The Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), located in the Office of Research at Youngstown State University (YSU), was established in 1967 as the Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) to act as a research and public service arm of YSU.
The mission of CURS has been to integrate professional staff, faculty, students, and other University resources to focus on issues and problems of urban and regional development through an ongoing program of basic and applied research and technical assistance, and providing training for local government, community and economic development organizations and businesses.
During the fall of 2015, CURS transitioned to REDI, and towards the role as “Navigator” in research-based, implementation-focused economic development support services for the Mahoning Valley. REDI’s change in focus and mission will reflect organizational focus on a plan-implement structure known as design-build, a model often seen in the architecture and construction industries. This will enable REDI to serve as the “Navigator” in economic development implementation and support services throughout the Mahoning Valley. Economic development partners throughout the region have affirmed YSU REDI’s “Navigator” role.
REDI coordinates and leads monthly Economic Action Group (EAG) meetings in support of economic development in the city of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley. The EAG convenes and engages representatives from a broad cross-section of industries and organizations throughout the Mahoning Valley. REDI provides leadership on federal, state, and private grant-writing initiatives, and also provides valuable GIS mapping and data services to a number of local and regional government, nonprofit, and social service agencies throughout the Mahoning Valley and beyond.