All posts tagged pennsylvania

Keystone Community Foundation Receives Award

The 2019 Outstanding Group Program is the Keystone Community Education Council and their Plastics Process Technician Apprenticeship Program. The Plastics Process Technician Apprenticeship Program is a collaboration of twelve plastics manufacturers in NW PA who pioneered the unique program.

The idea took fruition through the Next Generation Plastics Industry Partnership when partners determined what was wanted and needed in a plastics apprenticeship program. From those needs, a partnership was struck between the American Injection Molding Institute (AIM) and Clarion University as AIM provides the technical training and Clarion University provides the general education components.

Employers were satisfied with the knowledge that their employees received through the first cohort of the program and recommended the program to their industry peers.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Commissioner Candidates Share Need for Common Vision

The four candidates for Venango County commissioner responded to questions prepared by the Chamber’s Advocacy committee and moderated by Chamber leaders Trenton Moulin and Frank Hajduk at a forum on Tuesday, October 29.

Chip Abramovic, Sam Breene, Mike Dulaney, and Bonnie Summers, seated comfortably on the stage at Rhoades Auditorium at Clarion University – Venango, each shared their experience that qualifies them to manage the responsibility of more than 450 employees and a budget of $60 million.  Each had similar views of a commissioner’s role in local economic development, most citing job growth as a priority. 

Venango County, like rural communities throughout the country, has experience steady population decline, along with a rapidly aging community.  When questioned about strategies to address this issue, the focus shared was on celebrating the benefits of living and doing business in Venango County, including a low cost of living, a high quality of life (specifically access to attractive outdoor activities), and  proximity to larger business centers. All candidates echoed the need for a common vision and unity in planning for the future.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5th. Find your polling place here.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

PA Chamber’s 28th Economic Survey

Despite record confidence, concerns over skills gap, healthcare and state tax structure continue to burden employees.

Employers are reporting record high confidence in the state’s business climate, and are making investments in their facilities and workers that reflect this optimism. However, a job skills gap was listed for the first time as the biggest hurdle facing their business, and ongoing concerns about the state’s tax structure and rising healthcare rates still create barriers to economic opportunity.  These indicators are among the responses from the PA Chamber’s 28th Annual Economic Survey, which was conducted in August 2018 by Susquehanna Polling and Research, a Harrisburg-based public opinion polling company.

According to the survey of 650 employers, job creators listed difficulties finding skilled and qualified employees to fill open positions as the biggest problems facing their companies.  This represents a stark increase over last year and has officially reached a record high as business owners’ overriding issue.

Perhaps most importantly, concern about finding qualified applicants now trumps other traditional pocketbook issues usually “top of mind” to employers, such as concern about taxes (down to 8%), health care insurance (down to 7%) and excessive mandates and regulations (at 6%).

To review the 28th Annual Economic Survey, visit the PA Chamber’s website link

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

“Our Town: Stories From Franklin” to Air Tonight

Tonight (Thursday, October 19) at 8 p.m., Our Town, a program of WQLN Public Media, will air on WQLN-TV 54.1 and live stream on

Our Town is a video scrapbook of the people, places, and happenings of the Franklin, PA, area, as seen through the eyes of residents. Video footage and photos have been collected by community members throughout the past few months. According to an article by The Derrick. & The News-Herald, twenty-four interviews were conducted and stories include events such as Applefest and Light Up Night, the Silver Cornet Band, DeBence Antique Music World and historical markers found throughout town.

Many other local towns have had Our Town productions in the past, including Oil City and Titusville.

To learn more and watch all Our Town videos, please visit

our town