Economic Development Agencies Along the Lake To River Corridor Partner to Generate Development Opportunities

Mar 16, 2020
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, Columbiana County Port Authority, Columbiana County Office of Economic Development and The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center have come together to generate business growth in the Lake to River Region of northeast Ohio.

Lake To River Corridor 

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, Columbiana County Port Authority, Columbiana County Office of Economic Development and The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center have come together to generate business growth in the Lake to River Region of northeast Ohio.

The Lake to River Corridor comprises Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties, all of which border western Pennsylvania and connect Lake Erie to the Ohio River along State Route 11. The organizations have been working to strengthen the region by pooling their resources—including individual expertise in research, identification of new competitive sites, advocacy, marketing and industry knowledge—and leveraging company relationships.

Greg Myers, executive director of  the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, said, "The Lake to River Partners represent a 100-mile, infrastructure-rich corridor providing manufactures a uniquely competitive region from which to operate and connect with domestic and international markets via the Great Lakes and Ohio River."

The five economic development partners and their teams are communicating on a regular basis to discuss current assets and opportunities, as well as how they can work together to generate more development in their respective areas and support each other in doing so.

Building on a longstanding partnership, more recent conversations have enabled the group to take things to the next level. The partnership recognizes the similarities among the four counties, and because of that, coming together makes sense.

Penny Traina, CEO/executive director of the Columbiana County Port Authority, noted that "Collaboration among our partners in this region will strengthen us all."

With several common driver industries throughout the region, such as automotive, primary/fabricated metals and agriculture, the group is looking to build upon past successes. Sarah Boyarko, COO at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, said, "With a variety of existing supply chain connections in these industries, we're actively working to increase important conversations among the companies located in the region; identify unique ways to attract new investments to our four counties; and target greater growth in industries that include plastics and petrochemicals and electric vehicle production."

The group has begun outreach to companies within targeted industries, as well as national/international site consultants, in an effort to grow multiple supply chains throughout the four-county area. Such joint marketing sends a broader but combined message and presents greater opportunities for companies, should they decide to locate within this footprint.

For more information about the partnering organizations, please reach out to them directly at:

Greg Myers, Executive Director
Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County
440-576-9126  //  greg@ashtabulagrowth.com

Sarah Boyarko, Chief Operating Officer
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber
330-744-2131, ext. 1108  //  sarah@regionalchamber.com

Penny Traina, CEO/Executive Director
Columbiana County Port Authority
330-424-1800  //  ptraina@ccpa-ohioriver.com

Julie L. Needs, Executive Director
The Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc.
330-337-7669  //  execdir@sodcenter.com

Tad Herold, Director
Columbiana County Office of Economic Development
330-424-1800  //  therold@columbianacodev.org