New JobsOhio District Will Fully Capitalize on Four-County “Lake to River” Region’s Assets
Marblehead Lighthouse - Lake Erie, Ohio

A newly designated economic development region, Lake to River Economic Development, will benefit not only its four member counties, but the state as a whole, Governor Mike DeWine said in an exclusive interview with the The Business Journal Daily. Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties were previously included in the Team NEO region, which includes 14 additional counties and the cities of Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. The Lake to River counties are connected by State Route 11 “from Lake Erie in Ashtabula to the Ohio River in East Liverpool” in what DeWine called a “distinct” area due to “its proximity to Western Pennsylvania and the existence of its own television market,” the article reports. DeWine said the region’s advantages —Lake Erie, the Ohio River, and its connection between them –– are “strategic assets,” and creating a separate economic development district centered on the Mahoning Valley “made a lot of sense.” He said the leadership in the community “thought they could really leverage their unique assets better and bring more companies here” as a separate district.

Guy Coviello, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren County Regional Chamber, said the creation of the new district is “a fantastic opportunity for the Lake to River counties to really get laser focused on economic development.” Coviello said the chamber will be able to “redirect and expand its focus” to what he called “transformational strategic level initiatives,” including taking advantage of the region’s oil and natural gas from the Utica Shale and technologies including additive manufacturing. A news release from the state said, “Lake to River is dedicated to transforming Eastern Ohio’s economic landscape by fostering growth, innovation, and community development.” In the release, Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, said the creation of the district “is a strategic move that will strengthen economic development across Ohio.” For more, read the full Business Journal Daily article and the full news release.

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