111 projects led to $1.1 billion in investment in the Valley


By Kalea Hall

khall@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A natural-gas power plant and a chill-can plant are among the 111 area projects economic development agencies worked on in 2016 that they say resulted in $1.1 billion of new investment, 1,253 new jobs and 3,092 retained jobs.

“It was a good year, overall,” said Sarah Boyarko, senior vice president of economic development for the Youngs-town/Warren Regional Chamber, one of the economic development agencies.

Other agencies that compiled the Youngstown/Warren, Ohio Economic Development 2016 Report Card include OhioMeans-Jobs, the cities of Warren and Youngstown, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University.

The Lordstown Energy Center project was the largest announcement made last year.

Clean Energy Future LLC of Boston is constructing an $890 million natural-gas power plant in Lordstown. This year, the company announced it would build a second power plant with construction starting in 2018.

Another noteworthy project is the development of the West Coast Chill plant in Youngstown. The project is valued at $20 million. Joseph Co. International, creator of the world’s first self-chilling beverage can, is opening the beverage technology center on the lower East Side.

Also in 2016, the chamber worked to promote available sites for potential development with the SiteOhio Program. The goal of the program is “to increase the state’s portfolio of available industrial, manufacturing and commercial locations,” according to the Ohio Development Services Agency. The chamber submitted 40 sites, received feedback on those sites and resubmitted five of those sites to be considered for the program. The sites have to meet certain criteria to be considered.

“It’s truly a marketing opportunity to talk about the best of the best in Ohio,” Boyarko said.

This year, the chamber staff has managed $30.58 million in total new investment that will lead to 131 new jobs.

One of those new investments is at the Anderson-DuBose Co. on Tod Avenue Southwest in Lordstown. In April, the Trumbull County commissioners approved a 10-year tax abatement that will enable the company to build a 55,000-square-foot addition and hire 20 additional full-time employees. The expansion at the distribution center, which provides paper and food supplies to 500 McDonald’s and Chipotle restaurants in four states, will cost between $9.4 million and $15.3 million on the expansion, according to Vindicator files.

The chamber says there’s $2 billion in pending investments expected to be announced in the next 12 to 24 months.

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