Cafaro Foundation gives $100K to chamber

By Burton Speakman


The Cafaro Foundation has provided a $100,000 grant to the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber to support attracting new business and help current businesses expand in Trumbull County.

“The chamber has been a strong and effective force in our local economy,” said William A. Cafaro, a Cafaro Foundation trustee. “We want to make sure the development specialists there have the proper resources to bring even more jobs to Trumbull County.”

There have been a lot of efforts toward economic development in Mahoning County recently, said Joe Bell, Cafaro Co. spokesman. The grant was to help provide some emphasis toward economic development in Trumbull County.

“The chamber has definitely done a good job in the last few years in business development in the area. We just want them to have the resources they need,” Bell said.

The chamber needs to have the ability to both recruit new business and provide the support and information that existing businesses need to expand and stay relevant, he said.

The Cafaros always have been supportive of the chamber’s mission, said Tom Humphries, the Regional Chamber’s president and CEO.

“There is a growing demand [for assistance] regarding shale in Trumbull County with BP and the industry in general,” he said. The chamber’s goal will remain to showcase the entire area to potential customers and serve their individual needs, Humphries said. The projects the chamber has worked on the past few years have been evenly distributed between Trumbull and Mahoning counties. A lot of that is due to V&M Star’s straddling both counties.

“This really will go a long way toward helping us continue our mission,” he said.

The second grant for $25,000 will establish a scholarship at Kent State University. The Cafaro Foundation Endowed Scholarship will be awarded each year to one student in Kent State’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. It is specifically intended to assist low-income students from Trumbull County.

This scholarship is based on the experience of Phyllis Cafaro, Cafaro Co. vice president of marketing, a foundation trustee and wife of Anthony Cafaro Sr., former company president, who attended Kent State when she was younger but ran out of money, Bell said.

“She wanted another young student interested in fashion design and merchandising to have that opportunity,” he said.

The Cafaro Foundation is a charitable entity established by the Cafaro family in memory of William M. Cafaro, founder of the Cafaro Co., a Youngstown-based real- estate development and management company.

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