YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)– Former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams has cleared another hurdle for a new post in Washington under the Obama administration.
First News caught up with Williams today and has the story.
Jay Williams got the recommendation of The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Thursday to become the head of the Economic Development Administration.
Williams thinks his Mahoning Valley experience bodes well for the new position.
“The Mahoning Valley being a bell weather. Things that are successful here bode well for the entire country,” said Jay Williams.
The new position would focus on economic development, specifically per region. Through the confirmation process Williams says that he has seen great potential in the position and a joint effort to move the economy forward.
“There was a common theme and a common appreciation, of the work that EDA has done in the past and the potential EDA has to really help shape those regional economies, so it is something i have seen, an appreciation from both sides of the aisle” said Williams.
Williams tells WKBN First News that with the amount of manufacturing jobs that will be coming back to the United States, that the valley needs to work together to be competitive.
“We will rise and fall as a region. When those decisions are made in terms of where those investments go, whether it is Youngstown, or Warren, or Girard, or Niles, understand we have to compete as a region. That is first and foremost,” said Williams.
Williams will now wait on the entire Senate to vote on his recommendation.
He told the crowd at the Regional Chamber Breakfast that it will not be without a struggle.
But he is optimistic for the Valley and the country.
“The future again is not without challenges, not without headwinds. There will be pitfalls and things we have to deal with, but I am eternally optimistic,” Williams said.