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BUSINESS UPDATES | Optimal Health and Wellness celebrates opening

Among today's business updates: Columbia Care and Green Leaf Medical of Ohio; Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition; Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation; BRITE Energy Innovators; and AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
Optimal Health and Wellness
Optimal Health and Wellness, 584 E. Main St., Canfield, had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Thursday. From left are Dominic Cooper, marketer; Jessica Chapman, receptionist; Suzanne Cavalier, owner; Colleen Finn, health educator; Tiffany Allen, medical assistant; and Canfield Mayor Richard Duffett. (Contributed photo)

CANFIELD — Optimal Health and Wellness, 584 E. Main St., celebrated its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Thursday.

Optimal Health and Wellness opened in March in one room and started with IV therapy and injections.

Owner Suzanne Cavalier, a Mahoning Valley native, graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She received a master’s in nursing from Youngstown State University in 2013. Cavalier graduated from Maryville University in 2017 with a Post-Master’s Certificate in nursing. She started her first job in March 2018 at a primary care practice in Lisbon. 

“I knew that I wanted to be a nurse practitioner and be able to take time with my patients,” Cavalier said in a news release. “My goal was to provide education in a way myself or the patient did not feel rushed.”

Optimal Health and Wellness practices functional medicine, a model that is individualized.

Other services offered are urgent care for minor illnesses such as sore throat, urinary tract infections and earaches. Flu and strep testing, as well as flu shots, are available by appointment. Telemedicine visits are also an option.

Columbia Care agrees to buy
Green Leaf Medical of Ohio

WARREN — Columbia Care Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Green Leaf Medical of Ohio, 2932 Youngstown Road SE, for approximately $240 million, with the potential for additional performance-based milestone payments.

Founded in 2014 by Philip Goldberg and Kevin Goldberg, Green Leaf is one of the largest private cannabis Multiple-State Operators in the United States and a market leader in the mid-Atlantic region with cultivation, extraction, processing and retail operations across its four-state footprint.

Subject to the regulatory approval process, Columbia Care will be one of the largest cannabis operators in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, a news release states.

“Columbia Care is the ideal partner to take Green Leaf through its next phase of growth,” Philip Goldberg, Green Leaf’s co-founder and CEO, said in the release. In conjunction with its existing scale and market-leading strategy across its portfolio, Columbia Care’s dedication to ensuring optimal accessibility and product quality aligns with our values and will improve our ability to serve and expand our customer base throughout the mid-Atlantic.”

Columbia Care’s acquisition of Green Leaf is expected to close in summer 2021. After the transaction, the Green Leaf management team will be retained, and Goldberg is expected to join Columbia Care’s Board of Directors.

MVMC machinist program
gets Ohio TechCred approval

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition’s machinist registered apprenticeship program has been approved for TechCred funding. 

The approval allows participating manufacturers to apply for state TechCred funding to reimburse apprentice-related and other training costs, encouraging investment in a better skilled workforce.

TechCred provides up to $2,000 in reimbursement for training costs per approved credential, per apprentice. Companies are eligible to claim up to $30,000 per year in reimbursement costs if their application is successful. 

“This is a great opportunity for employers thinking of hiring or upskilling machinists in their workforce,” Jessica Borza, executive director of MVMC, said in a news release. “These sector-customized training programs absorb some of the costs employers would experience otherwise, and it gives employees the skills to earn industry-recognized credentials. Employers can receive $4,000 for apprentices that complete Year 1, and up to $10,000 over the course of the training to easily recoup training costs.”

Local companies are invited to apply for TechCred funding and are encouraged to act soon. The application window opens Jan. 4 and closes Jan. 31 for training in 2021, although existing employees are eligible to take part regardless of start date. To inquire about receiving funding for this program, or any of the other MVMC apprenticeship models, contact Vicki Thompson at

Pittsburgh bank awards
$1M in grants to YNDC

YOUNGSTOWN — Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Program recently awarded two grants totaling $1.1 million to the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. for housing development in the city of Youngstown.

One grant award of $750,000 will be used to fully renovate five vacant homes for affordable homeownership, and the second grant award of $409,032 will be used to construct two new energy efficient, affordable rental units. 

PNC is the member bank supporting YNDC’s application and is partnering on both projects.

“YNDC and our partners are thrilled to announce these major investments that will continue ongoing neighborhood stabilization efforts and produce much needed high-quality, affordable housing,” Ian Beniston, YNDC executive director, said in a news release. “We are grateful to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh for the grant awards and to PNC, the Mahoning County Land Bank, city of Youngstown, The Raymond John Wean Foundation and other partners for their support and partnership in making this possible.”

The projects will begin in 2021, and more details will be announced in the coming months, the release states.

BRITE Energy Innovators seeks
participants for BRITEhack 2021

WARREN — BRITE Energy Innovators is seeking teams or individual engineers, designers, developers, project managers and students for BRITEhack 2021, its annual civic energy hackathon focused on addressing energy issues faced by community organizations. 

The 2021 BRITEhack event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 29. Participants will spend the day working in teams to create innovative solutions for the challenge in the hybrid virtual event. This year, BRITE selected Trumbull Family Fitness as the challenge beneficiary. As a community institution more than 100 years old, TFF is grappling with debilitating energy costs due to outdated electrical systems. The BRITEHack challenge: propose economical ways to enhance TFF’s systems and improve sustainability.

In addition to social distancing and other safety procedures, the organizers will have accommodations in place to make the event completely virtual if necessary. All participants also will have the option to participate remotely. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all participants, and those on the winning team(s) will take home prizes up to $1,000. 

For more information or to register, click here.

Gasoline prices increase
11 cents in Northeast Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN — The average price for gasoline across Northeast Ohio is 11 cents higher this week at $2.07 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

The average price for unleaded self-service gasoline in the Youngstown area is $2.04 per gallon.

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