Youngstown mayor urging Obama to visit Valley after second shout-out

By David Skolnick


Mayor John A. McNally is asking President Barack Obama to visit the Mahoning Valley after the president mentioned Youngstown’s advanced manufacturing facility in his State of the Union address for the second year in a row.

“We truly believe we are a shining example of the incredibly positive things that can happen when the public and private sectors share a common purpose and work together to achieve critically important goals,” McNally, a Democrat, wrote in the letter to the president.

In Obama’s speech, he mentioned America Makes, a $70 million advanced manufacturing hub in Youngstown, as an example of how the United States can “beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

Obama also talked about the facility in his Feb. 12, 2013, address.

McNally’s request comes after Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras started a Facebook campaign Jan. 29, the day after Obama’s address, to get 5,000 likes urging the president to come to the area.

That 10-day effort, which ended Friday, attracted about 1,000 to 1,500 likes — the post was on the party’s Facebook wall as well as others, including Betras’. Betras said the post on the party’s Facebook wall was viewed by well over 5,000 people, which is considerably more than any other post on that page.

Echoing Betras’ statements from last week, McNally said there is much more to the area in addition to America Makes.

“We have it all, and we want you to use it all to demonstrate to the entire nation that we are more than capable of exceeding expectations and achieving greatness,” McNally wrote.

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