YSU, Chamber Export Initiative earns Youngstown ranking in “Best Cities” report

wordmark for wordpressregional chamberGlobal Trade Magazine ranked Youngstown one of the “Best Cities for Export Assistance” in its fourth annual “Best Cities for Global Trade” report in October.

The publication recognized the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative, a 10-county effort created and launched by the Regional Chamber and Youngstown State University’s International Trade Assistance Center in January to increase export activity in the region.

“Youngstown was at the forefront of the development of the Ohio-Pennsylvania Stateline Export Initiative, an assistance, promotion and education program that brings together 10 counties and two states to stimulate global trade in the region. The benefits range from providing a one-stop shop for potential foreign investors, distributors and partners looking to do business with local businesses to arranging a meeting between local business leaders with Cuban officials in anticipation of new opportunities once relations are officially normalized,” noted the magazine.

Global Trade recognized 105 cities across America in 10 categories. Last year, the Valley also placed in the magazine’s third annual rankings report, earning a spot in the “Most Employee Friendly” city category.

“We are pleased that our export initiative has already garnered such acclaim nationally,” said Sarah Boyarko, vice president of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber. “The partnering agencies throughout the 10 counties have worked hard to encourage engagement from the business community, and we’ve already begun sharing export and supply chain opportunities, which will only strengthen our region.”

The Brookings Institution also praised the initiative earlier this year, saying the effort shows a strong commitment to expanding global economic reach through the identification of regionally competitive strengths and an increase in exports and would ensure long-term economic success for businesses located in the 10-county area that are interested in expanding to global markets.

This latest ranking in Global Trade follows an increasing number of international trade milestones reached in the past couple of years. The Youngstown-Warren metro has also received accolades for:

* Leading the nation in exports growth, according to Business Facilities Magazine. The Valley exported more than $4.7 billion in goods, a 22 percent increase from 2009 to 2012.

* Ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in exports recovery, according to Business Facilities. Estimates show that the Youngstown-Warren metro area exports approximately one-quarter of its goods worldwide.

* Leading the country in export growth percentage from 2009-2012, says the Brookings Institute. From 2009 through 2012 there was a 22-percent increase in exports in the region, with approximately $1.2 billion of additional goods being exported worldwide.