Area man’s vision could be biz catalyst

A Youngstown-area business park that will be occupied by about 15 Fortune 500 companies and about 1,500 workers means the Mahoning Valley would have indeed capitalized on the high-tech research and development of additive manufacturing.

It’s just a vision now. But so was M-7 Technologies when Michael Garvey, the descendent of a prominent Trumbull County business family, founded it.

It’s now Garvey’s vision to transform America Makes, formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, into a 21st-century business park. The architecture and building plans are under way.

America Makes is the first manufacturing hub set up by the president’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. It focuses on design, materials, technology and workforce to help U.S. businesses grow by using 3-D printing, also called additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing is developing technology that builds up objects, usually by laying down many thin layers on top of each other. In contrast, traditional machining creates objects by cutting material away. A wide variety of manufacturing industries, from aircraft to medical devices and from electronics to customized consumer goods, already use applications of the new technologies.

The Youngstown hub awards large grants to researchers throughout the nation. Garvey’s plans would put much of the research in the business park. The companies in the park could provide services like design, engineering and distribution.

Garvey founded M-7 Technologies, originally Haywood Industries, in 1987. It is now a high-tech manufacturing, research and development company that serves a diverse customer base from automotive to nuclear power. It finds ways for those customers to reduce manufacturing costs and time, improve quality and reduce time required to repair heavy industrial products by using high-tech digital databases and measurements systems.

Garvey was a trader at the New York Stock Exchange until his father became ill in 1985. He returned to the area to take over the family business, Trumbull Bronze. The business closed after a fire in 1987.

His latest vision would be a major catalyst for downtown Youngstown. So much that its impact would reverberate throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties.