By GRACE WYLER
As General Motors Co. workers migrate to the Mahoning Valley to fill the third shift at the Lordstown complex, local real-estate agents hope they can persuade the transfers to stay.
The Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors and the Warren Board of Realtors have launched a new Web site, MahoningValleyLiving.com, to target potential GM transfers looking to relocate in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties.
The site, the first collaboration between the two boards, provides information on local schools, government, recreation and entertainment, in addition to property listings.
“We want the workers to buy a home and be part of our neighborhoods,” said Steve Ferrebee, president of the Warren Area Board of Realtors. “We want to sell the Valley to them and have them bring their families here.”
The site was the brainchild of Jim Graham, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1112 at the Lordstown complex. Graham approached the two real-estate organizations to come up with a marketing tool to entice GM transfers to relocate to the area.
Transfers will start arriving in May or June, Graham said. Already, 12 workers from Delaware have come to look at the facility and tour the area, he said.
Some workers, particularly those who are close to retirement, will not plan on relocating permanently, Graham said. But he hopes the site will help persuade some workers — and families — to stay.
“If we can capture some percentage of these people, that’s a benefit to us,” Graham said. “That’s one more house in Mahoning or Trumbull County that’s not vacant.”
In addition to the GM workers, the site will help attract other potential homebuyers to the Mahoning Valley market, said David Klacik, president of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors.
“We have so much to offer, in terms of value and affordability,” Klacik said. “We are now showing that to the entire world.”