I'm not sure why you threw in Columbus. Up until recently C-bus has been one of the steadiest growing cities in the midwest. It's the state capital and there are plenty of government and white collar jobs there, not to mention the country's largest University w/over 50k students. Many of my peers have moved from NE Ohio to Columbus for work and everyone that i know there is still working.
I live in the Youngstown metro and if we have survived the past 30 years since the steel mills closed we will keep surviving. In fact i think we were all better prepared than the rest of the country for this current recession. I feel like we've been in a recession for almost ten years now if not longer.
Are people moving out of our area?? Of course they are. Many people my age (30) have educated themselves and moved on, mostly to Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, and North Carolina. Many parents follow their kids south, but there are a ton of retirees left behind. Some people spend their winters in Florida and live here during the warm months. Many of them still have friends and family here and most of the older people love to take advantage of the plethora of golf courses we have here. Not to mention it's super cheap to golf or belong to a course here. During the holidays it feels like the old days. Everyone that's moved away and still has family in the area comes back home to Northeast Ohio and our stores and restaurants are filled to capacity.
Our main cities Youngstown/Warren have been hard hit by foreclosures, drugs and slumlords. Warren city has recently laid off a bunch of fire and policemen and the tax base will continue to shrink. Thankfully Youngstown has a plan, you might have read about it.......... Youngstown 2010
Right now our biggest employers are Youngstown State University, the hospitals, and the Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve base. General Motors Lordstown Plant is also a big employer, but they recently laid off over 2000 people due to the downturn in the automotive industry. Unfortunately, because they are no longer running three shifts many of their suppliers are also downsizing. One of our last steel mills (Severstal formerly WCI) in Warren has shut down their blast furnace and they've also temporarily laid off many of their employees until at least June or July.
It's not all bad news for the Youngstown area. Recently downtown has undergone a face-lift and there is a youth movement trying to turn things around here. Youngstown's mayor Jay Williams is in his mid 30s and our Congressman, Tim Ryan is around the same age. We also have the Youngstown Business Incubator
which has fostered the start up of many business to business software companies. One of those companies, Audience Response Systems | Turning Technologies
, was named one of the country's fastest growing software companies. Here is a NPR story on the Incubator Youngstown, Ohio: The Rust Belt's Silicon Valley? : NPR
This is all happening in Youngstown and some of us that are not disenfranchised are excited about some recent development. Sure this recession is affecting us big-time, but once things start to turn around i see things getting better here. I mean, it can't get much worse than it is right now........there is no where to go but up.
If you are interested in learning more about Youngstown check out:
Home | Mill Creek MetroParks
i will shout youngstown
Here's some shots of downtown.....doesn't look like a bad place now, does it????