Tuesday August 9th will be a big day of change for former Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio and Partners Trustee Jay Williams. Williams will be taking up his new appointment by President Obama as the Director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers which assists areas of the country negatively affected by the retrenchment of the auto industry to identify federal resources that may be used as part of their recovery efforts. By virtue of his being mayor of the largest community in the Mahoning Valley, Williams has had a front-row seat to the reorganization of the auto industry.
Jay Williams was instrumental in helping Partners develop its Institutions as Fulcrums of Change program strategy; which focused on how we can use libraries, museums, performing arts centers, boys and girls clubs, and chambers of commerce to reposition communities that have suffered devastation in the downturn and in the new economic order, and how can they use their creativity and neutrality to be centers of excellence, i.e. fulcrums of change. With the focus on utilizing anchor institutions as centers of redevelopment in Youngstown, Williams worked with Partners to spear the Ten Living Cities Network, a consortium working for identity preservation and economic resurgence in the Ten U.S. Cities most affected by the post-industrial age.
Prior to his appointment to the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, Jay Williams was the City of Youngstown’s first African-American mayor, and being first elected at 33 years old, was also it’s youngest. Under the leadership of Mayor Williams, the Youngstown 2010 Vision/Planning “right-sizing” initiative has been recognized and rewarded by a number of notable organizations including, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, the American Planning Association, and Governing Magazine. In August 2009, Entrepreneur Magazine listed the city of Youngstown among the ten best cities in the United States to start a business. Mayor Williams was also recognized in 2009 as one of Governing Magazine’s public officials of the year. He was also the recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award.
You can read more about Jay Williams appointment from the U.S. Department of Labor