Bright Spots Shaping the Valley's Transformation:
Economic Development Stories of 2009
VXI Global Solutions
In October 2009, Los Angeles-based VXI Global Solutions began a $4 million renovation of 31,000 square feet of downtown Youngstown’s 20 Federal Place for its inbound sales and customer care call center. As of December, 250 customer service representatives had been hired, half of the 500 total employees VXI expects to staff in 2010. VXI’s management is currently discussing expansion plans in Youngstown to meet its rapid growth in business, which could increase their employment goal for 2010 by 250 additional people.
Reinforcement Systems LLC
Reinforcement Systems broke ground for construction of their new manufacturing facility in the City of Warren this past December. The Company, which manufactures custom welded wire reinforcement used in concrete structures, will invest up to $28 million to build a 72,000 square-foot facility and create 65 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $2.9 million. The firm’s owners, Mark Marvin, a former Warren resident now living in New Mexico and Bill Gallenz of Allentown, Pennsylvania, acknowledge the extensive research that went into choosing the right location for their new facility and the road that led them back to Warren, Ohio.
Dearing Compressor and Pump Company Expansion
Dearing is in the process of adding approximately 56,000 square feet to its current Boardman operation. Once complete, the expansion is expected to allow for the addition of new jobs to support a current skilled workforce of about 90 employees. Dearing's location in the Mahoning Valley is an asset to the company relative to natural gas reserves located in the nearby Appalachian region.
Landlocked in its existing location, McHenry Industries invested more than $4 million in a new 38,000 square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on Victoria Road in Austintown. Once the new facility is fully operational, the wholesale sign manufacturer expects to hire at least 15 new employees over three years. The company acquired sufficient land for future expansion, as well.
Patriot Special Metals
The company — formerly known as Republic Special Metals — is nearly complete with Phase One expansion plans at its new North Jackson specialty metal facility. Patriot has invested more than $70 million in this project. Production is scheduled to start the first quarter of 2010. This modern specialty steel manufacturing facility features a high degree of automation and requires a highly skilled workforce to operate.
General Motors Lordstown Complex
In 2009, GM-Lordstown invested $350 million in improvements to its facility to prepare for the 2010 production of the Chevrolet Cruze. The highly-anticipated vehicle, which will be sold globally, is a centerpiece in the the company's worldwide manufacturing footprint.
Gearing up for the new Chevrolet Cruze, Comprehensive Logistics plans to invest over $6 million to provide both assembly of components and “Just in Time” distribution services to GM Lordstown. In support of this, the State of Ohio pledged $5.3 million in financing from both the Ohio Enterprise Bond Fund and the 166 Direct Loan Program.
V&M Star’s Proposed Expansion
V&M Star’s proposed expansion of its local seamless steel tube manufacturing plant attracted much media attention throughout the year. This proposed project, with an estimated value of approximately $1 billion and a construction impact in the range of 1.2 million square feet, was the catalyst for a cooperative land development agreement between the cities of Youngstown and Girard. Development on a 193-acre site as already started with the help of $20 million in federal and state funds.
V&M Star’s New Bag House
Almost lost in the “big news” concerning efforts land V&M’s previously noted proposed expansion was the fact that the company built a new bag house in 2009. With an approximate value of $20 million, huge cranes could be seen from U.S. 422 and State Route 711 as this new system, which enhances how the company currently captures operational emissions, was erected.
Renovations were wrapped up on Downtown Youngstown’s vacant Semple Building. As a result, this 25,714 square foot building supports the growth of Turning Technologies and the Youngstown Business Incubator. Rebirth of this empty and long underutilized structure is a catalyst for innovation and business collaboration.