By Jennifer Rodriguez
The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and Youngstown State University’s Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) have put together a survey to help better the future of the Youngstown community.
The Mahoning Valley Young Professional Survey is a means of helping the Mahoning Valley grow as a community as well as be competitive as an economy, according to Sarah Wenger, an employee with Eastgate Regional Council.
City University Planning Coordinator Dominic Marchionda said the survey was organized by Wenger and Daniel Bancroft, an intern with REDI.
“We’re doing a lot of great things as a community and that’s great but obviously, there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Marchionda said.
Bancroft said the survey focuses on young professionals in the valley and is used to assess how young professionals fit in the community. He said the results of the survey will be turned into change and action to make the city better business-wise.
The goal of the survey is to find out what about the Mahoning Valley keeps residents here and why some choose to leave, Wenger said.
“We are trying to find out why people are here or why they moved away,” Wenger said. “The results will be used to create a memo about the outcome and use the info to create a strategy on how to better retain and attract talent.”
Wenger said the survey came out of a discussion with the chamber and port authority, after recognizing a challenge for the Mahoning Valley to grow as a community. She said Youngstown had the lowest number of education attainment out of 13 cities looked at.
According to Bancroft, the survey is open to the public but also has focused on specific demographics. He said large businesses, YSU students and faculty as well as other colleges like Kent State University and Eastern Gateway Community College have been asked to take the survey.
The survey will be accessible for all of September and should be closed by Oct. 1. It can be taken at this website, http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3693914/Mahoning-Valley-Young-Professional-Survey.