Press Releases

Regional Chamber Applauds Lake to River, Announces Shift of Economic Development Work

Apr 25, 2024
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber today applauded Gov. Mike DeWine and JobsOhio for the creation of the Lake to River Foundation, Inc., calling the seventh and final JobsOhio region a game changer for the Mahoning Valley.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber today applauded Gov. Mike DeWine and JobsOhio for the creation of the Lake to River Foundation, Inc., calling the seventh and final JobsOhio region a game changer for the Mahoning Valley.

The Regional Chamber announced an expansion of its role in economic development by directing more resources toward strategic, transformational initiatives that will condition the landscape for the region’s future and sustained economic growth. The Chamber also announced that it will work as closely with Lake to River as it did with Team NEO, the organization that currently represents the region in the JobsOhio network. 

“We had tremendous success working with the talented staff at Team NEO,” Regional Chamber President & CEO Guy Coviello said. “Our new partner, Lake to River, more precisely overlaps our service area so together we can better align with our region’s opportunities and challenges.”

Among those opportunities are additive manufacturing technology, an abundance of oil and natural gas in the Utica Shale and the Valley’s stake in electric, autonomous and connected mobility, which Coviello says give the region a sustainable, competitive advantage to grow the economy.

“This game-changing announcement allows the Regional Chamber and its many partners to focus their attention on altering our economic development landscape to capitalize on a generational opportunity for growth that surfaced over the last four years,” Coviello said. Among the challenges, he added, will be growing the population, increasing the housing stock and public policies that result in more shovel ready sites for commercial and industrial development.

The expansion of the Regional Chamber’s economic development role will include:  

Continuing to work on the Regional Chamber’s talent retention, expansion and attraction initiative to grow the Valley’s workforce;  

  • Promoting the region as an ideal place to live through highlighting tremendous assets like Mill Creek Park, Mosquito Lake and the Valley’s art and cultural industry;  
  • Implementing a Valley-wide housing plan to create more attractive housing options to absorb growth;  
  • Creating coalitions and programs to help historically less-resourced individuals break down barriers to employment;  
  • Forming new partnerships with economic development organizations, specifically in western Pennsylvania, to capitalize on shared assets and solve shared challenges;  
  • Continuing to develop future generations of leaders through programs such as Leadership Mahoning Valley, Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley and programs for young professionals;   
  • Assisting non-profits that provide critical services for the community through the Regional Chamber’s new Center for Non-Profit Excellence;  
  • And, working with partners such as the Western Reserve Port Authority, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Valley Partners and the Youngstown Foundation, to ensure that the Valley Vision initiative is successful.

 “We have long advocated for this JobsOhio partnership and look forward to improving our economic development landscape so that Lake to River can be abundantly successful,” Coviello said. “We are one Valley with one vision focused on growing our economy and improving our quality of life."

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