Partnership will aid in turning Youngstown green

By David Skolnick

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan left Wednesday for the international climate- control conference.

YOUNGSTOWN — Global Green USA, an environmental nonprofit organization, is going to work with Youngstown to turn this “Rust Belt” city green.

“Given their solid track record of leadership, practical results, and leveraging resources, we are partnering with Global Green to lead a green economic renaissance and to help create a sustainable future for Youngstown,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, who represents Youngstown in Congress and was instrumental in bringing the organization to the city.

Ryan left Wednesday for the climate-control conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ryan plans to tout the new partnership between Global Green and Youngstown at the conference, with the hope of attracting international attention to the effort.

“Congressman Ryan is going to Copenhagen, in part, to showcase this initiative,” said Ruben Aronin, a Global Green spokesman. “He’s there to help gain attention for this concept.”

Global Green, based in Los Angeles, primarily focuses on stemming global climate change by creating green buildings and cities. Most of its work is based in southern California, but it’s been assisting New Orleans for more than four years to rebuild a portion of the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina, said Matt Petersen, Global Green’s president and chief executive officer.

Global Green provides technical assistance helping cities implement energy-efficient programs and develop policies and programs for cities for environmental initiatives, Petersen said.

Among the suggestions is to make public housing facilities and school buildings more energy-efficient and to develop urban farms, he said.

“We will seek to make quick progress on our goals to ‘green’ Youngstown while serving as a model for other Rust Belt cities,” Petersen said.

Global Green brings “expertise and relationships in the green industry to Youngstown,” Mayor Jay Williams said. “They bring credibility with their track record.”

Jack Scott, a former Youngstown resident who runs a technology company in the Salt Lake City area, and the Raymond John Wean Foundation each contributed $25,000 to this program.

Petersen expects his organization to be in Youngstown for at least three years working to transform it into a greener city.

More than $7.6 million in federal funds for green-energy-related projects has come to the Youngstown area for facilities such as the Warren Technology and Business Center for Energy Sustainability, Youngstown State University’s Center for Advanced Automotive Fuels Research, Development and Commercialization, and the YSU Center for Efficiency in Sustainable Energy, Ryan said.

“We are leading the green revolution,” he said. “...Manufacturing is our legacy. Green manufacturing is our opportunity to pull ourselves out of this 30-year economic stalemate.”

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