Are 300 jobs coming to Youngstown?

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By Burton Speakman


A California company is considering opening a location in downtown Youngstown that could bring 300 jobs here over three years.

Long Beach, Calif., based-Network Solutions Provider would join VXI and Turning Technologies as the only companies to either start a business or announce the addition of more than 100 jobs downtown in the last five years.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Tuesday approved a 60-percent, six-year credit with a total value of $947,000 for Network Solutions Provider, according to information from the office of Gov. John Kasich.

The total investment in the project would be $7 million, according to a statement from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. Annual payroll for the company in Youngstown would be about $12 million.

“NSP has been contemplating an investment in the Mahoning Valley for a number of years. We hope that today’s award from the TCA will encourage them to pick downtown Youngstown as their next location to create jobs,” said Sarah Boyarko, the Regional Chamber’s vice president for economic development, North America.

NSP offers pricing, product information and consultation for telecommunication equipment and Internet services.

According to Inc. Magazine, NSP has grown by 867 percent in the past three years and added 22 jobs in 2013. The company had revenue in 2012 of $7.9 million.

Company CEO Phillip Walker could not be reached to comment Tuesday.

A location here would include some elements of a call center, but also would have information technology staff, engineers and consultants based here, Boyarko said.

The chamber has been working with NSP for a couple of years.

NSP also would receive assistance from the Mahoning County One-Stop for workforce services and job training, she said.

“It would be a significant investment toward getting the local workforce trained,” Boyarko said.

NSP is also talking with Youngstown’s economic development office about additional assistance to support its pending investment, Boyarko said.

The company has had initial talks with the city, but it’s still too early to know what it is proposing downtown, said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s director of economic development.

“We’re going to need to have additional meetings with them to see what they are proposing,” she said.

It is possible NSP waited until it received the state tax incentives before moving forward with the city, Woodberry said.

The chamber will set up another meeting soon between the company and the city to continue the process, Boyarko said.

She acknowledged that things are still up in the air whether the company will end up locating to Youngstown.

“Hopefully we’ll start the year with a good announcement,” she said.

Richard Mills, downtown property owner and developer, said anything that brings additional jobs to the downtown will benefit the other businesses located there.

“I’m all for it. I’ll do anything I can to encourage it,” he said.

In addition to the credit for NSP, the TCA approved another credit for H.J. Heinz Co. in Massillon and Fremont.

The global-based food company is expected to create 275 full-time positions generating $6.5 million in additional annual payroll and retaining $37.8 million in current payroll as result of the company’s expansion project in both cities.

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