Governor DeWine, JobsOhio Announce Completion of JobsOhio Network with Addition of Lake to River Region


(YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio), April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and JobsOhio announced today the addition of a new JobsOhio network region, Lake to River Economic Development. The new four-county region includes Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties in the far east corner of Ohio.

The region is connected from Lake Erie in Ashtabula to the Ohio River in East Liverpool by State Route 11, providing strong infrastructure capabilities.

“This region of Ohio is experiencing new growth and is ready for even more prosperity,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Today we are pleased to celebrate this progress by completing the JobsOhio network with the addition of the Lake to River Economic Development region.”


Lake to River joins the six JobsOhio Network Partners, Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership, and Team NEO. The four-county region, anchored by Youngstown, was the only major-metro media market in the state without its own JobsOhio region. The addition of the Lake to River region completes the JobsOhio network.

“Today, we welcome the Lake to River team to join Team Ohio as our seventh and final JobsOhio network partner,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “Since 2011, JobsOhio and Team NEO have been building momentum for the region, which has led to more than $6 billion in capital investment; we are eager to get to work with our new partners to continue building a bright future for the valley.”

Lake to River is dedicated to transforming Eastern Ohio’s economic landscape by fostering growth, innovation, and community development. The four Ohio counties, plus Mercer County in Pennsylvania, form a separate Combined Statistical Area with a unique workforce commute pattern and logistics corridors.

A strong workforce development ecosystem exists to support growth in the region, including Youngstown State University, Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, and the more than 20 partners that came together in 2020 to execute JobsOhio’s Ohio To Work program and formed the Regional Workforce Coalition.

The Lake to River region is led by interim CEO Alexa Sweeney Blackann, who said, “We thank the Governor and JobsOhio for recognizing what’s been accomplished and for entrusting us with additional resources and accountability to continue our momentum.”

Local public and private stakeholders have committed to funding economic development and creating a shared vision focusing on the needs unique to the Valley.

“The opportunity to be part of the JobsOhio network is welcome news for our region,” said Lake to River Board President Chuck George. “We’re confident we have the team, the infrastructure, and the support from local business and community leaders to support Lake to River and take our regional economy to unprecedented success.”

The momentum built by JobsOhio and Team NEO has seen several successful projects, investments, and job creation opportunities come to the Valley in partnership with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. This includes 124 projects with more than 8,000 new jobs and newly created payroll of more than $364 million.

“The creation of the Lake to River region focused on Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties is a strategic move that will strengthen economic development across Ohio,” said Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO. “Through our partnerships cultivating growth in this area, the groundwork is laid for the new Lake to River partner’s success. We are proud of our role and will work closely with the new organization to ensure a smooth transition.

To learn more about Lake to River and economic development opportunities in Eastern Ohio, visit

Additional Media Contact
Jim Houck, Lake to River
[email protected]

Matt Englehart, JobsOhio Press Secretary
[email protected]

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About Lake to River
Lake to River Foundation, Inc is a private, nonprofit economic development organization and JobsOhio Network Partner, accelerating business growth and job creation throughout Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties. Visit for more information.

About JobsOhio
JobsOhio, Ohio’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, enhances company growth and personnel development through business attraction, retention, and expansion across ten competitive industry sectors. With a team of seasoned professionals, JobsOhio utilizes a comprehensive network to foster talent production in targeted industries and attract talent through Find Your Ohio. Collaborating with seven regional partners, including Dayton Development Coalition, Lake to River Economic Development, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership, and Team NEO, JobsOhio delivers world-class customer service to provide companies with a competitive advantage. Learn more at  Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

CONTACT: Matt Englehart JobsOhio 614-300-1152 [email protected] 

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