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Member News- March 4, 2020

  • N4C’s Open House- Saturday, March 7th
    Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center– N4C’s will have their Open House, Saturday, March 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Click here for the N4Cs Open House Itinerary.

  • North Shore Railroad Invests in Regional Promotion to Attract Investment

    Shown Left to Right: Diana Williams, North Shore; Todd Hunter, North Shore; Loni Martz Briner, North Shore; Lauren Bryson, Focus Central PA; Jeb Stotter, North Shore; and Joe Kantz, North Shore

The North Shore Railroad Company (NSHR), rail freight service provider to the Central Pennsylvania region and proponent of community development, is investing $3,750 in Focus Central PA for regional promotion of the region to attract new investment.

Presenting the check to Lauren Bryson, Executive Director of Focus Central PA from North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates was Diana Williams, Treasurer/Controller; Todd Hunter, Chief Marketing Officer; Loni Martz Briner, Public Relations & Media Manager; Jeb Stotter, President & CEO; and Joe Kantz, Business & Development Manager.

Jeb Stotter, says Focus is an essential investment. “Our company strives to be civic partners with the communities we serve, and Focus Central PA plays an important part role, joining in that mission. The work and commitment of Focus helps bring business to our region.”

Joe Kantz added, “I have had the opportunity to be a part of many economic development entities, and we are very fortunate to have FOCUS Central PA in our portfolio here in Central PA. Every business in our market who relies on the economic growth of our area should be an investor in this wonderful economic development marketing organization.”

For the past 36 years, NSHR, a privately owned company, has provided rail freight service to the six short line railroads they operate. These short line properties span across almost 250 miles of track. They are: the Juniata Valley Railroad, the Lycoming Valley Railroad, the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad, the North Shore Railroad, the Shamokin Valley Railroad, and the Union County Industrial Railroad. The company’s mission is to be the most customer focused and safest transportation system possible, provide quality regional rail freight service to customers in Central Pennsylvania, conduct our business with the highest degree of integrity and professionalism, and be responsible civic partners with the communities we serve.

“The quality rail service and infrastructure we have in the region is a significant competitive advantage for manufacturing and distribution prospects. It is of extreme value to have partners like North Shore Railroad engaged and supporting our efforts” said Bryson.

Focus Central Pennsylvania is part of a committed team in the region that is driving economic development for communities in Centre, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder, and Mifflin communities. The mission of Focus is to effectively promote new corporate investment that results in growth of family sustaining jobs in the region by being a premier economic development marketing alliance for committed partners. Focus pro-actively connects with site location consultants and companies looking to relocate or expand. This work helps our communities become an even greater place to live and work.  

For more information about the North Shore Railroad, contact:
Joe Kantz, 570.898.4910,

  • PPL Electric Utilities Invests $9,500 for Smart Regional Economic Growth

    Image Shown left to right:  Lauren Bryson, Focus Central Pennsylvania and Tracie Witter, PPL Electric Utilities.

Focus Central Pennsylvania received a $9,500 check from PPL Electric Utilities to support the mission of Focus to attract and support expansion of capital investment that creates quality career opportunities for the families of Central Pennsylvania. The investment was presented by PPL’s Regional Affairs Director, Tracie Witter to Focus Central Pennsylvania‘s Executive Director, Lauren Bryson.

The contribution includes funds to support the organization’s annual marketing initiatives as well as a grant to fund a Smart Capacity initiative. The initiative supports a comprehensive business attraction partnership to provide significant increased capacity that will leverage existing resources and efforts to effectively promote new corporate investment, career creating location decisions in Central Pennsylvania. This grant will provide a year of Site Location Partnership (SLP) business attraction services with specific deliverable metrics that include targeted industry prospect development, site selector appointment setting, trade show representation and online exposure.

“Delivering safe and reliable electric service is just a part of our commitment to the communities PPL Electric Utilities serves,” said Tracie Witter, PPL’s regional affairs director. “As a founding partner in Focus, PPL helps create strong and healthy communities where business and residential customers thrive.”

PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best utility companies in the country for customer service and reliability. With 2,300 employees, PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information, visit

“Focus Central Pennsylvania’s efforts to attract quality investment and companies providing career opportunities are possible because of the generous investments and support from PPL Electric Utilities. Investors in Focus recognize that smart economic growth is achieved through collaboration, regional partnerships and effective promotion of what Central Pennsylvania has to offer growing companies” Focus Executive Director Lauren Bryson said.

Focus Central Pennsylvania is part of a committed team in the region that is driving economic development for communities in Centre, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder and Mifflin communities.  The mission of Focus is to attract and support expansion of capital investment that creates quality career opportunities for the families of Central Pennsylvania. Focus pro-actively connects with site location consultants and companies looking to expand.  This work helps our communities become an even greater place to live and work.  

  • Bloomsburg Children’s Museum Sent Twelve Students to PA Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) Science Fair, Six Heading to State Competition

    Pictured are: Emeline Snook, 11th grade, Selinsgrove High School, Katie Corbeill, 10th grade, Homeschool, Brett Covey, 11th grade, Bloomsburg Christian School, Nathan Corbeill, 7th grade, Homeschool, Micah Campbell, 8th grade, Bloomsburg Christian School, Robert Everly, PJAS Region 5 Coordinator, Susquehanna University, Brooke Rhoads, 9th grade, Bloomsburg Christian School, Kathryn Polstra, 9th grade, Bloomsburg Christian School, Abigail LaValley, 9th grade, Benton High School. Not pictured Katherine Rapp, 9th grade, Danville Area High School, Jyoti Alaparthi, 10th grade, Danville Area High School, Olivia Beishline, 9th grade, Benton Area High School, Chloe Musser. 9th grade, Benton Area High School.

    The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum sent twelve 7th-12th grade students to the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) science fair held on February 29, 2020 at Susquehanna University. The students, representing 4 area Middle/High Schools and Homeschoolers, placed in the top 30% of projects presented at the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum’s science fair, sponsored by the PPL Foundation, which is held annually in January. This accomplishment qualified the students to attend the PJAS Regional Science Fair.

    Six of these students will be moving on to the PJAS State competition held on May 18, 2020 at Penn State University after scoring first awards at the regional competition. Two students, Brooke Rhoads and Jyoti Alaparthi, not only scored high enough to move on to the state competition, they received the top score in their section for the Regional Fair.

    Science Fair results:
    -Emeline Snook “Disintegration Rates of Over-the-Counter Pain Medication” 1st Award*
    -Katie Corbeill “Glowing Blue – Investigating the Luminol Reaction” 1st Award*
    -Brett Covey “Acid Rain” 2nd Award
    -Nathan Corbeill “Studying the Growth of the Magical Beanstalk” 1st Award*
    -Micah Campbell “Nucleation” 2nd Award
    -Brooke Rhoads “Gravitropism and Plant Growth” 1st Award* Junior High Top Score for Biological Sciences
    -Kathryn Polstra “Caffeine and Metabolic Rate” 2nd award
    -Abigail LaValley, “Does the Color of Text Affect Readability” 2nd Award
    -Katherine Rapp “Prediction of Somatic Cell Count Through Thermal Imaging” 1st Award*
    -Jyoti Alaparthi “Lemna Minors Cleaning Capacity of Oil Spills in Ponds” 1st Award* High School Biological Science Top Score Award
    -Olivia Beishline “Crystal Creations” 2nd Award
    -Chloe Musser “Growing Crystals” 2nd Award
    *Denotes a student moving on to the State Science Fair

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