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Interstate Region Economic Development Guide

Buckle Up

Region lies in heart of Tech Belt corridor

Durable Industry Advanced manufacturing crafts innovation, jobs

Oh-Penn for Business

Collaboration boosts five-county economy

Sponsored by the Oh-Penn Interstate Region | 2011-12

Bridging Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the LindenPointe is located on Route 18, north of I-80’s 376 interchange, with easy access to Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes.

 LindenPointe


There’s no other business park like LindenPointe


LindenPointe is a planned technical park and an exciting development providing unrivalled regional location opportunities. It is a strategic economic development initiative built through a unique public-private community partnership. The “campus like” environment differentiates LindenPointe from other real estate developments. 115 acres are fully improved with street lighting, entry signage, landscaping, buried utilities, high-speed telecommunications and cable at the lot line.

Opening October 2011 The Incubator is committed to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Oh-Penn region by providing education, mentorship and business resources, as well as professional and technical assistance to help new and emerging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) companies to grow and prosper. By fulfilling this mission, the Incubator will create jobs and attract new companies thereby fueling the economic growth and prosperity of the region.

LindenPointe Development Corporation

City of Hermitage (724) 981-0800

Workstyle Oh-Penn for Business


Collaboration boosts five-county economy

Buckle Up!


Oh-Penn capitalizes on its location in the heart of emerging Tech Belt

A Durable Industry


Oh-Penn region forges a reputation in advanced manufacturing

Routes to Riches


Region offers stout transportation system

Natural Attractions


Oh-Penn region offers compelling quality of life
















Economic Profile


Through the Lens




On the Cover The Beecher Center for Art & Technology at the Butler Institute of American Art on the campus of Youngstown State University Photo by Antony Boshier

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l i f e s t y l e | w or k s t y l e | d i g g i n g d e e p e r | v i d eo | l i n k to u s | a d v e rt i s e | co n ta ct u s | s i t e m a p

201 1 Edition , volum e 1 Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Audience Development Director Deanna Nelson Content Coordinator Jessica Walker Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Copy Editor Jill Wyatt Contributing writers John Fuller, Dan Hieb, Betsy Williams


An online resource at

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site guide >> Find available commercial and industrial properties with our searchable database.

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Lifestyle Find out what it’s like to live here and what makes the region such a special place to be.

success breeds success >> Meet the people who set the pace for business innovation.

Office Manager/Accounts Receivable Coordinator Shelly Miller Sales Support Coordinator Alex Marks color imaging technician alison hunter Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen

Dig Deeper >> Plug into the region with links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the area.

Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter, Carla Thurman Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./business Development Scott Templeton V.P./external communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Custom Publishing Kim holmberg V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P./Sales Charles Fitzgibbon, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Controller Chris Dudley Content Director/Travel Publications Susan Chappell

Demographics >> A wealth of demographic and statistical information puts the region at your fingertips.

Workstyle A spotlight on the region’s innovative companies

Content Director/Business Publications Bill McMeekin Content director/ Lisa Battles Marketing Creative Director Keith Harris Distribution Director Gary Smith Executive Secretary Kristy Duncan

guide to services >> Links to a cross section of goods and services special to the region

Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop

Oh-Penn Interstate Region Economic Development Guide is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through West Central Job Partnership. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at

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Five Counties, One Vision Oh-Penn region offers powerful advantages for business growth The five-county Oh-Penn region is a hub of commerce that built on its legacy industries to create vibrant new growth sectors. The region – Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio and Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania – offers numerous advantages that include lower land costs, a deep pool of highly skilled workers, affordable labor rates, ample building and sites, high-caliber higher education institutions and superior transportation assets. Building on its industrial heritage, Oh-Penn has formed a robust advanced manufacturing cluster and emerging technology, life sciences and financial services. The region is poised to be the buckle of the emerging Tech Belt that runs from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, an area that includes 7.2 million people and what in total is the fourth-largest industrial/ technology region nationally. With access to a network of interstate highways, proximity to major markets, and major rail and port capabilities, the Oh-Penn region offers numerous advantages as a 77 center of logistics and distribution. A number of major retailers have distribution operations in the region, and several logistics firms are based there. Columbiana County’s port system handles more than 15 million tons of cargo a year and is the largest on the Ohio River. And Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport offers daily commercial service. The region lies in the heart of the Marcellus Shale, a huge natural gas deposit with a wellhead value of some $1 trillion. The formation is

making the Oh-Penn region a hub for production and distribution of natural gas drilling and delivery equipment. The region includes a burgeoning education and health care component. A centerpiece of higher education is the 13,500-student Youngstown State University, whose offerings include standout programs in engineering, business and computer information systems. A nucleus of top-level health-care providers are investing heavily in the latest equipment, treatments, technology and facilities, and are

among Oh-Penn’s major employers. Nestled between two major metro areas, the region can offer access to big-city amenities and entertainment, and a host of home-grown cultural and four-season recreation attractions. With its housing and overall living costs well below the national average, ease of getting around and a range of lifestyle choices from large cities to small towns, the Oh-Penn region offers an inviting quality of life to match its advantages as a place to grow a business.

West Farmington

Greenville Cortland


M E R C E R Stoneboro


Warren Ravenna

Newton Falls







New Castle

Columbiana East Palestine




Leetonia Canton


New Wilmington Volant


Struthers New Middletown




Youngstown 224






East Liverpool





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Every Day Is Like the Fourth of July New Castle, Pa., bills itself as the Fireworks Capital of America, owing to the presence of two major fireworks manufacturers with long histories in the city. Fireworker Antonio Zambelli ventured from Italy in 1893 to establish the Zambelli Fireworks Manufacturing Co. in New Castle. The family-owned Zambelli Fireworks Internationale’s pyrotechnics have been featured on MSNBC, the BBC, Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. For more on the company, go to In 1920, Constantino Vitale emigrated from Italy to New Castle, where he established Pyrotecnico ( The company produces more than 2,000 shows a year at sporting events, fairs and festivals, musical and theatrical productions, corporate events, weddings and other gatherings in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. New Castle holds an annual fireworks festival in July. Go to for more.

Made Fresh in Boardman Joseph Ghossain came to Youngstown from Lebanon in the 1950s with his wife and four children. In 1970, he and two of his sons started a small bakery in a neighborhood garage with a mere $1,000 investment. Today, Ghossain’s Mid East Bakery in Boardman, Ohio, is still family run, and ships its flatbreads, pitas and other food products to restaurants and grocery chains across the country. From its humble beginnings, the company has undertaken two significant expansions in 1992 and 2004, and today it includes a coffee shop and specialty grocery space. The company has an online store that offers a range of products, including baked and canned goods, coffee, tea, spices and housewares. For more, go to

Full of Bologna – and More One of Columbiana County’s biggest employers brings home the bacon – literally. Fresh Mark has been a fixture in Salem, Ohio, for more than 25 years. The company, based in Massillon, Ohio, produces ham, bacon, lunch meat and other products sold to restaurants, grocery stores and food service operators throughout the country. In 2008, the company undertook a $14 million expansion in Salem that added 100,000 square feet to its facility. The expansion gave Fresh Mark the capacity to employ up to 800 people. For more, go to

P h oto C o u rt e s y of F r e s h M a r k , I n c .


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current history The Erie Extension Canal was the major means of travel from Pittsburgh to the Great Lakes from 1854-1871, a vital link in the transportation system that served the iron industry in western Pennsylvania before the introduction of railroads. The Greenville Canal Museum in Mercer County, Pa., details the history of the canal and includes artifacts and historical information from the canal era. A centerpiece of the museum – located on what was Lock 22 of the canal – is a replica of the Rufus S. Reed, a typical canal boat. For more on the canal and the museum, go to

Where a Reputation Was Forged Iron and steel helped build the Oh-Penn region, and the impact the industry had in shaping the economy and culture of the area is on display at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor. Opened in 1986, the center was designed by renowned architect Michael Graves. It features a number of exhibits that chronicle the region’s labor, immigration and urban history, using videos, artifacts, photographs and reconstructed scenes. Life-size scenes, including a mill’s locker room, part of a companybuilt house and a blooming mill where steel ingots were shaped for further processing, help visitors understand steelmaking and the lives of steelworkers. Go to for more.

Eight Sides to This Story One of Trumbull County’s unique attractions is the Octagon House in Kinsman, Ohio.

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The eight-sided structure was built in the late 1840s and has eight trapezoid-shaped rooms. It is one of only four like it in northeast Ohio.

In addition to its unique design, the Octagon House is also known for being the boyhood home of famed attorney Clarence Darrow, who played a central role in the historic Scopes Monkey Trial that debated the teaching of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in public schools. Darrow lived in the home for 14 years. For more information, go to

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Business Climate

Oh-Penn for Business Collaborative effort boosts business in five-county region Story by John Fuller Photography by Antony Boshier


he Oh-Penn region is using an effective teamwork strategy to promote economic development and investment and grow jobs in a five-county, two-state area. Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties in northeast Ohio, with Mercer and Lawrence counties in northwest Pennsylvania, form a hub of business activity that has built on a long-standing foundation in legacy industries, and a promising future in emerging industries such as technology and energy services. The region’s low cost of living, deep pool of highly skilled workers, ample building supply and low-cost sites, high-caliber higher education institutions and superior transportation assets

form a potent set of advantages. Major interstate routes and rail lines wind through the region, all within easy reach of major cities and Great Lakes ports, and modern commercial airports serve the region’s passenger needs. Leading industry clusters include advanced manufacturing, health care, logistics and transportation. The region is poised to become a major center of technology innovation, aided in part by the presence of technology centers, business incubators and other resources. Oh-Penn is in the heart of the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation that contains an estimated 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – enough to supply the entire United States for years. Energy production and associated

business growth are expected to create numerous jobs and economic incentives in the Oh-Penn region well into the future. Oh-Penn Collaboration Boosts Economy After a generation of economic challenges, the region has more than picked itself up, with ambitious plans to create more opportunities for business investment and job creation, efforts spurred through concerted cooperation and strategic planning by the five counties. “Formation of Oh-Penn has allowed us to pool our resources to benefit economic development in the region,” says William Turner, WIA / One-Stop Administrator for the Trumbull

Top: A training session at the Mahoning County One-Stop, one of the Mahoning and Columbiana Training Association’s facilities

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From left: Oh-Penn collaborative efforts are connecting job seekers with job opportunities across the region; A meeting of the Business Resource Network, a proactive effort to assist companies in the Oh-Penn region

Oh-Penn Region • Population: 680,000 (est.) • Major highways: I-80, I-76, I-79, Ohio and Pennsylvania turnpikes • Major industry sectors: Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 21.3%; Education & Health services, 18%; Manufacturing, 15.9% • Major private employers: General Motors, RG Steel, Humility of Many Health Partners, Infocision, Sharon Regional Health System, UPMC HorizonShenango Valley Medical Center, Ellwood Group


County Department of Job & Family Services. “As we move past this challenging economic period, we are better equipped than ever.” The collaborative effort benefits businesses, job-seekers and the region, says Sam Giannetti, executive director of workforce development for West Central Job Partnership. Noting the region’s highly mobile workforce, Giannetti says one early success has been shared job orders, helping businesses draw potential employees from a greater geographic area. “We are making it easier for our workforce to make the connections for job opportunities and helping them find resources to improve their skills,” Giannetti says. This collaboration is already producing results. A recent study by the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reported that the Youngstown-Warren area had the 35th-best percentage in job increases over a one-year period among the 372 other metropolitan statistical areas of the nation.

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The Business Resource Network a Single Voice for Business The Business Resource Network, a joint effort of the region’s chambers of commerce, workforce and economic development organizations, educational institutions and government agencies, has been particularly effective in helping retain and grow businesses in the region. The BRN reaches out to businesses throughout five counties to learn their challenges and growth opportunities. With that information, the partner organizations of the BRN recommend potential services to help participating companies overcome challenges. “We believe BRN may be one of the best organizations of its kind in the country,” says Bert Cene, executive director of the Mahoning & Columbiana Training Association. “This is a strategic way of serving the 20,000-plus businesses in our region by providing a single point of contact for them to resolve their issues. It’s really a tremendous business retention and expansion tool.”

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Buckle Up for Innovation Oh-Penn region lies in the heart of emerging Tech Belt

Story by John Fuller Photography by Antony Boshier


n economic development strategy taking shape in a corridor that stretches from Cleveland to Pittsburgh is unlocking tremendous potential for the five-county Oh-Penn region. Known as the Tech Belt Initiative, the strategy aims to take advantage of the numerous educational, government, industrial and other innovation assets to transform the economy of the overall region, which numbers more than 7.2 million people. The Oh-Penn region, which sits directly in the middle

of the corridor, is primed to be the “buckle� of the Tech Belt. The Oh-Penn region has bred a number of successful technology firms. Axion Battery in New Castle, Pa., develops advanced batteries and an energy storage product based on its patented lead carbon battery technology. Sovereign Circuits in North Jackson, Ohio, makes printed circuit boards. And the region, through several public-private partnerships, has created an environment to encourage even more growth in emerging technologies.

Left: Youngstown Business Incubator Right: LindenPointe Business Park in Hermitage, Pa.

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LindenPointe: A High-Tech Home Base In Hermitage, Pa., the 115-acre LindenPointe Park is a prime example of this emphasis on technology enterprises. Through state and federal assistance, LindenPointe has formed a private-public partnership to cultivate technology-oriented businesses. In addition to a number of business tenants, LindenPointe has a campus of Butler County Community College, a training and workforce development center and state-of-the-art technical center that includes a business incubator. Businesses currently at the park employ about 100, but that is expected to grow to 5001,000 workers on the campus. The actual number of businesses throughout the region benefiting from the park is much greater, says Larry Reichard, Executive Director of Penn-Northwest


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Development Corporation. “The major projects at LindenPointe have had overwhelming regional support,” says Gary Gulla, Hermitage assistant city manager. “The park helps those companies on campus but also those off campus that use its resources.” Novocell Semiconductor Inc. will be the anchor tenant in the new technical center and incubator. Novocell, which makes memory products for the semiconductor industry worldwide, has been a park tenant since 2006. “A company like ours could locate most anywhere, but this is our home,” says Steven Warner, president and chief executive officer of Novocell. Novocell benefits from tech firms in Pittsburgh, and Warner says he looks forward to helping new firms at the LindenPointe incubator.

Collaboration Equals Innovation at Youngstown Business Incubator The Youngstown Business Incubator has been helping startup software firms in the region for more than a decade. Eight companies employing 360 people are now housed at the YBI in downtown Youngstown. YBI furnishes nearly all the physical assets a new company might need, but provides something even more valuable – expertise. Tenants are required to share their information and knowledge with other tenants. “Imagine 360 people you can count on to help with any aspect of operating your business – that’s a tremendous asset,” says Jim Cossler, YBI chief executive officer. The tenants also have a network of businesses, educational institutions, foundations and government agencies willing to share their expertise.

Tony Deascentis, chief executive officer of via680, has been a YBI tenant with two companies over the past 10 years. His current company helps clients efficiently send and receive information over the internet. “It is tremendously valuable to be part of a community that can help your company accelerate its growth,” Deascentis says. “With the physical needs of my business taken care of, I can channel my investments into developing my product.” Anne Behner, president of Visual Impact Imaging, a software developer for the landscape design industry, says having expertise and resources available at different stages in her company’s development has been a tremendous advantage. “It has helped me build a stronger business model,” she says. “If YBI didn’t exist, I would likely be in some office building

trying to come up with answers myself.” A new technology incubator is planned in Trumbull County, Ohio, with a focus on energyrelated technology startups. The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) is under construction in a former retail business building in downtown Warren. TBEIC, which will provide resources and services to early-stage companies, is a publicprivate partnership between state, federal and regional stakeholders to develop and commercialize advanced energy technologies. “We believe there is a role for us to develop early-stage electrical grid technologies,” says John Pogue, TBEIC chairman. From top: The Youngstown Business Incubator is home to eight companies employing more than 360 workers. Incubator companies can draw on the expertise of fellow tenants.

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A Durable Industry Oh-Penn region forges a reputation in advanced manufacturing Story by Betsy Williams Photography by Antony Boshier


einvention is nothing new in the Oh-Penn region. Businesses and workers proved adept some 30 years ago at retooling following the decline of the steel industry, and the region has done the same in the past decade in response to auto industry downsizing. “Persistence is in our genetic code,” says Mike Garvey, president of M-7 Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio. M-7 Technologies knows a thing or two about persistence and reinvention. Launched in 2004, M-7 Technologies’ roots date to 1918 and the founding

of a family-owned company that produced bronze castings for the U.S. steel industry. M-7 has transformed itself into a national leader in using laser scanning equipment that produces computer images of indoor and outdoor spaces. Designers can take these images and create models for highly advanced production sites or create plans for restoring historically sensitive buildings. Advanced Manufacturing: Building on a Legacy M-7 is part of a sophisticated advanced manufacturing hub

that is building on the region’s historical and emerging strengths in hard materials such as steel, and now electronics, semiconductors, powdered metals and auto production. “Our education providers give our region its edge,” Garvey says. “To be competitive in today’s economy requires a knowledgebased workforce. Competent educational institutions and training facilities are vital to providing that workforce. We have 15 universities in less than an hour’s drive, as well as topnotch vocational and skilled-trade schools and some of the best high

A technician repairs a part at M7 Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio.

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From left: A technician analyzes a part at M7 Technologies; LED lights made by Appalachian Lighting Systems in Elwood City, Pa.

schools in the two states.� That access to a skilled workforce and abundance of training facilities and programs coupled with major transportation assets have made the region a desirable locale for advanced manufacturing. General Motors invested $350 million in its Lordstown Complex in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 2010 to begin production of the Chevy Cruze. The region has also drawn major investment from auto suppliers, including Flauricia, Magna


International and Leetonia’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which designs tire presses and tire-related machinery to serve the auto industry. In Trumbull County, Delphi Packard engineers and manufactures components and systems that together make up the power and signal distribution system of vehicles. In Struthers, Ohio, AstroShapes operates a state-of-the-art aluminum extrusion and finishing operation. RTI International Metals, a producer of titanium used in aerospace

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applications, maintains its research and design center at its Niles, Ohio, complex. Patriot Special Metals built a $64 million specialty steel mill in Mahoning County, Ohio, to make alloys for parts in wind turbines/generators, nuclear reactor components and aerospace applications. Oh-Penn: Business Friendly Michael Dolan II, chief financial officer of Appalachian Lighting Systems in Elwood City,

Pa., also praises the training programs that ensure a skilled workforce. A startup company that specializes in developing and manufacturing high-power, ultraenergy-efficient lighting fixtures, ALS has developed product lines that include next-generation streetlights, warehouse lighting, sign illumination, parking lot and garage lighting, tunnel lighting, indoor office lighting and other specialty lighting systems. ALS is an advanced

manufacturing company that sees benefits from the growth in this industry cluster and the ability of established firms to retool. “We have and are finding more high-tech firms in the region with component production capabilities that are working with us now to provide some of our components,” Dolan says. “Some of these firms presumably used to be feeders of components to the auto industry. They are still here and looking and hungry for

replacement and new customers. Having local vendor partners as part of your supply chain when you are a manufacturer is always better than ones that are long distances away, or even worse, overseas.” “This region has been widely touted as one of the best places in the United States to start a business,” Garvey says. “Good stuff is going on here. We have a very business-friendly environment.” o h p e n n e c o n o m i c d e v e l op m e n t . c o m



Flag-lined streets of downtown Grove City in Mercer County, Pa. Photo by Antony Boshier


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A statue at The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo by Antony Boshier

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Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, Pa. Photo by Antony Boshier


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The Steelmakers by Geroge Segal at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor Photo by Antony Boshier

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Fishing at McConnells Mill State Park Photo by Antony Boshier


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Roth Hall at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. Photo by Antony Boshier

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V&M Star will be investing $650 million in the region.


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A Shale of an Opportunity Giant Marcellus Shale formation holds promise for Oh-Penn economy

Story by Dan Hieb Photography by Antony Boshier


hat oil has done for Texas, natural gas may do for Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Drilling companies are racing to Pennsylvania to tap into the massive Marcellus Shale reserve, a rocky formation thought to hold enough natural gas to meet the needs of the United States for decades. Even with natural gas prices low, the reserve had an estimated value of $2 trillion, according to a 2010 report by Timothy J. Considine of Natural Resource Economics Inc. As drilling companies hurry to build wells, other companies have sprung up or expanded operations in order to support the drilling operations. In Youngstown, that has meant something that had been unthinkable for decades: A new steel plant.

V&M Star’s $650 Million Investment The steel industry powered Youngstown for much of the 20th century. It declined precipitously in the 1970s and 1980s, but Youngstown’s skills didn’t go away. French company Vallourec has operated V&M Star since 2002, at the site of the old Youngstown Sheet & Tube Briar Hill Works. About 450 people currently work at V&M Star, a number that will soon climb to 800 thanks to a $650 million investment in a new seamless pipe-making facility whose customers will include Marcellus drillers. V&M Star spokesman Vince Bevacqua says the community’s skills were a primary factor in deciding where Vallourec would put the new facility, which chairman Philippe Crouzet calls “one of the largest economic o h p e n n e c o n o m i c d e v e l op m e n t . c o m


development projects in all of America.” Construction has created 400 jobs. The plant is expected to produce its first pipe in early 2012, Bevacqua says. V&M Star isn’t the only pipe maker investing in the area. Illinois-based TMK Ipsco, whose parent company is based in Russia, announced in 2010 that it had signed a lease for a building in Brookfield, Ohio, where it planned to build tubulars in support of Marcellus exploration. The $10 million project is expected to create 120 jobs. Massive Investments and Job Growth V&M Star and TMK Ipsco’s confidence is rooted in an

explosion of drilling, particularly in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, just 27 Marcellus Shale wells were drilled in that state in 2007. In 2010, 1,386 wells were drilled – at a cost of $4 million to $5 million each, according to the industrysupported Marcellus Shale Coalition. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry reports that Marcellus Shale activity has already created 141,000 jobs. Nearly 212,000 jobs are expected to be created in Pennsylvania by 2020, according to a Pennsylvania State University study. Aside from drillers and construction workers, the exploration is expected to boost trucking companies,

industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance workers, building inspectors and civil engineers. Drilling-related wages are about $20,000 higher than average for the region, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry reports. Controversy over Hydrofracking The drilling is not without controversy. Many residents have expressed concerns about the effect of “hydrofracking” on water and air quality. The hydrofracking process is what makes natural gas recovery from Marcellus Shale possible. By pumping a mixture of water and sand, as well as a small amount of chemicals, into wells, drillers are able to create

What Is Marcellus Shale? Marcellus Shale is a rock formation that lies beneath parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and northern Virginia. Geologists think it was formed nearly 400 million years ago – before the age of dinosaurs – and that the natural gas trapped inside comes from the remains of ancient sea plants and animals.


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tiny fractures in the shale, releasing natural gas. Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman Steve Forde says the industry is working hard to address concerns, some of which have been stoked by what he says are errors in the 2010 documentary Gasland. “There’s no doubt we need to do a better job of communicating to the public in order to dispel some of the false information out there,” Forde says. “We also need to continue to work in ways that minimize our impact on air, land and water. We have a historic opportunity before us, and if we operate in the best way, that’s going to ensure our success, as well as the communities in which we operate.”

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Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport


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Routes to Riches Oh-Penn region offers integrated air, rail, road and water system

Story by Betsy Williams

A n to n y B o s h i e r


nly one economic development region offers effective overnight ground access to the megamarkets of New York City and Chicago, Ohio’s longest commercial runway and access to one of the Northeast’s busiest ports. Located in the heart of the Pittsburgh/Cleveland Industrial Corridor, which with more than 7.2 million people is the fourthlargest population market in the country, the Oh-Penn Interstate Region boasts some of the most comprehensive transportation assets in the United States. As a result, the region is attracting distribution centers, logistic firms and manufacturing companies. Distribution operations located in the Oh-Penn region include Macy’s, Sears, Toys ‘R Us and Things Remembered. A major distribution operator is the Tamarkin Co. in Youngstown, the only freezer warehouse in the Giant Eagle grocery chain. Approximately 40 trucks leave its 170,000-square-foot warehouse every day, delivering 300,000 cases o h p e n n e c o n o m i c d e v e l op m e n t . c o m


Regional Transportation Strengths • Overnight access to New York City and Chicago • 60 miles from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Cleveland, Ohio • Served by two international and three regional airports • Served by three interstates • Served by Lake Erie and Ohio River water ports

J e ff A d k i n s

• Class 1 Rail provided by CSX and Norfolk & Southern, as well as short-line services

weekly to the company’s stores. FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and Transport America are among the firms with logistics operations in the region. Easy access to I-76, I-79 and I-80, and the location of the Ohio Turnpike and key state routes have drawn more than 500 trucking firms to the region. As an example, Yourga Trucking, founded in 1945, has a fleet of trucks operating out of its terminal located on 25 acres in Wheatland, Pa., a location that provides overnight service to every metropolitan area in the eastern United States and Ontario, Canada. Beyond Roads Moving freight by ground is a boon to the Oh-Penn region, but Tracy Drake, CEO of the Columbiana County Port

Authority, says the diversity of the region’s transportation assets is key to the future. “By 2015, the amount of cargo moved within the U.S. will double that of 2000,” Drake says. “Doubling the amount of highways by that year would be nearly impossible, so other modes of transportation will have to increase their loads. Our region is in a perfect location for alternative modes of transportation including rail, water and air.” Columbiana County’s port system and the Port of Pittsburgh constitute one of the largest maritime cargo centers in the U.S. The port authority operates truck-rail and truck-rail-barge intermodal facilities. The region includes Great Lakes deep water ports, such as the Port of Cleveland.

Ohio’s Longest Runway At 9,025 feet, the YoungstownWarren Regional Airport has the longest runway in Ohio, capable of handling the largest commercial planes. The airport could potentially become a major cargo hub, particularly as space at Cleveland and Pittsburgh airports becomes in short supply. A designated Foreign Trade Zone, YWRA is already generating investment and jobs. The airport industrial park, AeroPark, is home to Fortune 500 companies including Delphi Packard and TimkenLaTrobe. In all, the airport is home to three business parks that serve domestic and international firms. The region is served by CSX, Norfolk & Southern, as well as short-line services such as the Warren & Trumbull Railroad and Youngstown & Austintown Railroad. o h p e n n e c o n o m i c d e v e l op m e n t . c o m



Prognosis Positive Oh-Penn hospitals invest in latest technology, treatments Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier


ake a deep breath and relax because hospitals in the Oh-Penn region are getting better all the time. All of them are investing in the most advanced equipment, technology and facilities for the sake of patient safety and service. In addition, hospitals in the region are involved with impressive procedures. For example, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley now performs more annual pediatric surgeries than any other hospital in Northeast Ohio – some 300 a year. It recently installed new surgical suites, and their surgical team includes pediatric anesthesiologists, specialty surgeons and a child life specialist – all of whom are vital to understanding the unique medical needs and concerns of children and their families. a new ER at jameson Jameson Hospital in Lawrence County, Pa., broke ground in May 2011 on a $16 million, three-story expansion to its Emergency and Surgical Department building on its north campus. When finished in early 2013, it will feature 30 private patient rooms and six operating rooms. “Our current ER gets 40,000 visits a year, but it was built for less volume, so the expansion is much needed,” says Lisa Lombardo, director of public relations and marketing


for Jameson Health System, which oversees the two-campus Jameson Hospital. The current ER has 19 semi-private areas and can accommodate a maximum of 29 patients. “The 30 private rooms will be incredible once construction is completed. Jameson serves Mercer, Butler and Beaver counties in western Pennsylvania, and we are seeing more and more patients every year,” Lombardo says St. Joseph Health Center in Warren, Ohio, offers a full range of primary care as well as diagnostic and therapeutic outpatient services, including a comprehensive cancer center.

Humility of Mary Health Partners recently added new surgery facilities and an urgent care facility that followed the 2007 opening of a $77 million, fourstory general acute-care hospital. The two-hospital UPMC Horizon is now part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system, and came about from the merger of Greenville Regional Hospital and Shenango Valley Medical Center. In addition, Northside Medical Center, Trumbull Memorial Hospital and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital are now united as ValleyCare Health System in the Mahoning Valley region of Ohio.

oh-penn hospital Upgrades Other health-care providers in the Oh-Penn region that are undergoing upgrades include East Liverpool City Hospital in East Liverpool, Ohio, which has replaced its intravenous medication pumps with new Sigma Spectrum “smart” IV pumps that are computerized and provide patients with the latest safety assurance technology. Sharon Regional Health System in Mercer County, Pa., has embarked upon a five-year, $13 million project that will provide comprehensive electronic medical records throughout all of its inpatient services, outpatient services, satellite offices and physician practices.

center of learning Healthcare providers in the Oh-Penn region are supported by a number of academic resources, including the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services at Youngstown State University. Students at Bitonte can enroll in majors such as allied health, clinical laboratory technology, dental hygiene, dietetic technology, exercise science, nursing home administration and respiratory care. “Our fully accredited and widely respected programs prepare graduates for an astounding number of careers in the health and human service professions,” says Joseph Mosca, dean of Bitonte College.

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CSI: YSU Youngstown State University is helping the fight against crime through a highly regarded program that prepares students for a career in forensic sciences. Part of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Sciences, YSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences offers a forensic science bachelor’s degree program. The interdisciplinary program prepares graduates for careers in crime labs, where their work includes interpreting evidence, identifying suspects using DNA and trace blood components, performing drug analysis and toxicological studies, and preparing courtroom evidence. YSU’s laboratories include equipment and technology commonly found in crime laboratories. The program is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. For more information, go to

St. Joseph Health Care Center in Warren, Ohio

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Enrolling Right Along Higher education options are an Oh-Penn advantage Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier


he answer: Butler County Community College. The question: What was the fastest-growing higher education institution in Pennsylvania during the 2010-2011 school year? BC3 boasted an all-time enrollment record of 4,450 fulltime students in 2010-2011, an 18 percent increase over the previous academic year. “Now more than ever before, the time is right for community colleges,” says Nicholas Neupauer, BCCC president. “Community colleges are affordable, accessible and provide quality academics, and Butler certainly embodies that.” Neupauer became BC3 president in 2007 with a goal of making the college a regional institution, and it is. Today, there is a main campus in Butler Township along with satellite campuses at Cranberry in Cranberry Township, Lawrence Crossing in Union Township and LindenPointe in Hermitage. “We have programs geared for students to transfer after being here

for two years, which saves them tens of thousands of dollars during those first two years,” Neupauer says. “Plus we have technical programs that lead directly into the workforce. For example, a new one introduced for the fall 2011 semester is a degree in homeland security, and we also offer degrees for in-demand programs such as robotics and manufacturing.” Multiple Choice The Oh-Penn Interstate Region includes a solid core of colleges and universities that provide students with a range of higher education options. The region’s Ohio section includes Allegheny Wesleyan College, three campuses of Kent State University, Youngstown State University, Northeast Ohio Bible College and Walsh University, while the two counties in Pennsylvania offer academic options such as Grove City College, Penn State Shenango Campus, Thiel College and Westminster College.

Perhaps the centerpiece of the higher education matrix in the five-county Oh-Penn region is the 13,500-student Youngstown State University. Besides preparing students for the hottest of today’s careers, the university also boosts economic development in the region through research and collaborations with public- and private sector organizations. it adds up to excellence For example, students and faculty at YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) work with area companies on new technologies and educational opportunities that create jobs and investment. “Our particular college has chemistry students talking to mechanical engineers on a regular basis, and mathematicians talking to biologists, and so forth,” says Martin Abraham, College of STEM dean. “The college promotes academic interaction between all STEM students, so they can work

Clockwise from top left: Beeghly Hall at Youngstown State University; A student studies in the courtyard at Butler County Community College at LindenPointe; Butler County Community College at LindenPointe in Hermitage, Pa.


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together on projects to support industrial and business needs of the entire Oh-Penn region.” Good for Business Also helping students get ready for careers that will further bolster the economy of the region is YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration. About 1,850 undergraduate business majors and 100 MBA students are enrolled in the college, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The organization accredits only 5 percent of the business schools in the world, says Betty Jo Licata, dean of Williamson College of Business Administration. Licata says thousands of Williamson graduates have gone on to high-paying careers in accounting, advertising, business economics, finance, human resources, international business, management information systems, marketing and public relations. And the college can offer students a chance to experience business around the world. In July 2011, 20 Williamson students traveled to China for two weeks. “They went there to learn about business and the diverse economy in that fast-emerging nation,” Licata says.

Students at Butler County Community College at LindenPointe

Oh-Penn interstate Region Colleges and Universities Columbiana County, Ohio

Trumbull County, Ohio

Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Allegheny Wesleyan University, Kent State University East Liverpool, Northeast Ohio Bible College, Ohio Valley College of Technology

Kent State University Trumbull, YSU Eastwood, Eastern Gateway Community College

BCCC at LindenPointe, Grove City College, Penn State Shenango, Thiel College

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

nearby: BCCC Main Campus,

Mahoning County, Ohio Mercy College of Northeast Ohio, Walsh University, Youngstown State University (YSU)


Butler County Community College (BCCC) at Lawrence Crossing, Westminster College

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Slippery Rock University, Allegneny College, University of Pittsburgh Titusville, Geneva College, Penn State Beaver, Community College of Beaver County, Kent State University, Hiram College

Work in Progress WorkKeys® program to expand into Ohio Walmart is helping all kinds of companies in the region select and develop the best workforces possible. In May 2010, the Walmart Foundation contributed $550,000 for an America Works grant that will be used in the Oh-Penn Interstate Region. The grant’s purpose is to expand WorkKeys® testing from Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania into the three Ohio counties of the Interstate Region – Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull. WorkKeys® is a skillsassessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce. Developed by ACT, WorkKeys® tests an individual on workplace skills and identifies gaps in his or her skill set. “Now more than ever, we are looking for ways to provide opportunities for those who are out of work and facing tough times,” says Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “These grants will support people to gain the necessary life and job skills to obtain long-term employment.”

program, the grant will fund a regional coordinator to help implement and orchestrate the strategic plan of the initiative, and expand into the three Ohio counties and the Business Resource Network. Through the Business Resource Network, the initiative also engages successful businesses in

the region by conducting in-depth, one-on-one interviews to learn about challenges and opportunities facing companies today. Information from the interviews is assessed by BRN partners who present the companies with programs, business incentives and services respondent to those needs.  – Kevin Litwin

Only One of Seven The Oh-Penn Interstate Region award was one of only seven America Works grants totaling $3.4 million awarded nationally in 2010 by the Walmart Foundation. Along with the WorkKeys®

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Natural Attractions Region offers compelling quality of life Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier


f you want to get outdoors, the Oh-Penn region makes it easy. McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County, Pa., is a 2,546-acre expanse that features a deep gorge with a restored watermill and covered bridge at the bottom, which are accessible by motor vehicles via a winding roadway. The park has several hiking trails, along with activities such as whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing. In Mercer County, Pa., Maurice K. Goddard State Park spans 2,856 acres and offers natural beauty, wildlife, waterways and public recreation facilities. Lake Wilhelm is part of the park and is ideal for fishing. Bird enthusiasts will see species such as eagles and osprey. Attractions in Five Counties In the Oh-Penn Interstate Region, quality-of-life attractions are abundant.

The convenient location between Cleveland and Pittsburgh allows Oh-Penn residents easy access to big-city amenities and entertainment, but they can also enjoy a host of home-grown cultural and recreational attractions in Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull, Lawrence and Mercer counties. For example, Mahoning County, Ohio, is home to wineries and the scenic Mill Creek MetroParks. In Trumbull County, Ohio, the W.D. Packard Music Hall draws more than 100,000 people each year for events that run from Broadway touring productions to concerts, ballets and children’s programs. The YoungstownWarren area alone is home to more than 40 museums, including must-sees like the Oh Wow Children’s Center for Science and Technology in Youngstown and the Ford Nature Education Center. Columbiana County attractions include

Clockwise from top left: Phenomena Ridge of Fire by Paul Jenkins at The Butler Institute of American Art in Columbiana County, Ohio; W.D. Packard Music Hall in Trumbull County, Ohio; The Butler Institute of American Art; Paddleboarding and kayaking on Slippery Rock Creek at McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County, Pa.

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the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame, which showcases the region’s noted athletic figures, including the famed Notre Dame football coach. The Butler Institute of American Art, which has locations in Youngstown, Salem and Howland Township, is home to 21,000 pieces of American art, from paintings to sculpture to ceramics, prints and photography. “We have works from artists like Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, and 100,000 people visit us each year,” says Louis Zona, executive director of the Butler Institute. “Our paintings date from 1719 to 2011. It’s a great place to see what Americans have been thinking throughout history.” Sports enthusiasts can watch professional baseball and hockey along with Division I college sports, while avid shoppers can frequent major retail centers such as Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio, and the Grove City (Pa.) Premium Outlets. Downtown districts in communities such as Warren, Youngstown and Sharon, Pa., include unique shops and restaurants. Thankful for Tranquil “We like to say that we’re a tranquil respite for those escaping the big cities of Pittsburgh and Cleveland,” says JoAnn McBride, executive director of the Lawrence County (Pa.) Tourist Promotion Agency. “That’s the way life happens to be throughout this entire region. There is plenty of action and much to do both indoors and outdoors within all the individual counties, and then it’s nice to eventually head home to peace and quiet.”

Clockwise from top left: DeYor Performing Arts Center in Youngstown; Oh Wow children’s science center in Youngstown; William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Niles, Ohio; The Butler Institute of American Art in Columbiana County, Ohio


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A Nice Collection arts, history on display in oh-penn region

P h oto C o u rt e s y of C h r i s top h e r A n t h o n y

The Oh-Penn region is filled with arts, culture and historic attractions. Here are some highlights:

DeYor Performing Arts Center DeYor Performing Arts Center is home to the long-standing Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and is the only Youngstown venue equipped to offer high-end concerts. It also hosts cultural events, plays, comedy shows, family entertainment and fine dining. The center houses the Edward W. Powers Auditorium, Ford Family Recital Hall, Adler Art Academy and the Overture Restaurant.

Warren Philharmonic Orchestra The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, directed and conducted by Susan Davenny Wyner, has been entertaining audiences since 1965. Recently, the Philharmonic was awarded three consecutive two-year grants by the Ohio Arts Council for its excellence in programming. The WPO also partners with Trumbull County Schools to offer programs for thousands of young students annually, which is critical because no schools in Trumbull County offer string music education.

National Packard Museum The National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, features the history of the Packard family, the Packard automobile and

other Packard enterprises. Warren was the birthplace of the Packard, and the museum has collections of automobiles, artifacts and documents to ensure the Packard legacy endures. Automobile manufacturing and assembly continue in Warren today, with GM Lordstown producing the Chevy Cruze.

William McKinley Library The William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Niles, Ohio, honors the 25th U.S. president, William F. McKinley, who was born and raised in Niles. He was president from 1897-1901, and the memorial consists of memorabilia from his early life in Niles, as well as Civil War and SpanishAmerican War artifacts, campaign materials, presidential items and information regarding his assassination in 1901.

Scottish Rite Cathedral The Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, Pa., includes a 2,800seat auditorium that serves as an occasional venue for the Pittsburgh Symphony. Built in 1924, the Cathedral was a historic undertaking from one of New Castle’s most notable figures – John S. Wallace. The Cathedral is 244 feet by 181 feet, and six stone columns each standing 32 feet tall grace the front of the building. – Kevin Litwin

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visit our


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Bruce & Merrilees Electric Company Butler County Community College City of Hermitage


3/22/10 11:40:09 AM

Kent State University at Trumbull Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation

City of Youngstown Economic Development

Penn-Northwest Development Corporation

Erie Business Center South

Sharon Regional Health System

First National Bank

The Nugent Group

Hampton Inn

West Central Job Partnership

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economic profile Population (2010) Mahoning County, OH: 238,823 Columbiana County, OH: 107,841 Trumbull County, OH: 210,312 Lawrence County, PA: 91,108 Mercer County, PA: 116,638 Oh-Penn Region: 764,722

Cost of Living (YoungstownWarren MSA) Composite: 92.1 Grocery Items: 89.8 Housing: 82.9 Utilities: 108.0 Transportation: 94.2 Health Care: 80.8 Misc. Goods/Services: 97.1 U.S. Average = 100 Source: C2ER Q1-2011

Median Household Income (2009) Mahoning County, OH: $39,339 Columbiana County, OH: $38,004 Trumbull County, OH: $40,980 Lawrence County, PA: $42,541 Mercer County, PA: $42,956

Business snapshot The five-county OH-PENN region is a hub of commerce that built on its legacy industries to create new growth sectors. The region’s many advantages include lower land costs, highly skilled workers, affordable labor rates, ample building and sites, high-caliber higher education and superior transportation that provides access to major markets. The region has built on its industrial heritage to form a robust advanced manufacturing cluster and emerging technology, life sciences, financial services and logistics sectors.

Major Employment (Youngstown-Warren MSA) Trade, Transportation & Utilities: 21% Educational & Health Services: 20% Government: 14% Manufacturing: 12% Leisure & Hospitality: 10% Professional & Business Services: 9% Construction & Mining: 4% Financial Activities: 4% Information: 1% Other: 5%



Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport


Columbiana County Port Authority


CSX Norfolk & Southern Amtrak www. Warren & Trumbull Railroad Youngstown & Austintown Railroad


Interstate 76, I-79 and I-80 (includes Ohio Turnpike) and key state highways have drawn more than 500 trucking firms to the region.

What’s Online  For more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on the Oh-Penn Interstate Region, go to and click on Demographics.

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Through the Lens

Get the Story Behind the Photo Now that you’ve experienced the Oh-Penn Interstate Region through our photos, see it through the eyes of our photographers. Visit to view our exclusive photographers’ blog documenting what all went in to capturing those perfect moments. From Our Photo Blog: Oh-Penn Interstate Region The Oh-Penn region is an area that spans the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania. While shooting this magazine, I took two portraits that I am particularly happy with. The first is of Jim Cossler, CEO and chief evangelist of the Youngstown Business Incubator. He is an advocate of writing down ideas on sticky notes ASAP. I feel this portrait does his creative spirit justice … Posted by Antony Boshier

More Online 

See more favorite photos and read the stories behind the shots at


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Ad Index

49 Bruce & Merrilees Electric Company

41 Butler County Community College


2 City of Hermitage

13 City of Youngstown Economic Development

49 Erie Business Center South

6 Penn-Northwest Development Corporation

47 Sharon Regional

Health System

46 The Nugent Group

6 First National Bank

4 Lawrence County Economic Development

at Trumbull

31 Kent State University

17 Hampton Inn

1 West Central Job Partnership

Oh-Penn Interstate Region Economic Development Guide 2011  

The five-county OH-PENN region is a hub of commerce that built on its legacy industries to create new growth sectors. The region’s many adva...

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