Within the next month, reservists from Youngstown Air Reserve Station in northeast Ohio will help the city of Youngstown tear down 11 vacant homes.
The partnership, an initiative under the Air Force Community Partnership program, will provide the city with the labor to perform the demolitions, while providing the airmen with experience they may not receive otherwise.
“They do everything from HVAC to electrical, to plumbing and carpentry. This is an opportunity for them to operate heavy equipment, get training in equipment they might not normally see at the Air Reserve Station,” said Col. James Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander.
The air reserve station also will help the city hang up street signs. Local officials hope the collaboration leads to larger projects in the coming years.
“We’re using the work that’s going to be done in the Taft School area as sort of a model program, to see how it works and hopefully convince the folks in Washington this is something that would be more worthwhile over a larger stretch of the south side, the north side and the east side,” Youngstown Mayor John McNally told WFMJ.
“It’s a good way to start,” Dignan said. “We’ll start small and look to expand it.”