Local congressmen join together for infrastructure, energy talks

Tim Ryan and Bill Johnson were panelists at the Regional Chamber's "Fueling America's Future" event in Howland.

HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Congressmen Tim Ryan and Bill Johnson stopped in Howland on Tuesday to talk about efforts to improve the transportation and energy sector in the Valley.

They were panelists at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s event, “Fueling America’s Future,” at the Avalon Inn. The congressmen were joined by Rocco DiGennaro, Jr., President of the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council; and David Ledonne, vice president of operations at MarkWest/MPLX.

The focus of the talk was energy and transportation infrastructure and how to improve and expand it in the Valley. Panelists talked about how the next Congress will impact energy and transportation.

Congressman Ryan says at the heart of the discussion comes the impact on the local economy. He says it would be a good thing to expand these efforts.

“Great for the economy, great for the workers, middle-class jobs that are secure with benefits and pensions and good retirements, so it’s all good,” he said.

Congressman Johnson said the country’s infrastructure is extremely outdated, and it’s important to have a bipartisan effort to fix the issues.

“I couldn’t agree with it more, but the question is, how do we pay for it? And that’s something we have to figure out,” he said.

Another main point in the conversation was manufacturing in the Mahoning Valley and expanding the electrical grid.