Youngstown's struggle to keep a young, professional workforce - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown's struggle to keep a young, professional workforce

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

There's been a lot of progress to stop the exodus out of Youngstown, but there's still a lot left to do.

Once upon a time, the city was a steel giant.  Youngstown has since experienced decades of population decline, high unemployment, and crime. Youngstown is now making a slow turn around and has seen thousands of vacant homes demolished, neighbors more engaged, and the downtown continuing to grow.

"The business opportunities are here, but when people get a good job they don't stay in the city," said resident Jim Converse.

A candid panel conversation about challenge and opportunity, sponsored by the City Club of the Mahoning Valley on Tuesday night, was a reminder of how far Youngstown has yet to go.

"Places like Youngstown have a really tough time of it," said Allan Mallach,  Author of The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America.

Mallach was among those on the panel. He said, what drives a city's revival right now is the strength if their higher education and medical institutions. As well as the in-migration of young professionals.

Youngstown has Y.S.U and St. Elizabeth's Hospital but these facilities can't compete with some of those in larger cities.

Mallach suggested three points Youngstown leaders should focus to help reinvent the city.
Those include: Quality education in the local schools. Investing in the local workforce with skills, and wrap around services, so they can complete for the jobs. As well as safe and healthy neighborhoods.

All aspects Youngstown City leaders are working to make a reality, but ones that don't come easy.

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