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GOA director tours SOD Center

LISBON — The director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia made a stop in Columbiana County to witness what the county Port Authority has done with funding received for various projects.

Last week, the port authority took Director John Carey on a tour of the Salem Sustainable Opportunity Development (SOD) Center and Compco Training Center in Salem, and also visited Humtown and the Global Investment Hub in Leetonia before finalizing the tour at the Wellsville Intermodal Facility.

Carey was also taken on a quick driving tour of the World Trade Park in Wellsville.

Among the funding received from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia (GOA) over the years was a $200,000 grant for job training at Compco in Salem, Port Authority Director Penny Traina said.

The funding was awarded in 2018 and the SOD Center was able to construct a new facility for the training, which Carey was able to visit on Thursday.

Carey also got to see the new LED lighting and heating and HVAC systems installed at the manufacturing center on Cherry Fork Road in Leetonia, which was made possible through an energy grant from the GOA.

The manufacturing center houses Humtown, Mitsubishi, and Desk Top Metal companies, and Traina said the port authority was able to replace all of the center’s lighting and the heating and HVAC with the grant.

Traina also pointed out that it is GOA funding that is making it possible for the work currently being done at the manufacturing center to establish the new Global Investment Hub, which should attract even more business to the area.

The Global Investment Hub project is also being funded with a grant from Republican Senator Michael Rulli.

Meanwhile, the port authority is continuing to see results from its Recovery Coordinator program, Traina said.

“My team has been very busy and doing an awesome job working on about 20 projects which is a direct result from the business retention, expansion program that we have implemented,” she said.

Traina gave an overview of those results during the most recent port authority board meeting.

During the meeting the board approved renewing the lease with the Community Action Agency with no change in price or lease space.

The agency leases the bottom half of the port authority building, which also includes the food bank, Traina said.

The board also approved meeting every other month beginning in 2022, with the next meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 24 at the headquarters in Lisbon.

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