“I don’t believe anything like this has ever happened before in the Mahoning Valley,” said Guy Coviello of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber during a gathering of local community and business leaders Friday.
This isn’t your everyday grant application.
For the the Chamber, the Western Reserve Port Authority, and the Ashtabula and Columbiana County Port Authorities, it’s cause for celebration.
“We are celebrating the fact that this community came together, identified our top priority and reached a consensus on how we tackle that priority,” Coviello said.
Together, they have applied to the Appalachian Community Grant Program.
It would divvy up nearly $160 million of state ARP money throughout our area.
Money they say would set this area on a totally new course.
“What this will do for this community is help us create a quality of life around workforce and healthcare, to be truly transformational so we can grow the workforce, increase the number of people who are retained here,” explained Coviello.
The Youngstown Business Incubator, for example, could make the most of its relationship with America Makes – where Friday’s gathering took place – and capitalize on additive manufacturing. The money could also create a mixed-use community in downtown Warren with the Mahoning River as the centerpiece.
“The process has been ongoing, it’s been challenging, it’s accelerated and we feel we have a real good package of projects moving forward,” said Jim Kinnick of Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.
Projects that could bring a big return on an equally big investment.
“…doing things that will benefit multiple generations to come,” said Coviello.