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History shows area’s focus on future

DEAR EDITOR:

These are challenging times we are facing in the Mahoning Valley. Numerous individuals, companies and also communities will be reflecting and planning for the future over this Christmas / New Year period.

Economically, there has been a very large dark shadow cast over us, but within our valley we have many outstanding industrial leaders, the new state-of-the-art Lordstown Energy Center and prospering and thriving Vallourec and Arconic, to name just a few.

One of the greatest assets and an engine of growth that generally is overlooked by the general public is the Youngstown Business Incubator and America Makes. Their recent National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute MMX 2018 conference held at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown attracted the nation’s leaders in additive manufacturing from both the government and industry. Prior to the MMX conference, I attended a tour of American Makes Center that was expertly conducted by Ashley Martof. Since printing my first 3D object on a Stratasys FDM in 2002 at the newly open Kent State University at Trumbull Workforce Development Center, I have watched with keen interest the evolution of this technology. I see many development parallels between additive manufacturing and computer-aided drafting, or CAD. I was truly blessed to be selected as one of the nation’s first trainers of CAD (CADAM) in the early 1980s at Wean United in Warren. At the time, the newly released CADAM cost well over $90,000 per seat, including the IBM 4341 mainframe. By the late 1980s, the IBM RT (RISC)-based CAD system I utilized was down to $25,000 per seat.

Later, the cost of obtaining and maintaining a CAD workstation was reduced to a mere fraction of the above-mentioned prices when I instructed at Youngstown State University and in the Warren City School System at Warren G. Harding and Warren Western Reserve. At Western Reserve, where I graduated, the guidance of the principal, Cliff Johnson, was greatly beneficial and appreciated, along with the leadership provided by Robert Faulkner Sr. in association with the Ohio College Tech Prep program.

GEORGE SHAY, PE

Newton Falls

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