Monday, May 11, 2009

Announcing Greater Youngstown 2.0

Late last week, Jim Cossler (CEO and Chief Evangelist of the Youngstown Business Incubator) officially launched a diaspora networking initiative for the Steel Valley:

A couple of recently run national news stories on YBI have only confirmed what we always we knew. Legions of talented people have left our area over the years because we have not been creating the compelling and rewarding employment positions they were seeking. That's the bad news.

The good news? The telephone calls and emails we received in response to those same news stories strongly indicates a whole lot of them want to move back.

That's why we are so pleased to announce that the Raymond John Wean Foundation has agreed to support an ambitious YBI led project to map this far flung diaspora, create a self-sustaining online community for them, and beginning building the institutional capacity to aid in their return migration.

Just imagine the possibilities when we begin bringing our talent back home again, armed with the knowledge, perhaps, of how thing are done faster, smarter and better in other communities.


I will blog about Greater Youngstown 2.0 here. I'm spearheading this effort, using my Burgh Diaspora experience to figure out how to derive local economic benefit from this region's migration of talent. I view brain drain as an opportunity and a regional asset. A key part of Greater Youngstown's future well-being is the success of its expatriates. The diaspora network will provide the infrastructure for displaced natives to play a significant role in the redevelopment of the Steel Valley.

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