s two state senators – Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman – along with State Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, have added their influence to the Valley State Delegation Working Group.

The Working Group was formed in January by the Valley’s four state representatives and the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber in an effort to identify and advance the community’s legislative priorities during the 2015-16 Ohio General Assembly. The group consisting of State Reps. Ron Gerberry, D-Austintown, Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta, Michael O’Brien, D-Warren, and Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Guy Coviello identified workforce development, drug addiction (especially as it relates to workforce development), Ohio’s Common Core education standards, and preparing Valley communities for the possibility of a state capital budget as well as a state capital budget for the arts as priorities.

“Including two of the most experienced state senators in the General Assembly in our group will certainly help us advance our common goals,” Coviello said. Cafaro was appointed in November of 2006 and sworn in in January of 2007. Schiavoni was first elected in 2009. Both senators served stints as minority leaders.

“Since becoming a member of the Ohio Senate I have made it a priority to work with our local chamber,” Schiavoni said. “I look forward to continuing this collaborative effort to support and grow the business community in the Mahoning Valley.”

Added to the group’s priority list is ensuring adequate infrastructure to support emerging opportunities in agriculture and food manufacturing, processing, warehousing and distribution.

“Collaboration between local, state and federal leadership and the local business community will only further drive the Mahoning Valley's future competitiveness, prosperity and quality of life,” Cafaro said. “I have enjoyed working closely with the Regional Chamber over the years and look forward to continued partnership."

Recognizing recent growth and future opportunities in the food processing industry, the Regional Chamber and the Ohio Farm Bureau have spent more than a year defining a partnership and strategy to better serve the industry, including more than 7,000 northeast Ohio farms. In the past three years food-related industries have invested nearly $50 million in the Valley and they now make up 7.5 percent of all manufacturing jobs here. There are 41 food-related companies whose employees have an average salary of $16.24 per hour.

The partnership includes farm bureaus representing, among others, farmers in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

“With Rep. Ginter we have bipartisan cooperation which is necessary to get more accomplished for the Valley,” Coviello said. Ginter is in his first term.

“I look forward to working with the Working Group of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber on the vital issues that impact the lives of everyone in the Valley, regardless of party affiliation,” Ginter said.