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President’s Message: In FOCUS

On March 13, your Chamber was pleased to serve as a host sponsor for FOCUS Central PA’s third in-person Industrial Development Forum, as more than 200 professionals from across the state converged on the campus of Commonwealth University – Bloomsburg to discuss investment in central PA, industrial innovation, and smart economic growth.

If you’re unfamiliar with FOCUS Central PA, then you should know that yesterday’s Industrial Development Forum is just one part of what they do – they function as a behind-the-scenes leader and a critical cog in the complex machine of economic development, serving as a resource for corporate location and expansion decisions. They showcase the attractiveness of the region to potential investors, and their website is packed with valuable insights, such as a list of available properties, maps, snapshots of infrastructure, talent and the workforce, transportation, and different sectors of the economy.

The guest list for yesterday’s event included community planners, engineers, builders, architects, site consultants, real estate brokers, elected officials, community organizations, education leaders, manufacturers, and more, and the Chamber was pleased to offer some familiar additional resources to entice guests to the region – we shared copies of Quality Living, Business Matters, and the Chamber’s Membership Directories, and used a portion of our space to highlight key partners - including the Columbia Montour Visitor’s Bureau and to spread the word about the increasingly successful microtransit program called “StopHopper”. In short, we sought to represent you, our members, and share about the undercurrent of excitement and engagement in our business community.

During the program, which included both insight to industrial innovation and big-picture considerations for investors, guests heard from members such as Dr. Bashar Hanna of Commonwealth University, Jennifer Wakeman of DRIVE, Kimberly Wheeler, SEDA-COG, and Sean Stabler, of SEKISUI KYDEX. As presenters shared, it was very clear that the Chamber has a key role to play – that some of the greatest assets we can produce are increasingly clear communication, adequate opportunities for businesses to connect with one another, and leadership development. Your Chamber is committed to doing just that, and I encourage you to stay highly engaged as we work on your behalf to promote vibrant and sustainable communities in Columbia and Montour Counties.

Special thanks to Lauren Bryson, FOCUS Central PA Executive Director, for her excellent work in bringing our region into…focus!

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