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YSU center to usher in new manufacturing opportunities

Demolition plans are moving forward on the building at the corner of Commerce Street and Fifth Avenue downtown to make way for a new Mahoning Valley Innovation and Comercialization Center. The training center which will be used by YSU will be constructed by Brock Builders and Diamond Steel Construction. Staff photo / Guy Vogrin

YOUNGSTOWN — Bringing together advanced manufacturing, educational opportunities and workforce development will be the mission of the Excellence Training Center, which is being built at 360 W. Commerce St.

A part of the Mahoning Valley Innovation and Commercialization Consortium, ETC is a project that has been in discussion for more than seven years, according to David Sipusic, executive director of the program.

ETC had been located in the former Mahoning County minimum-security misdemeanant jail, which also is being renovated as part of this project.

The new $12 million, 53,000-square-foot facility is being built using state and federal government funds. Construction began in May and is expected to occur through March 2021. Once the building is completed, approximately $10 million in advanced manufacturing and other equipment is expected to be placed in the facility.

“This project is bringing together people in industry, entrepreneurs, educators and local political leaders in an effort to move the Mahoning Valley foreward by creating educational and manufacturing opportunities it a way that does not exist today,” Sipusic said. “I was around when the steel mills closed and, more recently, when General Motors moved out of Lordstown.”

“We live in an area where people have always been resilient,” Sipusic said. “However, we want to provide opportunities where people can obtain the training needed for the next phase of their lives.”

As a YSU program, ETC will have opportunities in it for those seeking their four-year degrees to be able to take classes and learn on the latest equipment, Sipusic said. It also will have programs for those seeking certifications in specialized skills for their first jobs and those looking at career changes.

Because it will have equipment for the teaching of traditional and advanced manufacturing, 3D printing and other skills. Supusic said businesses will have opportunities to have some small projects done at the center.

“This will be unique in this area,” Sipusic said.

YSU is partnering in the project with several local entities: YSU Research Foundation, Eastern Gateway Community College, Youngstown Business Incubator, Youngstown City Schools/Choffin Career and Technical Center, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull County Career and Technical Centers, America Makes, and the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Association.

Over the past few years, the partners have been engaged at various locations while the plans for the center were in development.

“The partners bring a wide variety of expertise, equipment and resources to the project,” Sipusic said.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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