Port authority and YSU team up to put area on interactive map

LEETONIA — With the aim at better marketing the area to manufacturers and those who could do business with local companies, the Columbiana County Port Authority has teamed up with Youngstown State University.

Executive Director Penny Traina said the organization has brought in a YSU intern through the geography department, Jeff Masccarella, who is spending 120 hours during the course of the current term to help launch an interactive map. Linking to the port authority website, the map will provide those interested in area manufacturing information about the companies and industries up and down the Ohio River.

By clicking on the links, those with interest in the area will be able to learn the company’s name, address, phone number, e-mail, contact, dock activity, access, services provided and available storage area.

Additionally, the port authority has partnered with the YSU Small Business Development Center’s interns, who are working on a report looking at the trends in business in Columbiana County. Traina said the report card will be a lengthy document focusing on the historical data, demographics, business retention and business expansion.

“We just have not done a good job of marketing Columbiana County,” Traina said, adding the information will help them see where the county’s industry has been and where it is going in the future. She would like to see the project continue, which will give them a better sense of the trends.

For instance, Traina said information collected shows 75 percent of Columbiana County residents also work and play in the county. Such statistical data can be used to look at the jobs and services needed here in the future.

In addition, Traina said market efforts include the port authority participating in the Mid-Ohio Valley Statistical Port District, which is allowing freight commerce to be counted from 16 counties by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine national rankings.

Columbiana County is one of four counties forming the Northern Ohio River Business Association, which is working to bring awareness about commerce on and along the river. The association includes Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties.

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