YOUNGSTOWN — More than 200 community development professionals from across the state will gather in the city and virtually Wednesday through Friday for the Ohio CDC Association’s 37th annual conference.
This year’s conference will highlight the Mahoning Valley’s resiliency, community economic development and partnerships and collaborations. Meetings will take place at the DeYor Performing Arts Center, DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown and The Youngstown Flea.
“Community development corporations across the state are empowering communities to take local action creating local results. Given the pandemic’s disparate impacts on low-income and communities of color, the work of community developers is increasingly vital to an equitable recovery,” Nate Coffman, executive director of the Ohio CDC Association, said in a news release. “We’re excited to visit Youngstown to shine a light on their collaborative spirit and innovative strategies that are improving the quality of life and creating economic opportunities throughout the Mahoning Valley.”
Through neighborhood tours and workshop sessions over three days, participants will learn about:
- The Mahoning Valley Community Store Initiative;
- Neighborhood Stabilization in the Idora Neighborhood and Glenwood Avenue Corridor;
- The city’s “cultural corridor,” historic Wick Park and North Side institutions;
- CityScape at Briel’s and other revitalization efforts throughout the Valley.
The keynote speaker is Evelyn Burnett, a Youngstown native, and co-founder and CEO of ThirdSpace Action Lab and Third Space Café, headquartered in Cleveland. She served as vice president of Economic Opportunity at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, an intermediary whose mission is to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. Burnett is a 2018 German Marshall Fellow and sits on the board of several organizations throughout Northeast Ohio and nationally.
Local tours start Thursday, featuring several themes and covering multiple corners of
the Valley, including the Idora neighborhood with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation; Oak Hill Collaborative and Rocky Ridge Neighborhood Association; Commonwealth Kitchen Incubator; and a tour of Warren led by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.
“Every year, the tours are one of the highlights of our conference,” Coffman said. “Our members look forward to the ideas and inspiration they can take home to their own communities across Ohio. Our volunteers look forward to sharing Mahoning Valley success stories and methods to meet the many challenges in communities across Ohio.”The conference schedule can be viewed here.