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National Issues

Youngstown's mayor says his town deserved Obama's accolades
But he acknowledges he missed the big moment 

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The praise in President Obama’s State of the Union for Youngstown’s manufacturing hub fell on partially deaf ears. Mayor Charles Sammarone  says he had fallen asleep by the time his city got its 30 seconds of fame. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, he quickly heard about it.

SCHULTZE: Sammarone and the manufacturing hub

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The president announced last fall that Youngstown would host the nation’s first Advanced Manufacturing Hub, this one specializing in what’s called National Additive Manufacturing. That’s the process that cuts manufacturing costs and increases production by using special 3-D printers to create models.

Mayor Chuck Sammarone  says the conversion of an old furniture warehouse into the $70 million innovation hub is a boon for his city. But it wasn’t until a reporter called Tuesday night that he knew the president had done the same.

“He said, ‘Whattaya think?’ And I said, ‘Well, anytime our city is mentioned, I think it’s great, especially by the president of the United States.’ And he said, ‘Well, is there anything else.” And I said, ‘What do you want me to say? If there’s another adjective I can use besides great, put it in and say I said it.’”

The mayor says as many as 200 companies are participating in the project and the traffic to the hub may lead the city to build a new downtown hotel.


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