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Absent Investment, Congressman Ryan Says the Midwest is Left With Nostalgia

Tim Ryan, far right, organized the Comeback Cities Tour with his California Counterpart. Ro Khanna
M.L. SCHULTZE
/
WKSU
Tim Ryan, far right, organized the Comeback Cities Tour with his California Counterpart. Ro Khanna

More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists traveled to Youngstown and Akron yesterday, looking for ways to invest in the Midwest. 

The Comeback Cities Tour was organized by Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and his California counterpart, Congressman Ro Khanna. Ryan says the goal is to round out the uneven American economy by boosting entrepreneurs who are not based on the East and West Coasts. 

“If we line up the capital with the ideas, we will have growth in communities like this. And we will be OK with a comprehensive immigration plan that brings people into this society because those are entrepreneurs, too," Ryan said. "But if there’s not money behind that in communities like ours, people will default to nostalgia.”

The group of investors includedJ.D. Vance, who grew up in Ohio and whose book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” detailed economic and cultural desperation hitting in parts of the Midwest. His fund focuses on entrepreneurship outside the Silicon Valley. 

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M.L. Schultze
M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.