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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
WFMJ, September, 7 2016
The Youngstown Foundation has generously funded the building of additional space within the Oak Hill Collaborative's MakerSpace.
The new room provides an additional 308 square feet of working space as well as expanded electrical service, increased lighting, additional tool storage and extensive counter space.
This new space will allow for the growth of community oriented technology initiatives including community workspace and facilitation of education in computer literacy, 3-D printing and computer aided drafting.
The Oak Hill Collaborative's mission is "to promote economic development and community revitalization through small business development, neighborhood improvement and beautification, and an innovative MakerSpace, that serves the Oak Hill corridor, the South Side, and the City of Youngstown as a whole."
The Collaborative has become an essential advocate for the area's neighborhood organization and beautification efforts, and since opening its doors in early 2014,
Oak Hill Collaborative's small business incubator has assisted more than 20 small businesses with services including: office space, office equipment and supplies, grant writing, networking, legal assistance, accounting, business planning, marketing and technical assistance.
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
Vindicator, September, 3 2016
The Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation has funded the purchase of four new 3-D printers from AST2, a local Youngstown startup.
This equipment will help the collaborative support its innovative MakerSpace and grass-roots neighborhood initiatives on the South Side.
Pat Kerrigan, executive director of Oak Hill Collaborative, said he was honored by the award and the partnership with the Thomases Family Endowment and the federation.
The collaborative’s mission is “to promote economic development and community revitalization through small-business development, neighborhood improvement and beautification, and an innovative Makerspace, which serves the Oak Hill corridor, the South Side, and the city of Youngstown as a whole.”
The collaborative has become an advocate for the area’s neighborhood organization and beautification efforts, and since opening its doors in early 2014, its small-business incubator has assisted more than 20 small businesses with services including office space, office equipment and supplies, grant writing, networking, legal assistance, accounting, business planning, marketing and technical assistance, a news release said.
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
Business Journal Daily, September, 1 2016
With a donation from the Thomases Family Endowment, the Oak Hill Collaborative has purchased four 3-D printers, the organization announced Wednesday.
The printers, purchased from Youngstown-based Applied Systems and Technology Transfer, will be installed in Oak Hill Collaborative’s MakerSpace. The space offers free classes, access to building tools including 3-D printers and weekly meetings.
Since opening in 2014, the collaborative’s business incubator has helped more than 20 businesses through the startup process. Among the services offered are office space and supplies, marketing, grant writing, legal assistance and accounting.
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
WFMJ, August, 31 2016
The Thomases Family Endowment of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation has funded the purchase of 4 new 3-D printers from AST2 a local Youngstown startup.
This equipment will help the Oak Hill Collaborative to support its innovative MakerSpace and grassroots neighborhood initiatives on Youngstown's South Side.
Pat Kerrigan, Executive Director of Oak Hill Collaborative, is honored by the award and the partnership with the Thomases Family Endowment and the Jewish Federation.
The Oak Hill Collaborative's mission is "to promote economic development and community revitalization through small business development, neighborhood improvement and beautification, and an innovative Makerspace, that serves the Oak Hill corridor, the South Side, and the City of Youngstown as a whole."
The Collaborative has become an essential advocate for the area's neighborhood organization and beautification efforts, and since opening its doors in early 2014, Oak Hill Collaborative's small business incubator has assisted more than 20 small businesses with services including: office space, office equipment and supplies, grant writing, networking, legal assistance, accounting, business planning, marketing and technical assistance.
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio
Business Journal Daily, August 5, 2016
An effort to bridge the “digital divide” for those from low–to-moderate income households is under way at the Oak Hill Collaborative this summer.
The Oak Hill Collaborative is nearing completion of a program it sponsored that engaged 12 young people in STEM education and hands-on training in building and programming a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The program’s target population consists of students between the ages of 10 and 15 who live within a 10-mile radius of the collaborative at 507 Oak Hill Ave.
These programs are designed to bridge the digital divide by serving those children who may have limited access to the internet and other key technologies, said Patrick Kerrigan, executive director. The program teaches students skills and provides internet access through Raspberry Pi devices that the students built and programmed themselves.
This was the second of three such programs hosted this year by Oak Hill, Kerrigan said. The final class is scheduled for this Saturday, and the next program begins next week.
The Oak Hill Collaborative describes its mission as promoting “economic development and community revitalization through small business development, neighborhood improvement and beautification, and an innovative Makerspace.”
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Vindicator, January 15, 2016
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
Not long ago, Charitey Riggs served in the Army Reserve and was in college, but a few poor decisions temporarily derailed her plans – and easily could have ended her life.
“They [nearly] took my life; they almost killed me,” the 22-year-old Salem woman said, referring to her drug addiction that led to her having served 16 months on theft and forgery charges at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.
Fifteen months after her release, however, Riggs is contemplating returning to college and is working at two restaurants in Columbiana County. But perhaps most important for her, she is using her hardships and triumphs to help other inmates across the state.
Riggs was among those who shared their stories during Thursday’s HOPE Channel Returns program at Oak Hill Collaborative Inc., 507 Oak Hill Ave., on the South Side.
United Returning Citizens, a nonprofit, grass-roots organization that helps those released from prison get readjusted to being in society, hosted the seven-hour gathering.
The event was to allow former inmates and their families to discuss their experiences on film via the HOPE (Helping Ohio Prisoners Excel) Channel and give encouragement to those who are incarcerated, noted Dionne Dowdy, URC’s executive director.
The channel is a 24-hour TV station run by a crew of inmates from the Grafton Correctional Institution in Lorain County. Programming airs throughout the state’s prison system and offers, among other things, information regarding resources, programs and efforts to reintegrate into society those who are incarcerated.
Rodney Austin and Steve Greener, both of whom are inmates at Grafton and are with the HOPE Channel, conducted and filmed the interviews during Thursday’s program.
Riggs said she regrets not having taken advantage of offerings in prison. Now, however, she’s committed to using her difficulties to encourage and give strength to others, she added.
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Vindicator, December 5, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

I received a call last month from Pat Kerrigan, executive director of the Oak Hill Collaborative on the city’s South Side, about the successful conclusion of a collaborative-sponsored event for inner-city children.
It was a four-week program involving Raspberry Pi, which Kerrigan explained as an inexpensive computer that plugs into a television or computer keyboard. It is used in electronics projects and for many of the functions performed on a PC, including spreadsheets and word processing. The course was open to students from the fifth through 10th grades.
The collaborative supplied 10 neighborhood children with computer microprocessors, keyboards, wireless mice and television monitors that they assembled and programmed to do a variety of computer tasks. The project was funded solely by personal donations.
“Our goal was to help reduce the digital divide by giving these young kids the opportunity to build and own their personal computers. Their intelligence, curiosity and imagination are incredible,” Kerrigan said.
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WKBN, November 17, 2015
 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
A group of kids on Youngstown's southside are learning more than how to play video games. It starts with a tiny, intricate device called "Rasberry Pi." The micro processor looks complicated but, to many of them understanding the device is as easy as pie.
"It's a little computer that can do basically, everything," said Student Passion Hylton. Rasberry Pi was created with the sole purpose of teaching kids how to build and program a computer.

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The Business Journal, October 27, 2015
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio —A four-week program designed to enhance the computer skills of middle school and high school students will be launched tonight at the Oak Hill Collaborative. The Oak Hill Collaborative Makerspace is offering the program to help students learn how to build and program their own Raspberry Pi computers. They will learn to assemble, configure and install wireless Internet on their Raspberry Pis through workshops overseen by computer programmers and experienced engineers from the Oak Hill Makerspace.
A Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive computer the size of a credit card that plugs into a television or computer keyboard. It is used in electronics projects and for many of the functions performed on a PC, including spreadsheets, word processing, browsing the Internet and playing games.
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WKBN, April 17, 2015 NOBLE, Ohio (WKBN) – At this very moment, 50,000 people are behind bars in Ohio state prisons. Some day, many will complete their sentences and go back home to their communities. But nearly 30 percent of those former prisoners will find themselves back behind bars. The number one problem many face is finding a job. Organizations like Youngstown’s Community Initiative to Reduce Violence are helping felons. C.I.R.V. has a new program to help ‘returning citizens’ find work and new lives when they leave prison. “It is very hard. When you have a record, it follows you. That is why we are so heavy on prevention. My wish is that young people don’t make those choices,” C.I.R.V. Director Guy Burney said. Former Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Patrick Kerrigan was convicted on bribery and obstruction charges in 1998 and served 19 months in federal prison. He said the hardest part of coming back into society was trying to find work. “Although I had skills, as a judge, as a lawyer, as a writer, as a scholar, I could not get a job with anybody trying to write briefs or help do research or any of those kinds of things,” Kerrigan said. The lack of a way to make a living sends many felons back to prison, most of them within three years of leaving. It is called a recidivism rate. “The biggest problem with crime in America today is poverty and drugs. And those two are interrelated. But if you go back to the environment where you are poor and everyone around you is using drugs, it is very difficult to stay away from that,” Kerrigan said. Read more

The Jambar, November 3, 2014 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- From small businesses to students with innovative ideas, the Oak Hill Collaborative — a neighborhood revitalization agency on the south side of Youngstown — showcased opportunities at Youngstown Design Works’ pop-up shop event “in-House” last week. Youngstown Design Works, a student run design agency from Youngstown State University, was started last spring by graphic design majors to provide creative solutions for Mahoning Valley region non-profit organizations, small businesses and startup companies. YDW provided print services, brochures, publications, business cards, logos, websites, animations and base level application designs at the event. RJ Thompson, director of Youngstown Design Works and assistant professor of graphic and interactive design at YSU, envisioned a graphic service that could both meet the needs of Mahoning Valley businesses while providing students with practical experience working on real world projects, such as those generated at the in-House event. “We’re set up here at the Oak Hill Collaborative as a means of giving the community access to high quality design, but a bit more on their level. We have a lot of community groups, startup businesses, small businesses and non-profits that have a need and a demand for high quality work, but don’t exactly have the access to design that they need. So by making ourselves available to the community, we’re able to create and cultivate new relationships that ideally endure for years on end,” Thompson said. “It’s all about access.” Read more
Youngstown Vindicator, August 4, 2014 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Rick France, a teacher of 40 years in industrial technology at Badger High School, remembers the start of his teaching days when they used paper and pencil to draft ideas. Now, his students are on the cusp of learning the newest technology and what is considered the transformation of manufacturing. That technology is 3-D printing. “It’s a good thing,” France said. “It’s a sign of life and innovation.” France was one of the hundreds of attendees at the finale of the four-day Youngstown Maker City Initiative where about 12 local makers showcased products, the nationally recognized 3-D printing hub America Makes opened its doors to the public, and where U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, called on citizens of the Valley to “figure out some way, shape or form we can convert our economy to fuel this next movement.” “The reality of what we are experiencing ... is a complete transformation of manufacturing,” Ryan said. “And the epicenter of that is right here [in Youngstown]." Read more
The Business Journal, April 7, 2014 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Corrine DeCesare spent a year working along with her father in the oil fields throughout the Midwest. Then, just more than a year ago, she decided to trade that life for a business of her own, one inspired by her faith. Today, DeCesare runs a seamstress and clothing line, Jesus Speak, and leases space at the Oak Hill Collaborative Inc., a neighborhood redevelopment initiative on the south side of Youngstown that encourages people to become their own bosses. “Right now, I’m selling through an online boutique,” DeCesare says. From her small office on the ground floor of the Oak Hill Collaborative building, 507 Oak Hill Ave., DeCesare creates a line of custom clothing, each of which contains a message from Jesus sewn into the garment. “We have a lot of ideas,” she says. “We’re also tossing around the idea of doing some sewing classes.” Jesus Speak is one of the seven tenants leasing space in the Collaborative, once an abandoned annex of Forum Health. Now, the 6,800-square-foot building is remodeled office space, suitable for entrepreneurs and small startups that could help revitalize this section of the South Side. “We are, at the core, a neighborhood revitalization organization,” explains the collaborative’s executive director, Patrick Kerrigan. “But, it’s more than just cutting the grass and tearing down buildings. There has to be a jobs component.” Read more
TheNewsOutlet.org, February 24, 2014 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- St. Patrick’s Church is at the heart of the collaboration. The project’s director, Patrick Kerrigan, is also president of the church’s parish council. KERRIGAN: Now, it’s my main job to acquire property. I’ve probably acquired 50 to 60 lots from the city, from estates. The former judge says the Oak Hill Collaborative converted some vacant lots into community gardens and partnered with Grow Youngstown. They’ve also successfully torn down abandoned properties and helped restore others. Their biggest project to date: The restoration of what’s now the project’s home and epicenter. KERRIGAN: This building is abandoned. We need to put our money where our mouth is and show that we can restore, retain and repair some of these buildings. The one-story brick building, located at 507 Oak Hill, was in bad shape, with no utility lines and stripped to the foundation. KERRIGAN: Totally and completely gutted, down to the concrete walls. It had a hole in the roof. No electric, no plumbing, no windows. We redid it completely. We’re very proud of it. Read more
The Business Journal, May 9, 2013 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- A South Side improvement organization plans to operate a small business incubator on a long-vacant building on Oak Hill Avenue, reports the group‘s director, former municipal judge Patrick Kerrigan. The Oak Hill Collaborative will also locate offices in the building at 507 Oak Hill Ave. The incubator is set to open in about six weeks, following a nearly $200,000 renovation of the building, which had been owned by the former Forum Health Inc. Oak Hill Collaborative, formed six months ago, acquired the 3,120-square-foot building from its most recent owners for $20,000, Mahoning County property records show. Community Health Systems Inc., which acquired Forum’s assets in 2010, has agreed to donate an adjacent parcel to the nonprofit organization. Kerrigan says his organization discovered the building and decided it would be a good location for a business incubator. Oak Hill Collaborative also wants to build upon the neighborhood revitalization and cleanup efforts launched by St. Patrick Church in the South Side neighborhood and to move them down the street. “We think it’s not the duty of the church, or for people to look to the church, to continue those efforts, and we formed this corporation to do that,” he said. Read more