Youngstown: An “Employee Friendly” City

Graphic by Corin Miller/ The Jambar.

By Alyssa Pawluck 

Graphic by Corin Miller/ The Jambar.
Graphic by Corin Miller/ The Jambar.

In a recent article in Global Trade Magazine, Youngstown was ranked as one of the top 10 “Employee Friendly” cities in the United States.

The Youngstown-Warren region has brought in 224,900 jobs just from industry alone since 2013.

“That’s an awesome standing. Number 10 in the nation compared to all the other areas. That’s an outstanding rating,” Mousa Kassis, international trade adviser of the International Trade Assistance Center at Youngstown State University, said.

Kassis said Youngstown has brought in businesses that have been expanding rapidly throughout the city, along with the movement of the Marcellus Shale Industry into Youngstown.

“When we look at this area, we look at Youngstown as a smaller city, but rather, I look at Youngstown as a larger metro area, and if we put it into that context, I think the possibility of growth for the city and the region is tremendous,” Kassis said. “There’s more manufacturing in this area, precision machinery, the shale industry. All of this is positioned in this area to really have a real sustainable growth for a Bronx type area.”

Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts, One Hot Cookie and Kiraly Tool and Die Inc. are just a few of the many businesses downtown that have been expanding and will create new jobs for employees, according to the Office of Economic Development in Youngstown.

Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts entered into a renovation agreement with the city of Youngstown, and the business intends to create 42 new jobs within three years.

Christian Rinehart, owner of Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts and O’Donold’s Irish Pub and Grill, said his decision to open his two businesses downtown was because of Youngstown’s recent economic revitalization.

“I’m from Trumbull County, originally, and I’ve lived in other cities: Columbus, Syracuse, Atlanta. So I’ve lived in real cities and I love city living, and I really saw all the opportunity in Youngstown for that revitalization. With the local movement going on, people don’t want to have to drive as far, or try to keep their footprint smaller. So I thought downtown was the perfect place to start,” Rinehart said.

Rinehart added that O’Donolds Irish Pub and Grill plans to open a location in Boardman.

“There’s a location in Youngstown, meaning the city and suburbs, we have one in Austintown also, and we are going to do a Boardman location here soon. We do have another concept we will be building in downtown. Between Suzie’s and O’Donolds, I think we have a little over 60 employees,” Rinehart said.

Bergen Giordani, owner of One Hot Cookie, said that she chose to open a location in Youngstown because of the revitalization that is taking place in the Mahoning Valley.

“We chose to start our business within the city of Youngstown to capitalize on the growth and revitalization that is taking place,” Giordani said. “Specifically, we chose our location in the Erie Terminal Building to be on the connection artery between YSU’s campus and the downtown business community and the downtown entertainment community.”

The Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership also reported, in a 2009 to 2012 study, that the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked number 10 in the nation in economic performance.