All posts tagged venango county

First-Hand Experience: Encouraging Students to Explore Local Businesses

How do businesses attract and retain the incoming workforce? It’s a question that is asked across the region, state, and country. With the current situation of more job openings than candidates to fill them, it is critical that we expose today’s students to the jobs that exist.

Many local students are required to spend time in businesses as part of their career exploration. The benefit to local business is that this is a time to make a great impression on a student about your business.

While students become familiar with the skills and knowledge required in various employment opportunities, many businesses benefit from an introduction that may lead to a future employee.

High school and college students are looking for those opportunities right now. In many cases, shadowing a business or interning is a requirement for graduation. Several college students have already sent their resumes to the Chamber for consideration. We are happy to share them with those businesses that are interested in having a college student join their summer workforce.

See some examples below of students gaining experience at local businesses.

Are you looking for an intern or willing to host a job shadow?
Contact the Venango Chamber at or (814) 676-8521.

Halyne Riley, senior at Oil City High School, job shadows at UPMC Northwest. Justine McClaine, student at Clarion University, shows her the X-Ray machine. Halyne has recently committed to also attend Clarion University next year and wants to pursue a career in the medical field.

Students in eAcademy meet with Cindy Elder at Clarion County Community Bank. There are four students in the program this year from Cranberry, Oil City, Rocky Grove, and Titusville High School, and the group takes frequent tours of local businesses.

SaVahna Scott, junior at Cranberry High School and student in the Culinary Arts class at Venango Technology Center (Vo-Tech), job shadowed at Core Goods in Oil City a year ago and is now working part-time at the store through Vo-Tech’s co-op program.

Anna Moore, senior at Cranberry High School, completed her job shadow at Nicole’s Bridal in Seneca and continues to volunteer at the store. Anna plans to pursue business after graduating high school.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s March 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Leadership Venango Holds Fifth Session: Honorable Leadership

The 2020 class of Leadership Venango met for their fifth session in February in Franklin to learn about local governance and honorable leadership.

The day began at the County Courthouse Annex with a panel discussion facilitated by Randy Arnold, 2019 Leadership Venango graduate. The panel included Jason Ruggerio (County Planning Commission), Mike Port (Cranberry School District board member) and Tracy Jamieson (manager of the city of Franklin). They were asked about their respective jobs including motivation and challenges, and gave advice on how to obtain similar leadership positions.

Next was Joseph Grunenwald, past President of Clarion University and an active community member. He spoke on what it means to be an “honorable” leader and traits these leaders have, including honesty, courage, long-term persistence, humility and doing the right thing even when it’s hard. The best leaders are forward thinking and put service above self.

The group walked to the Barrow’s Little Theatre for lunch and a discussion with the three County Commissioners. They discussed job responsibilities, challenges of the County, and their hopes for moving the County forward as united leaders.  They also encouraged questions and stated their open door policy of hearing constituents’ concerns. 

After lunch, members of the FLEX Young Professionals gave an overview of the group’s mission and activities and encouraged participants to consider membership.

Trenton Moulin, President/CEO of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, then gave a presentation on Boardsmanship.  He discussed the importance of serving on a board that lines up with personal values. As a future resource, he gave each member of the classa copy of the Handbook for Directors of Nonprofit Corporations in the United States of America. Prior to leaving, Zach Covington gave the class a tour of  the Barrow-Civic Theatre.

The last stop of the afternoon was to visit Judge Lobaugh and tour the Venango County Courthouse. Judge Lobaugh was a gracious host describing the history of the building and its contents. He exemplified the qualities of an honorable leader as it was clear he has devoted his career to child advocacy and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.  It was also clear that he had a passion and love for Venango County.

The next session will be in March at UPMC Northwest and will focus on “Leading a Healthy Community.”

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s March 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Tourism Mini Grant Opportunity for Local Organizations & Businesses

The Oil Region Alliance (ORA) is offering mini grants for printing brochures and rack cards for tourism destinations in the Oil Region.

Both non-profits, such as museums, and for-profits, like shops and restaurants, can apply for half the cost of printing a brochure or rack card up to $500. Applicants are required to match the cost. Only one grant may be awarded per cycle, per location.

“This is an excellent opportunity for local tourism destinations to create a marketing piece to represent them in a variety of welcome centers and literature racks throughout the region,” said Emily Altomare, Communications and Tourism Manager of the ORA.

To apply, submit a final copy of the product to be printed (with the acknowledgment of funding support by the ORA specified in the rules), a copy of the quote or proposal for the printing cost, and a completed W-9 and application.

Rules and applications are available at the ORA office at 217 Elm Street in Oil City and online at Applications are due by Friday, March 13, in hard copy form to the ORA office or via e-mail to

The ORA will respond to applicants by Friday, March 20. The Oil Region Alliance must review and approve all materials before they are printed and reserves the right to not fund the grant if the final product does not adhere to the guidelines. Printing should be completed and stock should be delivered to the ORA office by Friday, May 1, for distribution throughout the Oil Region, which includes all of Venango County and sites in Titusville and Foxburg.

Questions about this opportunity can be directed to Emily Altomare at:

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s March 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Education Update: Students Prepare for Future Careers

How will you attract future employees?  A great place to start is by inviting today’s students to learn about your business and what skills or education they will need to work for you. Career fairs, mock interviews, and job shadows are the best way to introduce local students to careers in Venango County.

Oil City High School will hold its annual College and Career Fair on March 11, with the goal to educate 9-12 grade students on the many college and career opportunities available within a reasonable distance from the Oil City area. Last year, they had 51 tables representing a variety of careers, businesses, military branches, colleges, and trade/technical schools.

Students will have a 20 minute time allotment to meet and greet in an interview type scenario. Participants should come prepared with a table setup (tables provided) that will help engage questions and answers from teenagers who are perhaps a bit shy about how to approach someone.

There will be students available to assist with set-up/tear-down, etc. There will also be beverages and refreshments provided for all vendors. If interested, please complete the form at the link provided:

Job Shadows

Many students are seeking an opportunity to shadow a business, which may be a part of their graduation requirement, but more importantly provides them with a chance to see firsthand what a day in your business would be like.

It is a commitment to invite a student to spend several hours with you and your staff, but it is also an investment in the future of the student and our community.  If you are willing to be included in a directory of businesses offering to host a student shadow, please complete the form at

Not certain how you can provide a student with a meaningful experience? Check out the Job Shadow Guide, which also has tips for employers.

Contact the Chamber and we’d be happy to share how we engage students in learning about business and why we think your business should join us in hosting job shadows.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Photo credit: The Derrick & The News-Herald

Become a Be Here Ambassador!

Be Here is holding Ambassador trainings at the end of February!

Community members are invited to help spread the message of the initiative that the Venango Area is a great place to live, work, and play.

The Ambassador Program includes a 1-2 hour training where people are provided information and resources to take throughout the community. Ambassadors are asked to:

  • Know the messaging
  • Be positive
  • Be welcoming
  • Display and hand out materials
  • Be connected
  • Communicate with us

If you are interested in becoming a Be Here ambassador, click the button below to learn more and sign up: