YOUNGSTOWN, OH — On February 9, 2023, Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown applauded Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for proposing that the state invest $150 million in innovation hubs to bolster economic development and announced a partnership to pursue a hub anchored at America Makes.
“The City of Youngstown, in partnership with many organizations already excelling in research and technology to advance workforce development right in our downtown, is ready to compete for these funds and play its part in propelling Ohio’s economy,” Brown said. “Hopefully, our work here in Youngstown is strong enough to consider us for this type of state investment.”
Brown was referring to America Makes, which is already designated the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, all downtown, as well as many other private-sector institutions and corporations from around the country, focused on additive manufacturing research, technology, and workforce development.
“We already have a good partnership with the state and a track record of success for developing the additive manufacturing workforce,” America Makes Executive Director John Wilczynski said. “Additive is revolutionizing how we make parts for the auto industry, medical products, and the vast defense industry. We’d be honored if the state considered us.”
The Governor’s proposed two-year operating budget includes funding for innovation hubs to expand the workforce in research and technology, something America Makes has been doing for 11 years. Learn more: Why an innovation center at America Makes?
Regional Chamber President & CEO Guy Coviello, YBI Executive Director Barb Ewing, State Rep. Lauren McNally, and Humtown Products President & CEO Mark Lamoncha joined Brown, Wilczynski, and many others in touting the advantages of placing an innovation hub in downtown Youngstown. Collectively, they made these points:
- The Columbus-based Ohio Chamber Research Foundation recommended that Ohio create an innovation center in Youngstown anchored at America Makes and focused on advanced manufacturing, with a special emphasis on additive manufacturing.
- America Makes already manages a $400 million research and development project portfolio.
- America Makes already serves as the only additive manufacturing hub of innovation for the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Corporations around the state and nation are part of America Makes’ membership and invested in accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing to boost the U.S. manufacturing industry.
- Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing how the world makes products, including 3D-printed homes and 3D-printed aircraft components. Ohio can gain a stronger foothold in a more technology-focused economy through these evolutions.
“Not only does this make good economic development sense, but by investing in our urban core, we can continue to make progress closing glaring disparities in educational attainment, income, and health outcomes,” Coviello said. “Whether or not an Ohio innovation hub lands in Youngstown, thanks to the Governor, our economic development ecosystem is now re-assessing how we’re capitalizing on this incredible asset called America Makes.”
“Securing an additive manufacturing innovation hub in Youngstown is one of my top legislative priorities, and I’m grateful the Governor is willing to make these investments in the state,” McNally said. “I strongly support this innovation hub concept, and I know that the hardworking people of the Mahoning Valley and America Makes are best suited to bring this concept to life.”
“We are one of the leaders in the world in starting and growing companies in additive manufacturing,” Ewing said. “We are already attracting companies here from other states and other nations. An innovation hub would certainly propel the entire state.”
“Our business, and many others around the world, have grown substantially by adopting additive technology, and we would all benefit from an innovation hub anchored by America Makes,” Lamoncha said. “Our Governor recognizes the importance of research, technology, and a well-trained workforce. I applaud him for his forward thinking.”