America Makes draws more than 350 to Youngstown for two-day event

By Jordyn Grzelewski


Organizers of America Makes’ annual Members Meeting & Exchange (MMX) say the two-day event, which runs through today, is a chance to show off the city and highlight the region’s role as a leader in additive manufacturing.

“It brings focus to this region as the hub of this technology,” said Scott Deutsch, brand and communications manager for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, which manages and operates America Makes. “We want to be thought of as the Silicon Valley of 3D printing, and I think events like this amplify that.”

America Makes, based in downtown Youngstown, is an additive manufacturing hub tasked with accelerating the application of this technology in the U.S. It works with member organizations in various sectors on additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology research, discovery, creation and innovation.

The event, which drew more than 350 attendees, kicked off Tuesday at Stambaugh Auditorium with remarks from Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown; a video message from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland; comments by Rob Gorham, America Makes executive director; and a keynote speech by Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel.

Tressel shared some qualities he believes are important to achieve success: work ethic, talent, curiosity, resilience and – on the top of his list – selflessness.

Tuesday’s lineup also included U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and representatives from Ford Motor Co., the Department of Energy, Columbiana-based Humtown Products and others.

Today, attendees are slated to hear from speakers from the Federal Aviation Administration, Carnegie Mellon University and the Youngstown Business Incubator, to name a few.

In addition to the discussions about additive manufacturing that are taking place, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which helped organize this year’s event, said MMX is an opportunity to show off Youngstown and perhaps inspire those who attend to look at business opportunities here.

“Maybe if some of them are looking for opportunities, this lets them know about Youngstown and how the chamber can make those connections,” said James Dignan, chamber president/CEO.

MMX participants had a chance to experience the city during an event at Whistle & Keg downtown Monday night, then at a networking reception Tuesday at the Butler Institute of American Art on Wick Avenue.

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