YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s annual economic impact on the Valley increased for the sixth consecutive year to $137.3 million, the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission and Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber announced Tuesday.
“With tremendous support from our state and federal government officials, as well as organizations throughout the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, we continue to make significant progress at YARS,” said EOMAC Director Vito Abruzzino. “The best is yet to come.”
He says that funding for four new C-130J aircrafts was secured in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.
Advocacy work is underway to have those planes assigned to YARS and secure funding for four more.
Regional Chamber President & CEO Guy Coviello pointed out that when the Regional Chamber founded EOMAC in 2015, the economic impact of YARS was barely more than $90 million.
In addition to EOMAC’s effort, the air station has been the top public policy priority during the Chamber’s annual Columbus Drive-In and D.C. Fly-In advocacy days.
The 910th Tactical Airlift Wing issued the economic impact analysis in the “Youngstown Air Reserve Station Snapshot: A summary of facts and figures.” According to the report, the economic impact includes more than 2,000 employees and $103 million in payroll. It cites an additional $21 million in military expenditures.
The report states that federal assets at the station include 321 acres, 71 buildings and eight aircraft with a total value of more than $1 billion.
Over the past four years, the state has invested $750,000 in EOMAC, which worked with Ohio’s Congressional delegation to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investment. Local organizations, including the Western Reserve Port Authority, Trumbull 100, Youngstown Air Base Community Council and the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, have contributed to the effort.
EOMAC has also worked to help generate tens of millions in federal investment at the James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, which pumps approximately $40 million annually into the local economy.
State Rep. Michael Loychik introduced legislation to increase state support for EOMAC to $500,000 in each of the next two fiscal years.
“As a former military service member and as vice chair of our Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m pleased to announce this amendment I’ve proposed for increased financial assistance of these two military facilities within our region of the state,” Loychik said. “The $500,000 proposed each fiscal year would really help the military assets and the military members serving here in northeast Ohio.”