It’s a good time for doing business in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. In 2010, the
said the Youngstown Metro area ranked No. 1 in export growth, with manufacturing representing 38% of regional exports. $12.1 billion worth of goods and materials were exported in 2010.
Now businesses in the Mahoning Valley region will have the recently launched International Trade Assistance Center
(ITAC) to aid in the continual growth of international exports.
Created in May of 2012 thanks to a grant from the Small Business Development Center
at Youngstown State University
, ITAC will assist companies with export readiness, market research, export compliance, export documentation, export financing assistance and trade mission preparation. The man behind these free services is Mousa Kassis, who will serve as International Trade Advisor after 16 years as an adjunct faculty member in YSU’s economics department. Suffice it to say, he knows the landscape and business of international exports.
“The Valley is coming back,” proclaims Kassis. “Business sentiment is very high,” he adds, citing the discovery of shale gas in the region as a catalyst for renewed interest in Mahoning Valley.
Star, North America's leading producer of seamless tubular products dedicated to oil and gas applications, has invested in a $650 million facility in Youngstown, sustaining hundreds of construction jobs. The mill’s operation is estimated to bring in 350 more jobs by the end of 2012.
The ITAC, explains Kassis, is part of a national effort to double U.S. exports by 2012. “Skilled and productive labor and YSU’s Center of Excellence in International Business are bringing together government, academia and the business sector."
Source: Mousa Kassis
Writer: Lee Chilcote