Perhaps no city in the midwest is more emblematic of Rust Belt identity than Youngstown. A steel boomtown in the first half of the 20th century, things went bust in the second half. One-by-one, steel mills facing fierce foreign competition shut down. Unemployment spiked, residents fled the city.
In the aftermath, city officials came up with a plan to attract new business, offering a range of incentives including free land, tax abatements, grants, low interest loans and more. However the track record shows that more often than not, the city was coming away with little to show for its incentives. One project from the last five years symbolizes the failed promise. ProPublica teamed up with the Youngstown Business Journal to take a closer look. Dan O’Brien from the Business Journal has this story on Chill-Can.