All posts tagged future leaders

Leadership Venango Holds Inaugural Retreat

Retreat2The 2019 Class of Leadership Venango got off to a great start on Friday, September 21st with a full-day retreat held at Whitehall Camp and Conference Center in Emlenton. The class of 13, representing all areas of the county with a diverse mix of men and women in different fields and various positions of leadership, took part in team-building, personality testing, visioning exercises, and more.

Lance Hummer, executive director of the Keystone Community Education Council, started the day with personality testing that allowed the participants to both see themselves more clearly and to better understand each other. Team-building exercises, led by Whitehall staff, helped the participants to break down their walls and communicate with one another in a dynamic way.

During a discussion about what our ideal community would look like, the class had an energetic exchange that led them to choosing a topic for projects they will work on throughout the program.Retreat4

The class will spend the next 9 months meeting once a month in locations all over the county, focusing on themes like honorable leadership, business and economic development, and maximizing clean communications. Each session will feature members of the community as both speakers and facilitators, allowing the class the opportunity to make valuable connections that will be an asset to them in future endeavors.

To learn more about Leadership Venango visit

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s October 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Job Shadow Opportunities at Your Business

Picture1With the new school year beginning, students will return to a variety of programs aimed to prepare them for entering the workforce.  Many of our local school districts encourage or even require students to job shadow.

The Education Committee of the Venango Chamber is working to identify how we can assist businesses in being prepared for requests for students to spend time with them.  As with any learning experience, a job shadow will be most meaningful if both the student and the business have considered and agreed on the expectations for their time spent together.

We will be asking businesses to complete a short online form, if they are willing to host a student and provide specific information that a student will need to know before requesting to shadow.

Some businesses may have limitations on what areas they can allow students into, due to safety or confidentiality, but many can still provide a glimpse into why a student should consider a future in a specific line of work.

“Businesses throughout the county and across all industries have expressed they are struggling to find qualified and willing workers,” Chamber President Susan Williams shares.

“We believe the very best way to prepare students today for jobs tomorrow is to invite them into businesses, where they can observe the skills or education needed to pursue a vocation available here in Venango County. It is important for them to see where family and friends are employed and ideally exemplify pride in the work they do.”

If your business welcomes students, please complete our form at:

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) Hosts 63 Venango County Students

PFEW1Your Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is all about business! We love supporting not only local business, but anything that educates our youth about business and future employment opportunities right here in Venango County. That’s why for years we’ve supported Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). This award-winning program teaches students to understand and celebrate our American private enterprise system and provides a unique, hands-on learning experience that helps students develop the vital skills businesses need to succeed.

This summer, 63 students from Cranberry Area, Franklin Area, Oil City and Rocky Grove high schools, along with one home school student joined over 2,000 students from across the state to participate in the 40th annual PFEW summer program recently concluded in Williamsport.

At PFEW, students form management teams of approximately eighteen students and run their own manufacturing company, competing against other student companies. Throughout the week, world class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics germane to the business world and their personal and professional development.

It is not only a powerful educational experience, it can be positively life-changing.

Here are several quotes from local students who attended this year’s program:PFEW4

“My time at PFEW can be summarized in one word: growth. I do not know how different my life would be if I did not attend this camp. Thanks to your selfless sponsorship, that uncertain future has developed into a confident, hopeful one.” – David Ferraro, Franklin Area High School

“This experience was very beneficial to me. Though I am an honors student taking AP level courses, I cannot think of another experience to prepare me for the real world. It was here that I learned to have more faith in myself, and all that I can accomplish.” – Rachel Bell, Cranberry Area High School

“Without PFEW, I didn’t know what my purpose was, but after the first few days, I knew this week would change me. I am leaving PFEW with new found knowledge of the business world and all it has to offer. You are who got me here. You are why I changed this week. You have given me a purpose.” – Saige Slater, Cranberry Area High School

The program is taught entirely by volunteer practitioners from the PA business community, and each year, over 200 volunteers are needed to put on this world-class program.

StudenPFEWlogoRGBclrts attend via a $625 scholarship donated by a local business, foundation, civic organization or individual. This year, ten Venango County organizations provided scholarship support for their local students to attend.

To get involved as a donor or volunteer, or to discover more about PFEW, visit their website at, or call Scott Lee at 814-833-9576.



This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Program Applications Due September 7

Venango County’s rural communitieLeadership Venango Logos, like others across the country, are competing to recruit and retain individuals who will not only live here, but will work and be actively engaged in contributing to making this a better place. More than ever, our communities need to be developing local leaders, those who have the best interest of others in mind, whether it be in their families, the workplace or in the community.

Opportunities to learn leadership can be limited, with resources of time and money being a deterrent to many employers providing training. Families and communities are stretched thin, making it difficult to commit dedicated time to attend training or simply build meaningful relationships in the community.

Leadership Venango is designed to build executive level skills, through a variety of programs and hands-on learning activities, while introducing class participants to a more in-depth knowledge of our area. With presentations from local leaders and curriculum developed by leadership programs from across the country, individuals will be better prepared to respond to community needs, advance professionally and work in teams.

Participants are welcomed from the business and non-profit community. Sending your employees to Leadership Venango is an investment in their future and in the community.

Learn more and apply for the program by visiting


This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Venango – Preparing Our Future Leaders

The Venango Chamber will launch Leadership Venango this September, a nine-month program designed to strengthen leadership and professional development skills of current and future business leaders.

The program, one of more than 50 professional leadership programs throughout the state, will begin with a two-day retreat (September 21 & 22) and continue with full-day sessions on the second Wednesday of each month through May, with graduation held in June.

Each session will be around a leadership topic, have a focus on regional assets and include interactive activities. Class participants will leave the program with a richer understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Venango Area and will be better tooled for positive impact in their businesses and community.

The cost of the class is $950. Tuition covers all program materials, instructors, the opening retreat, lunches, and administrative cost. Tuition is non-refundable.

Attendance and full participation is required at every session, the two-day retreat, and graduation, unless an emergency arises. In which case, only two excused absences for emergency situations will be allowed. Additional time may be required for some session participation and other program elements.

More information and an application will be available in June at

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.