TO: JD Vance and Ron DeSantis
FROM: Tim Ryan
SUBJECT: Itinerary For Your Trip to the Mahoning Valley
Welcome to the Mahoning Valley, JD and Ron! I know you’re both new to Ohio, so I wanted to make sure you had a top-notch itinerary that will help you make the most of your visit. As someone who was born, raised, and still lives in the Mahoning Valley, I hope my expertise can help you learn a little bit more about our world-class businesses, booming new Voltage Valley, and incredible people, places, and restaurants.
9:45 AM Arrive in Northeast Ohio for Breakfast at Rhonda’s Emerald Diner [This venue may look familiar]
Ron, I know you’re coming from Florida. JD, I can never keep track of where you’re hanging out with your billionaire buddies (New York? California?). Either way, when you guys land in Ohio, you’ve got a full day of activities ahead of you.
You’ll begin in this Ohio diner, where you’ll find everyday Ohioans (intimidating, I know—stay strong) grabbing a hot cup of coffee or some griddle-fresh pancakes. It may not look like the “tasty brunches” you’re used to back in San Francisco, but the food can’t be beat, and you’ll need a meal that sticks to your ribs for the busy day ahead.
10:30 AM Tour of Ultium Cells
JD, your recent comments on Ohio’s electric vehicle industry show that you have no idea about what’s going on in the Voltage Valley, so I made sure your itinerary includes stops at all the new advanced manufacturing plants that are setting Ohio up to dominate the industries of the future.
After breakfast, you’ll head over to Warren to tour Ultium’s state-of-the-art battery cell manufacturing plant. This plant will produce millions of battery cells used for electric vehicles every year and is slated to create 1,300 new high-tech jobs, along with thousands more good-paying union construction jobs along the way.
11:30 AM Tour of Foxconn Lordstown
Once you wrap up at Ultium, you’ll head over to Lordstown’s Foxconn facility, where three different companies are gearing up to produce electric vehicles—including trucks, tractors, and a new family car priced at $30,000 or less. Lordstown’s operation is quickly growing and creating new opportunities for hundreds of Valley workers.
12:30 PM Lunch Break at the Buena Vista in Warren
Now, I know this trip will include a lot of new information for you and you may be tired after all your travels. You’ll need a nice lunch break to prepare for the rest of the day. Luckily, you’ve got no shortage of incredible food options to choose from. But I highly recommend Uncle Nick’s Greek Fried Chicken at the Buena Vista for some local flavor. This is an institution in the Valley that’s been serving damn good food since the 1950s.
1:00 PM Tour of BRITE Energy Innovators
After a delicious lunch, you’ll make your way down the street to visit BRITE Energy Innovators, a local powerhouse that I helped bring to the Valley to kickstart our clean manufacturing revolution. It might not look like the slick Silicon Valley boardrooms you’re used to, but BRITE gives startups the support, guidance, and connections they need so they can start, scale, and stay in Ohio. BRITE and the companies they support have created more than 1,600 jobs—and counting.
2:00 PM Trumbull Energy Center Site Visit
While electric vehicle manufacturing is a quickly growing industry here in the Valley, natural gas also plays an important role in our economy (and that’s why I voted to expand and protect natural gas production here in Ohio). So, up next on the agenda is a visit to the site of the future $1.2 billion natural gas power plant in Lordstown, which I personally pushed to get built here. This project is expected to create 1,100 new jobs in Trumbull County and will help lower energy costs and ensure our grid is powered by reliable, Ohio-made energy.
3:00 PM Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor
As newcomers, I know you may not be familiar with Ohio history, but the steel industry and labor movement have deep roots in the Mahoning Valley. That’s why I’ve built in some time for a visit to the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (or as we locals call it, the Steel Museum). The museum is full of photos, stories, and artifacts from the men and women who built the Valley into what it is today. Heck—you may even be able to take some lessons from your visit back home to California and Florida (or Iowa, New Hampshire, Dallas, or wherever you guys are off to next).
4:30 PM Lanternman’s Mill in Mill Creek Metropark
I know that two coastal elites such as yourselves are probably missing the beaches and wishing you could catch a few waves by now. I’m sorry the surfing’s not as good on Lake Erie, but don’t worry, you can pick up a souvenir from Surf Ohio before you go!
If you’re willing to stay inland a little while longer, you should try to stop and stretch your legs and take a look at historic Lanternman’s Mill in Mill Creek Metropark, while enjoying some fresh air. Don’t worry—while summer in San Francisco may be cold and cloudy, and Tallahassee is hot and muggy, August is the perfect time to get outside here in Northeast Ohio.
5:30 PM Dinner at the MVR Club
You may be missing your San Francisco sourdough by now, but I can assure you there’s nothing more Youngstown than Brier Hill Pizza. The pizza got its name from the working-class Italian neighborhood where it was invented. I know you’re more used to talking down to working folks than eating their food, but this legendary “working man’s dish” is a huge part of our community’s history, and I promise you’ll be dreaming of it all the way back to the Coast. Don’t forget the hot peppers in oil!
6:15 PM Ice Cream
You can’t go wrong with a bowl of ice cream after dinner, so you’ll round out your trip at Handel’s. They hit it out of the park with every single flavor, but my personal favorite is Chocolate Cake Batter.
And that concludes your day in the Mahoning Valley! I’m so glad the two of you finally decided to come visit Ohio. I know you try to spend as little time here as possible (must be hard to feel so “out of place” here), but I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about my hometown. Don’t bother coming back soon!