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Ivanka Trump, Ben Carson to visit Youngstown

Will discuss workforce development, opportunity zones

WARREN — Ivanka Trump and Ben Carson are coming Monday to Youngstown.

Local officials are expected to attend some or part of the three-stop tour, including Trumbull County Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa, who said he is looking forward to hearing what the adviser to the president and the U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development have to say about workforce development and opportunity zones.

The tour is expected to stop 1 p.m. at City Machine Technologies Inc. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Youngstown, 2 p.m. at the Youngstown Business Incubator and 3 p.m. at Stambaugh Auditorium.

A roundtable discussion at the auditorium will focus on workforce development and opportunity zones.

Scott Turner, the White House opportunity zone revitalization council executive director, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, are expected to attend as well.

“I look forward to welcoming Ivanka Trump and Secretary Carson back to the Mahoning Valley to discuss the benefits of opportunity zones and how they can help spur economic development and job creation in low-income communities. In addition, I look forward to discussing my JOBS Act and the White House’s support for this legislation, which would expand Pell eligibility to cover short-term job training programs so that Ohioans can get the skills needed for the jobs available today,” Portman said.

Lauren Johnson, manager for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber’s 422 project and business development, said the chamber also is launching a Mahoning Valley investment prospectus Monday — “a key part of our marketing strategy as we work to bring additional investment into the Mahoning Valley’s 15 designated opportunity zones,” she said.

“We are so pleased to host Ivanka, Secretary Carson, Sen. Portman, and Director Turner in the Mahoning Valley, and we look forward to a great conversation about how the opportunity zone tool can support our community’s ongoing efforts in economic and workforce development,” Johnson said.

Opportunity zones were created in the 2017 federal tax bill. Investors can create opportunity funds and move capital gains to the funds to invest in property and businesses inside the opportunity zones.

In addition to a tax deferral lasting up to 10 years, 10 to 15 percent of the tax that would have been owed will be reduced if certain conditions are met.

Several of the opportunity zones exist in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

In Trumbull County, four of the designated tracts abut each other in Warren, including the downtown area. In the northern tracts, parts of the Golden Triangle area are included; in the southern tracts, the industrial area stretching around Pine Avenue SE is included.

The fifth tract in Trumbull County begins south of Robbins Avenue in Niles and extends south, west of U.S. Route 422, covering much of central Girard and ending at the border with Mahoning County, where a separate Mahoning County tract begins.

The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and others, including Trumbull County grants manager Julie Green, identified the tracts most likely to be accepted and to benefit from the designation. The tracts had to qualify as low-income areas, or be adjacent to low-income areas.

The tracts were selected after the officials made suggestions to the governor, who sent them on to the federal government for the final designations.

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