Economic Development, Community Planning, and Research Services

Office of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Economic Development

Economic Development, Community Planning, and Research Services

The professional economic development and community planning services provided by staff of the YSU Office of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Economic Development are in place to provide local governments, non-profit organizations, and other potential clients and partners with expert knowledge and added capacity to bolster the economic competitiveness and quality of life for communities in the Mahoning Valley. Our services provide organizational resources to research and identify priority needs, current data and trends, opportunities, fund development strategies, grant funding opportunities, comprehensive and action planning, project management and programming design , local, state, and/or federal reporting, and other community planning and economic development needs. We operate with the mission to leverage YSU resources and train YSU students to become the next generation of civic and community leaders of the Mahoning Valley.

Community Planning and Economic Development Services offered include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Community Planning services include:
    • Comprehensive Planning
      • Demographic Data collection and analysis in conjunction with the GIS Mapping and Data Center
      • Public engagement and surveys
      • SWOT analysis
      • Land use patterns
    • Action Planning & Regional Alignment
      • Reporting with the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy hosted by the Regional Council of Governments
      • Facilitation of local and regional Economic Development Strategies and Partner Organizations
    • Implementation, administration, and reporting related to grant-awarded projects
    • GIS mapping and data services with our GIS Mapping and Data Center
  • Cores and Corridor Planning
    • Inventory and analysis of current conditions, services, and businesses
    • Strategies for retention and attraction
    • Streetscape planning—Inventory, analysis, and recommendations for street amenities (i.e. lighting, signage, benches, landscaping, etc.)
  • Wayfinding Signage Planning- analysis of vehicular and pedestrian traveler tendencies and directional signage for efficient navigation from place to place
  • Economic Development services include:
    • Economic Development and Community Planning services including (but not limited to)tax credit and tax abatement programs such as:
    • Creation of CICs
      • Step by Step process including local ordinance creation, oversight committee creation, development of goals and objectives, etc.
    • Creation of CRAs
      • Step by Step process including housing survey, local ordinance creation, oversight committee creation, development of bylaws, etc.
    • Peer City Analysis
      • Analysis of data sets as they compare to cities identified as “peer” based on relevant characteristics
      • Develop metrics for success based on comparable data and market dynamics
  • Research and Evaluation
    • Research and proposal development grant writing of federal, state, and local grant opportunities
    • Post award grant evaluation by a third party
    • Logic models
    • Mid & final year reporting
    • Outputs and goals
    • Development of Success Metric


Contracts and Billing

All services are contract based. YSU will provide a standard contract to the client, which will include a budget and scope of work.

Projects are billed according to the schedule agreed upon by all parties in the contract. If unspecified in the contract, projects will be billed on a quarterly basis.