It is our belief that Youngstown is on the cusp of an urban renaissance.

Young, eager minds have come together to reform the idea of civic engagement. Optimistic entrepreneurs have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into West Federal Plaza and the surrounding streets.

Now, a conglomerate of private and public entities and institutions has reached the tipping point with a $70 million advanced manufacturing hub.

This investment, we believe, will provide incalculable returns because innovation, ideas and strategies aren’t nominal.

It’s an exciting time to be at YSU. In Youngstown. In Northeast Ohio. Instead of continuing to accept our city’s fate, a select few energized individuals took control and redirected its future.

YSU no longer stands for “You Screwed Up.” Opportunities exist at our university that are models for schools across the nation.

No employer will look at your working-class degree and give you a free pass. But that’s a good thing. They’ll know you worked for your education among professionals.

For Youngstown, all of this means the jokes and misty-eyed references to “Steel Valley” may be replaced with a renewed pride in our city.