Youngstown played host to the Impact Ohio regional conference on Thursday. 

Impact Ohio brings together government officials and stakeholders to discuss issues relevant to their communities. 

"People from Columbus can come here that don't often come here, and talk to people in the community about what's important,"  said Impact Ohio CEO Jennifer Flatter.
And the value of the Valley's military installations was one of three important topics on the conference agenda.

"The fact that out of the three most important topics in our area, the Mahoning Valley, is the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, the largest employer in Trumbull County, and Camp Ravenna. That's huge that we're even getting that big of a spotlight here," said Vito Abruzzino, Executive Director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission.

Abruzzino says when evaluating installations, one of the things the Pentagon considers is military value.

"Being important to your area, that the area you are placed, where that mission is located wants it and wants it to stay there, and the community and the state are willing to work with the federal government to make sure projects happen," Abruzzino said.

The potential for an east coast missile defense site at Camp Ravenna is another added value.

"If we can get that, then that secures Camp Ravenna and the Air Base for us for a long time because that base, I'm sure, would be used to defend that site if need be," said State Representative Don Manning of District 59.

Abruzzino says it's important to keep the local installations in the discussion. "We need to keep minding the store on these projects and installations, and the sky's the limit if we do that as an area," he said. 

The other important topics discussed at the conference were Increasing Manufacturing Technology and Mahoning River Restoration.