top of page

Through the Ohio Pennsylvania Export Initiative (OPEI), the Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University, the Northwest Commission of Pennsylvania, and Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber (YWRC) have joined resources to expand export opportunities in a twenty three county regional area. Comprised of Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio and Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, these counties form the eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania borders.


OPEI Map.jpg
Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network
at Youngstown State University


Mousa Kassis

Director, Export Assistance Network


Ohio Small Business Development Center
Export Assistance Network
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555

P: 330.941.2145

Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network is part of Ohio Development Services Agency, Youngstown State University/Williamson College of Business, and the Small Business Development Center, which is partly funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  It is directed by Mousa Kassis who provides the following expertise: company export assessment, compliance guidance, international business plan, company personnel training, leading trade missions, export finance guidance, international connections, and country and product research in Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Geauga, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas counties.

The office is suited for leading the efforts of establishing and implementing the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative because of its ability to leverage a considerable amount of resources such as:

  • Export research center at Williamson College of Business Administration

  • Direct contact and networking with local, state, and federal governmental offices

  • Collaboration with economic development organizations including international trade offices in all counties involved (OH & PA)

  • Direct contact with Ohio Board of Regents related to human resource training

  • Direct involvement and support from Youngstown State University leadership.

  • Engaging and involving top student talent at SBDC/YSU

  • City/State partnership with US EX-IM Bank, and SBA.

Michelle Phillips

Director of Research


Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

City Centre One, Suite 500

100 E. Federal Street

Youngstown, OH 44503

P:330.744.2131 ext. 1104

Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber


The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is a catalyst for efforts to build Youngstown-Warren’s regional economy.  Working with new and existing firms, its award-winning Economic Development Division works on short and long-term projects to add jobs, payroll and taxable investment to the region.  The Chamber has a proven economic development track record.  With our assistance, more than 500 firms have collectively invested $6.5 billion in the area, creating 23,6500 new jobs, 33,200 retained job and utilizing or construing 27 million square feet of building space.  The Regional Chamber is the lead economic development organization serving Mahoning and Trumbull Counties in Ohio. It is the single point of contact for all business-related services and coordinates local development efforts among the many organizations working to serve the business community.

With over 26 years of experience, the Regional Chamber provides a broad range of expert, confidential and proven economic development services to assist companies with site and property selection, securing local and state incentives and obtaining a variety of strategic information. The Regional Chamber is thoroughly engaged in the planning of long-term regional strategies to promote economic development in northeast Ohio. More details about the services of the Regional Chamber can be found at

Northwest Commission


Dorte Heffernan

International Trade Manager


Northwest Commission

395 Seneca St

Oil City, PA 16301

P: 814.677.4800

The Northwest Commission is a local development district serving an eight-county region of Northwest Pennsylvania.  The Northwest Commission also serves as the Regional Export Network (REN) Coordinator for Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) and is the gateway to Pennsylvania’s Authorized Trade Representatives (ATRs). With the largest network of overseas offices of any state in the U.S., Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) is committed to supporting Pennsylvania companies by working with them to increase their export sales.   


The Northwest Commission's team of international trade experts can assist with:

  • Export Readiness Assessment

  • Target Market Research and Identification

  • Market Entry Strategy Development

  • Foreign Agent/Distributor Search

  • Trade Event/Mission Assistance

  • Funding Opportunities

bottom of page