By Kalea Hall
A Youngstown businessman announced an effort that could bring 1,500 jobs with primarily Fortune 500 companies to the Mahoning Valley.
The success of America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, has led to plans for a 21st-century business park, according to a local company executive.
Mike Garvey, president of Youngstown-based manufacturing company M-7 Technologies, said during a Brookings Institution panel discussion Wednesday in Washington, D.C., on regional manufacturing hubs that the architecture and building plans are underway for the park that would be in Youngstown.
Since the announcement he made at the panel, Garvey refused to comment further on the park that would, Garvey said, “colocate the value chain suppliers of 3-D printing so that we can compress the technology intersection between the different contributing technologies that result in the final product of 3-D printing.”
“I know everyone is interested, but we just want to keep our eye on this project,” he said.
“I think that one of the biggest successes of the Youngstown hub is the attracting of private investment,” he said. “We will be building this park in Youngstown with about 15 innovation centers populated primarily by Fortune 500 companies, and each center will have approximately 100 employees.”
America Makes is the first manufacturing hub set up by the president’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. America Makes focuses on design, materials, technology and workforce to help U.S. businesses grow in the capabilities of using 3-D printing or additive manufacturing. It’s located on West Boardman Street.
“That is substantial growth, and it is going to allow the U.S. to retain the fertilizer to innovation where we will have the design and manufacturing and the commercialization centers,” he said.
Ed Morris, director of America Makes, was also a part of the Brookings panel.
He said geography matters, and that is why regional hubs are needed, and Youngstown has “just an incredible energy” with manufacturing.
Garvey reiterated that location matters for the hubs.
“This [business park] is natural growth, so we are very excited to be the test kitchen for this,” he said. “We take the responsibility seriously.”
The moderator of the panel discussion, Darrell West, vice president and director for governance studies at Brookings and founding director for the Center for Technology Innovation, said: “That’s good, because all eyes are on Ohio.”