Niles Brownfield Cleanup, YBI-YSU Program Get Grants

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Grants were approved in Columbus Monday for the cleanup of a Trumbull County brownfield and for an advanced manufacturing partnership in Youngstown.

Remediation of the former Republic Steel property in Niles will support BRT Extrusions Inc.’s expansion, according to state documents. The State Controlling Board approved a Clean Ohio grant of $634,680 to conduct cleanup activities on the property.

Following the cleanup, the aluminum extrusion company plans to install and upgrade infrastructure and develop new employee workspace and warehouse space as well as shipping/receiving dock areas. 

The expansion is expected to create 15 new full-time jobs and an additional $275,000 in payroll, excluding benefits. BRT will provide $212,281 in matching funds.

The second grant, for $500,000 from the Edison Advanced Manufacturing Program, will support the Ohio Printed Parts Initiative, a partnership between the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University. The project’s objective is “to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with expanded and more efficient additive manufacturing capabilities to produce precision metal parts through hybrid additive manufacturing and post-processing to have ready-to-use finished parts,” according to state documents.

YBI will provide $574,734 in matching funds.

Commenting on the Clean Ohio award for BRT Extrusions, Sarah Lown, senior economic development specialist with the Western Reserve Port Authority, noted it’s “the first Clean Ohio award coming to the region since the program was reorganized under [Gov. John] Kasich” The port authority, through the Mahoning River Corridor Initiative and Dan Mamula, worked with BRT for a couple of years on the project.  

Regarding the Ohio Printed Parts Initiative, Barb Ewing, the YBI’s chief operating officer, described the program as a “very hands-on approach to helping companies learn the value proposition of when it makes sense to use additive manufacturing, how to do so cost effectively and what they need to understand from an engineering perspective.”

The next step is to convene the YBI and YSU partners to begin “fleshing out” the plan’s details, she said.

The partnership between YBI and YSU is “is a unique technology transfer relationship, providing a level of service to the manufacturing community that is among the best in the nation,” remarked Martin Abraham, dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“This new grant once again validates the benefit of the collaboration that we have developed with YBI. Between their efforts and those of our new faculty hires, we have been able to establish the YSU/YBI team as a leader for additive manufacturing,” Abraham said.

Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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