Eastgate hires 2 to help in COVID-19 recovery

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN — The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments has added a former Youngstown State University administrator and the ex-president / CEO of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber to its staff to help local communities and governments recover from the viral outbreak.

Mike Hripko, former associate vice president for External Affairs, Government Relations and Economic Development at YSU, has a two-year agreement to, in part, identify economic development grant eligible projects with state and federal resources for local communities and serve as a liaison among the local, state and federal partners.

James Dignan, who formerly led the chamber, has a one-year contract to be disaster recovery coordinator, serving as a liaison in identifying potential resiliency, mitigation and economic recovery projects in the disaster-impacted areas.

His responsibilities include implementing economic recovery and resiliency plans and working with local disaster teams in Trumbull, Mahoning and Ashtabula counties to review emergency management plans to prepare a regional pandemic recovery resiliency plan.

The positions are being funded with a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration that also include money for administration and technical support.

Both men will start work next week.

“Their leadership and vision will be an asset to the communities as we all work together to recover from the pandemic,” Jim Kinnick, Eastgate’s executive director, said.

Eastgate is the metropolitan planning organization for communities in three-county region on areas of transportation, water and air quality, land-use planning and local infrastructure projects.



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