A new study shows that Ohio’s creative industries account for more than $41 billion in economic activity.
In Youngstown, the creative economy generates $341 million. It supports nearly 5,000 jobs and supplies more than $143 million in wages and income.
The study also says Youngstown is generating over $6 million in musical instrument manufacturing.
There is a local business that creates special equipment for a lot of big acts.
Maybe you’ve heard of LM Cases. They’ve been in business for about 34 years. What they are making in Youngstown can be found at some of the biggest entertainment acts across
Whether it’s the guitar musicians rock out on or the visuals that bring their shows to life, they all have one thing in common — the equipment has to go in a case to get from city to city.
LM Cases designs and builds cases used by some of the biggest entertainment acts.
“We’ve done interesting things. We’ve done cases for Elton John’s piano and his piano bench. A lot of the members of Billy Joel’s band use our cases,” said CEO William Laguardia.
Believe it or not, the business started in a small garage on the south side of Youngstown in 1982.
Fast forward to now.
“The Backstreet Boys are doing a reunion tour, for example, and we’re prepping all the cases for that tour,” Laguardia said.
Cases of all sizes.
“We literately make them one at a time, right here in Youngstown,” he said.
The cases can be found in WWE wrestling, college football and even the military.
Rick Davanzo is the shop foreman. He gave the rundown on how the cases are made.
There are five steps:
1) The machine cuts all of the product in the building. It cuts, wood, foam, carpet and rubber.
2) Initiation. Everything gets stapled together. Aluminum to wood. Stapling the corner stalk on, silk screens.
3) Hardware department. It’s where the latches and handles are installed. All the hardware gets installed.
4) Finishing. Where they put all of the interior in and where the painting is done.
5) Quality control.
Then, you have the finished product.