WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Regional Chamber and Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio announced Thursday a new partnership to support the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS), which is Trumbull County’s largest employer.
The Community Foundation will house the Chamber-created Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC) in downtown Warren and oversee its operation.
The Regional Chamber will continue to provide EOMAC with marketing and government relations and support.
“The intention all along was for EOMAC to be a standalone organization focusing on protecting and
growing the economic output of the air station,” said Regional Chamber President & CEO Tom
Humphries, who was part of founding EOMAC in 2014. “The Community Foundation, because of its
impeccable reputation serving the community, is the perfect vehicle for propping up EOMAC as an
independent organization. We look forward to a years-long partnership.”
Since its inception, EOMAC has helped attract tens of millions of dollars in federal investment for YARS and the Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center.
The commission also received a $600,000 grant in the current state operating budget.
“We have been successful for YARS and the Valley economy because of the strong working relationship between EOMAC, the Regional Chamber and State of Ohio,” said EOMAC Director Vito Abruzzino. “Now that we have the Community Foundation in the mix, the future looks even better.
Most recently, EOMAC worked with federal officials to secure four C-130J model aircraft in the defense budget and ensure that YARS would be one of the sites considered to house the planes. Locating those planes at YARS is critical to protecting the installation from future Pentagon cuts.