The title of the piece about Youngstown is "Rust Belt Chique in Youngstown, Ohio". I suppose I should add those of the other two. Kokomo's is "Revival in Indiana's Rust Belt Towns". For Rockford, "Hopeful Rust Belt Town in Illinois". Youngstown is selling something unique and the BBC eats it up.
In the Youngstown segment, I've identified three branding themes:
- Urban Frontier
- Geographic Arbitrage
- Rust Belt Chic
Mayor Jay Williams handles the urban frontier meme. He talks about his generation being disconnected with the past, viewing the city as a blank canvass. Thus, Youngstown can embrace a new idea such as a B2B software cluster.
A software company growing at the Youngstown Business Incubator can employ geographic arbitrage, talent and space coming at a much cheaper price than in San Francisco. Thus, Revere Data can cost effectively move operations from Mumbai, India to an onshore site in Northern Appalachia.
Lastly, twentysomethings can indulge in Rust Belt Chic. John Slanina describes the still thriving ethnic traditions such as the Baby Doll Dance. In sum, Youngstown is innovative, inexpensive, and hip. All three are products of the Rust Belt economy, not in spite of it.