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BUSINESS UPDATES | Mahoning County ESC becomes ESC of Eastern Ohio

Also among today's business updates: PCs for People, Oak Hill Collaborative, Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries and Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County; OH WOW! and Central YMCA of Youngstown; 27 WKBN-TV; ONE Health Ohio; and AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

CANFIELD — The Mahoning County Educational Service Center is now the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio.

The organization, founded in 1914, began as a resource for Mahoning County schools. In 2003, the requirements around educational service centers allowed districts to align with service centers outside of their home counties.

“Over the course of the past 18 years, the ESC has serviced districts in Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull and Portage counties,” Traci Hostetler, superintendent of the newly renamed Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio, said in a news release. “We thought that it was time to acknowledge all of our districts in our name. We are still proudly located in Mahoning County.”

Along with the new name, the organization has launched an updated website. Teachers and administrators can browse the calendar of professional development opportunities, social-emotional learning resources and more. Parents and practitioners can find information on Help Me Grow Early Intervention programs and refer themselves or others for services on the site.

Partnership provides refurbished computers for free or low cost

YOUNGSTOWN — PCs for People, the Oak Hill Collaborative, Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County have partnered to make refurbished computers and internet hotspots available for free or at low cost to low-income families in the Mahoning Valley. 

“The collaborative previously has been offering refurbished computers but are excited about taking our program to the next level as we expand with the PCs for People partnership,” Pat Kerrigan, executive director of the Oak Hill Collaborative, said in a news release. “We strive every day to bridge the digital divide and will now be able to distribute additional equipment in a more affordable and equitable manner.”

Under the program, Valley residents will be able to purchase refurbished desktop and laptop computers at an inexpensive price, the release states. Free training, installation/setup and troubleshooting also are available. As part of its Digital Advantage Initiative, the Collaborative also will enroll residents in low-cost internet and hotspots, as well as federal reimbursement programs.

“Digital inclusion efforts such as ours are essential in today’s society, where it is increasingly hard to access education, health care or employment opportunities without access to a computer and the internet,” Bevin Bowersmith, managing director of PCs for People Ohio, said. “Over the last 22 years, PCs for People has built a sustainable digital inclusion program that we are honored to now be bringing to the Mahoning Valley in collaboration with local partners.” 

To sign up, click here, email or call 330-464-8324.

OH WOW! provides learning tool to YMCA of Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology is providing the Central YMCA of Youngstown with STEM Science Activity Kits for its Scholastic Support — Virtual Learning Program participants.

“I look forward to working with these students every week,” Ella Polen, an OH WOW! educator conducting the digital programming with the YMCA students, said in a news release. “It’s great to see them get excited about OH WOW!’s STEM Science Activity Kits. I especially love that older students are working with younger students.” 

OH WOW! launched the STEM Science Activity Kit program to encourage children to learn through hands-on, imaginative play and critical thinking, the release states.

Through the OH WOW! program, YMCA youths also engage in several STEM-related learning sessions and projects.

“It has been absolutely priceless to watch our youth look forward to and enjoy learning in this way,” Shawn Armstrong, executive director of the Central YMCA of Youngstown, said. “We are truly grateful for the collaboration with OH WOW!, all being made possible by the support of TCF Bank.”

Boardman student wins Tom Holden Memorial Scholarship contest

YOUNGSTOWN — Kira Vasko, a junior at Boardman High School, is the winner of 27 WKBN-TV’s Tom Holden Memorial Scholarship contest.

Nearly 150 students from Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Mercer counties wrote public service announcements for local nonprofit organizations.

Vasko’s entry featured Down Syndrome Association of the Valley. Her script will be produced by WKBN and will air throughout the year on WKBN 27 and FOX Youngstown. She’ll also receive a $1,500 scholarship.

The runners-up and their entries are:

  • Second place: Kaitlyn Ursu, senior, Bloomfield High School — Warren-Trumbull County Public Library;
  • Third place: Alayna Cuevas, senior, Boardman High School — YWCA Mahoning Valley;
  • Fourth place (tie): Ava Kavulla, senior, PHAA — The Salvation Army of Mahoning Valley; Jordan Barrell, senior, Niles McKinley High School — American Cancer Society;
  • Sixth place: Kendra Holloway, senior, Victory Christian — Help Network of Northeast Ohio.

ONE Health Ohio welcomes 2 new nurse practitioners

YOUNGSTOWN — Kristy Weiss and Andrea Balluch-Dean have joined ONE Health Ohio as nurse practitioners.

Weiss earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nursing at Youngstown State University.

She is accepting new patients of all ages at Falls Family Care, 175 E. Broad St., Newton Falls; and Lloyd McCoy Community Health Center, 1977 Niles Road SE, Warren. To schedule an appointment, call 877-722-3303.

Balluch-Dean earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at YSU and her Master of Science degree in nursing at Kent State University. She also obtained a post master’s degree as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. 

She is accepting new patients at the Youngstown Community Health Center, 726 Wick Ave., Youngstown; Warren West Community Health Center, 716 Tod Ave. SW, Warren; Lloyd McCoy Health Center, 1977 Niles Road SE, Warren; and RISE Recovery-Youngstown, 3132 Belmont Ave., Youngstown. To schedule an appointment, call 877-722-3303.

Gasoline prices increase 15 cents in Northeast Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN — The average price for gasoline across Northeast Ohio is 15 cents higher this week at $2.75 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

The average price for unleaded self-service gasoline in the Youngstown area is $2.66 per gallon.

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