Youngstown’s Mahoning Valley has suffered dual blows in recent months. In 2019, one of its largest employers, the Lordstown General Motors (GM) plant, closed its doors. In 2020, the area has been hit hard by COVID-19.
On June 19, 2020, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President and CEO Loretta J. Mester, and Youngstown-area community leaders and business owners came together virtually to discuss ways Youngstown has been helping their workforces build resiliency to better withstand shocks, including health emergencies and business closures.
President Mester moderated the discussion and provided opening remarks. She noted the importance of resiliency for workforces and the communities they support, especially during the pandemic, and that Youngstown is uniquely positioned for this conversation: “Few regions have been called on to be resilient as often as Youngstown has been,” she said.
In his introductory remarks, Chair Powell told the panelists that their “feedback can be an invaluable example for other communities with similar challenges.”
Both President Mester and Chair Powell noted the importance of the event taking place on Juneteenth during a time of renewed focus on racial injustice. "As the national discussion continues, it is critical to remember that equity includes access to education, work, and economic opportunity," Powell said.
- Sarah Boyarko, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Economic Development, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber
- Jessica Borza, Executive Director, Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition
- Jamael Tito Brown, Mayor, City of Youngstown
- Nick Chretien, Program Manager, Economic Action Group
- Jim Tressel, President, Youngstown State University
- Carmella Williams, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Youngstown Business Incubator; Owner and Kitchen Chemist, Carmella Marie Inc.