All posts tagged Northwest Commission

Northwest Commission Provides Assistance With COSTARS Program

COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s cooperative purchasing program administered by the Department of General Services (DGS) Bureau of Procurement. The COSTARS program provides registered local public procurement units as well as state-affiliated entities (together “members”) and suppliers a tool to find and do business with each other through the use of a contract established by DGS.

Simply put, COSTARS is a vehicle for vendors to do business on the local government level.

The COSTARS program consists of multiple contracts, each for a different variety of products, that approved vendors & suppliers can sell their products/services through.

Some of the current industries COSTARS is soliciting bids from include: janitorial supplies, foods, graphic and printing services, toiletries, pest control services, municipal work vehicles, energy consulting services, and furniture and window treatments.

DGS requires eligible LPPUs and state-affiliated entities to register as COSTARS members, and only those organizations registered with DGS may purchase from COSTARS contracts. The participating buying organizations are collectively referred to as “Members”.

 Northwest Commission’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is a free resource to businesses in our area that seek to do work in the government market, this includes providing guidance and assistance with the COSTARS program.

 Visit their website at or contact, 814-677-4800 to speak with Robyn, Melissa or Kelly.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s May 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Robyn Young Named APTAC Region 3 Director

Robyn Young, Government Contracting Manager for the Northwest Commission Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), was recently appointed to be a Regional Director of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).

Young will head Region 3, representing Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland; there are 12 PTAC offices in this region and nearly 100 across the country. She was officially elected and recognized during the Spring 2019 APTAC Conference in March in Reno, NV.

In addition to her duties as program manager of the Northwest Commission PTAC, Robyn will serve on the board of APTAC and represent Region 3 for a two-year term. APTAC’s Board and Committees are comprised entirely of volunteers who represent member PTACs. Robyn brings 7+ years of government contracting experience to the Association and strives to be a strong resource for new and seasoned PTACers.

PTACs are charged with assisting businesses in learning how to do business with federal, state, and local governments. PTACs are a local resource available at no or nominal cost that can provide assistance to business firms in marketing their products and services. They offer training to businesses on how to research and bid on contracts, assist with registration requirements, provide bid-matching services, and assist with pre and post award contracting issues.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s April 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Meet Our Board – Rebecca Beach

RebeccaRebecca Beach, Loan Program Manager at the Northwest Commission in Oil City, joined the Venango Chamber Board of Directors about four years ago.

At the Chamber, Rebecca serves on both the Executive and Finance Committees, and is an avid volunteer for the organization. She enjoys attending mixers and connecting with other members of the Board and Chamber.

Originally from this area, Rebecca attended Rocky Grove High School, then graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration. She moved home after graduation, but worked out of Erie, until she found a job position locally.

Rebecca has been involved with Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange (FLEX), the Chamber’s young professionals group, since 2011, where she has made many new friendships and appreciates the opportunities for networking. She is also a member of the committee for the Be Here initiative.

Prior to her job at the Northwest Commission, where she started in May of this year, Rebecca worked in banking for almost a decade. In the community, Rebecca serves on the Friends of the Oil Creek Board of Directors and is involved with multiple committees at the United Way of Venango County.

Rebecca resides in President and enjoys living along the river. In her free time, she likes being outdoors kayaking in the warmer months and skiing in the winter.

“I enjoy living and working in the Venango area because it’s such a close knit community,” Rebecca said. “I look forward to continuing to serve for the Chamber and other community organizations, to help our county and surrounding areas thrive.”

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

Northwest Commission’s Government Contracting Program Serves Region for Over 30 Years

2013-PTAC-Logo-2The Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission serves as a Local Development District for eight counties in Northwest PA. Among the many programs offered by the Commission is the free government contracting assistance office known as a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

PTACs are non-profit organizations located throughout the U.S. which provide contracting and subcontracting assistance to companies pursuing work with Federal, State and Local agencies. The Northwest Commission’s PTAC office has assisted hundreds of companies, bringing more than a billion dollars’ worth of contracts to the region.

How does PTAC help businesses?

The PTAC assists businesses large and small in understanding and navigating government contracting to become more competitive and successful in this market. PTAC does this by providing one-on-one confidential counseling, bid opportunities and networking & training events.

What does this service cost?

The PTAC Program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA); they also receive funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This means they are able to offer government contracting assistance FREE OF CHARGE to businesses located in their 8-county region.

How do I find out more?

Learn more about the Northwest Commission PTAC by visiting
On this site, you’ll find program staff contact information, client testimonials, and links to PTAC events, newsletter & Request for Counseling form.

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

Sue Smith retiring from Northwest; Siegel to take place as Regional Planning Manager

sueNorthwest Commission Regional Planning Manager, Sue Smith’s last day is June 29th.  Her duties at the Commission included managing the region’s infrastructure planning and development and coordinates transportation planning and programming between the counties of Clarion, Crawford, Forest, Venango, and Warren, and the Department of Transportation through the development of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  She also facilitated the Greenways Block Grant Program which uses small grants to advance economic growth and implementation of the greenways plans throughout the region.

Northwest Commission Executive Director, Jill Foys, stated, “Sue’s career of service to the Northwest Pennsylvania region and Venango County is to be recognized and respected. During her tenure at the Northwest Commission, she has created a foundation of relationships and processes that will serve the agency well in the future.  On behalf of the Northwest Commission Board of Directors and Staff, I wish Sue good health and best wishes in her retirement.”

As a former county commissioner, she brought a broad range of experience and insight to transportation and regional planning.  She plans on traveling during her retirement and visiting with her children and grandchildren.

Taking her place is Travis Siegel who is currently employed at the Northwest Commission as the TravisProject Specialist.  Siegel joined the Commission in 2007.  Over the past 11 years, Travis has worked in both the economic development and community development programs.

Foys went on to say, “The Board of Directors and I are pleased to promote Travis to a position of program management in the agency.  His professional growth during his career at the Northwest Commission has prepared him well for the role and we look forward to him building on Sue’s work and achieving his vision for the Transportation Planning Program.”

Most recently, he has coordinated the PennDOT Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) for Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.  Siegel stated, “I look forward to this role and being a part of the Northwest Rural Planning Organization.  Sue has done a great job working with PennDOT and the counties we serve.  I hope to continue that relationship.”

Siegel resides in Clarion, PA with his wife Kelly and three daughters, Noelle, Scarlett and Isla.