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Job drain deepens in Valley, but officials forecast growth soon

Published: Thu, March 11, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.



Ross Sapienza isn’t surprised that unemployment rates are rising again in the Mahoning Valley. He lives it every day.

The 35-year-old Boardman man was laid off from his drafting job at a local metal- fabrication company two years ago and hasn’t found a steady job since.

“There are some leads out there, but they are few and far between,” he said as he looked through job listings Wednesday at the Mahoning County One-Stop in Boardman.

Job-agency officials said better days are ahead for unemployed residents, but they acknowledged that times are tough right now. The local jobless rate is going up, not down.

The state said Wednesday that the unemployment rate for the Mahoning Valley jumped to 14.2 percent in January. It had been 13.4 percent in December and 13.3 percent in January 2009.

“I was shocked at the numbers,” said Bert Cene, director of the Mahoning Columbiana Training Association.

Small job losses at scattered sites are adding up, said Bill Turner, administrator of the Trumbull County One-Stop.

Recently, Denman Tire idled its manufacturing plant in Leavittsburg, and Hollywood Video announced that it was closing several area stores.

“Small places are closing down, and we’re still getting layoffs, cutbacks and closures,” Turner said.

Yet, there is hope at the job agencies.

Jim Rockwell Jr., 27, of North Jackson was at the One-Stop in Boardman to apply for a forklift operator position at Comprehensive Logistics in Austintown. The supplier for General Motors in Lordstown is adding 80 jobs as the auto plant prepares to create a third shift.

Ironically, Rockwell lost his last industrial job two years ago because of GM. He was laid off from a Boardman company that repaired forklifts for GM’s Lordstown plant. As the automaker headed toward bankruptcy, the work was cut.

He’s had two jobs since then but neither has been related to his field of diesel mechanics.

“I know there are jobs out there. I just have to find them,” he said.

Cene and Turner said jobless rates should fall later this year. Besides Comprehensive Logistics, Chester Hoist in Lisbon is looking for 90 workers.

V&M Star in Youngstown is planning to add 350 jobs at a new pipe mill, and TMK IPSCO is creating up to 120 jobs with a plant in Brookfield that will make connections for steel pipes.

“At least we have some light at the end of the tunnel, and the tunnel is getting shorter,” Turner added.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Keep voting for Congressman Tim Ryan & the DemoLIARS and you get NO jobs. He still hans't helped Denman tire wher $3 million kept 230 jobs. The valley politicians are the worst. Vote RepubliCAN in the fall!!!

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2pindrop(21 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Food for thought from the poster above...

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3georgejeanie(1052 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

It is just not you guys in Ohio. Check Florida and you will see the same stats down here. Keep up the good work Obama, and you will have us in deeper trouble. Get off the healthcare and start taking care of the economy, I do not think he realizes, everyone can not work for the government, although I do think he is out to destroy capitalism, and thus destroy the country and setup a nanny state.

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4Harley_Guy(143 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

OK - I'm going against the grain here. This isn't a left or right issue (I lean to the right myself). This is an issue where people won't go out and get a job because they like the benefits from unemployment. I have heard all too often, from friends, eaves dropping during dinner and even on the radio people saying that it doesn't pay for them to get a job, or people say that that job is beneath them. I am constantly walking into places that are looking to hire ... I for one think we shouldn't have extended the unemployment benefits and that people should be forced to get off their a**es and take those jobs that are available. I know I'll get slammed for this post ... keep in mind that I am an educated individual that also lost his job and I did take a job that was "beneath" me. I'm much happier working and trying to make ends meet then sitting around and collecting unemployment...

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5Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago


I agree 100% with you. I also took a job that was way "beneath" me to do what I have to do instead of relying on unemployment. That is the problem, people don't want to take "anything" they want to make what they use to and that isn't going to happen right now.

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6Nunya22(315 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Figures that people on here would still blame democrats and say to vote republican like that will make a difference. Lets just hope that one day things will get better with jobs and healthcare.

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7Pom725(1 comment)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

All I have to say is that there aren't many jobs whatsoever. A lot of the jobs that are available are jobs that are ran by incompetent, tyrannical, manipulative managers. No matter what you do such as coming in to work when scheduled, going to work on time, never causing any problems whatsoever, and doing your job you still get treated like dirt. Even reporting issues to someone higher up still doesn't do anything. How fair is that? It's these managers that runs these businesses that need to know what it feels like to have nothing. What the problem is that these managers think that they can treat anyone like garbage because they know people are looking for jobs and will take anything that managers deal out to them. I for one think what is most important when you work somewhere is the people and customers. If the employees are treated like crap then the business will go down because employees aren't going to care. So, it isn't just that there aren't jobs hiring but the managers that treat employees like scum.

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8AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

It always amazes me that republicans say that government does not create jobs and then in the next breath they blame democrats for not creating jobs.

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9WilliamP(69 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Why is no one commenting on the hilarity of the sign in the background of this story's photo that reads, "Tip #1: Use a pen when filling out job applications." Has Youngstown sunk to the point that this is really needed advice?

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10Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago


You can't be serious? No it's not Youngstown that puts these signs up, it's about every one stop or job place. Get real.


Filling Out the Job Application

1. Use a pen to fill out the application -- dark blue or black ink only. Bring a pencil with you also, in case the employer prefers that instead. Unless someone specifically mentions using the pencil, use the pen.

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11JIMANDERSON(13 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Try living in Arizona. Not only are the instructions in english, they are also in spanish! We have a sherriff out here,Joe Arpaio who goes after the illegals with gusto, so a lot have been leaving the state and also leaving jobs like busboy,Mc Donalds etc but do you think the wellfare folks will apply? No way Jose, at least until the well runs dry on unemployment.

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12WilliamP(69 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

1) The website you posted for reference is for a K - 12th grade school district. I would hope that the target populations differ somewhat. (I think I started sending in typed applications in the 9th grade (1992), but perhaps 10th. Resumes went out by 12th at latest.
2) Ignoring for the moment #1 - Wouldn't know, I've never been in a "job place."

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