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YSU picked to lead economic recovery team

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University has been picked to assemble a team to try to reverse the Mahoning Valley’s economic troubles and plan for the region’s growth using $600,000 from the U.S. government.

Joann Esenwein, director of planning for Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, said a committee charged with reviewing proposals for the economic recovery coordinator or team picked the plan proposed by Mike Hripko and Dominic Marchionda in YSU’s External Affairs, Government Relations and Economic Development office.

Eastgate is overseeing the grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency, which still must OK the committee’s selection.

Part of what drew the committee to the plan was incorporating undergraduate and graduate students at YSU, which will partner with Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative at Kent State University.

The selected firm will work with local officials to develop and put into place a plan to help the region recover from the economic downturn, which received a large hit with the closure of the former General Motors plant in Lordstown.

The grant will be matched by $150,000 in local investment. Esenwein said she hopes the team can begin its work around Jan. 1.

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