Young leaders discuss Mahoning Valley’s assets

By William K. Alcorn


Jobs are needed in the Mahoning Valley to make it a more-attractive place for young people to live and work, say those who live here.

“There is not a lot of opportunity,” said Samantha Basile, 25, of Boardman, speaking from experience.

Two years ago, she graduated from Youngstown State University with a master’s degree in museum studies and has yet to find a full-time job in her field locally. Instead, she works two part-time positions at two area museums.

Basile was among some 75 area young leaders and professionals who met Tuesday in the DeYor Center’s Overture Restaurant to discuss the area’s assets and challenges at one of a series of VibrantNEO Conversation events sponsored by the 12-county Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium.

NEOSCC’s goal is to draft a new, practical civic mission for Northeast Ohio — a consensus community plan and the will to carry it out, said Hunter Morrison, NEOSCC executive director.

The Valley has assets as well as challenges, Morrison said. “What I see in the young people here is evidence of the energy in the Youngstown-Warren community,” he said.

Dorothy Facciobene, 32, who grew up and still lives on Youngstown’s North Side, said there is a great foundation here to build upon. As a child, she said she loved to ride down the streets there on her bicycle and play in Wick Park. There also are wonderful architecture and cultural institutions, she said.

The event was an opportunity to sit around a table and exchange ideas and learn from each other and find out what is and what is not working in their communities, said Jeff Anderle, NEOSCC manager of communications and engagement.

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