newsletter dec 2015 - Tioga County Development Corporation
Career Day Draws Excitement Towards STEM (page 1)
TCDC Closes on Loan with Elkland Company (page 2)
PennTAP Tip OF The Month (page 3)
Health Career Day ( page 4)
PFEW Local Graduates (page 5)
Leadership Tioga County Update (Page 6)
PREP Partner Update (page 7)
From The President (page 9)
2016 Board Meetings
January 8, 2016
Career Day Draws Excitement Towards STEM
On Oct. 14, 2015 the Tioga County Development Corporation and Shell Appalachia jointly
held the second annual Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Day to educate
eighth graders across the county about opportunities in STEM fields and how those concepts
apply to various careers.
TCDC President/CEO Robert Blair said about 500 students from Southern Tioga, Northern
Tioga and Wellsboro school districts as well as some students from New Covenant Academy
came to Wellsboro to learn about careers with significant STEM applications. Staff educator
Beth Colbert from the Carnegie Science Center gave an hour-long “Solar Quest” presentation
about how the center uses STEM fundamentals to expand human understanding of the sun,
which can potentially protect electronics on Earth.
Schools and businesses represented were Shell Appalachia, WardFlex Manufacturing, Penn
College, Mansfield University, CareerLink, Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative,
Susquehanna Health and UGI Utilities Inc. Dr. Justin Ingram spoke to students on behalf of
Penn College about “How to change your brain,” which emphasized how to move toward a
certain career once students decide what to focus on. Using visual aids Ingram said, “Your
brains all become the same size, but your experiences will shape your future.”
TCDC plans to hold the event each year. Partners in the event were: Mansfield University,
Penn College/Wellsboro, Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission,
Northern Tier Industry and Education Consortium, Tioga County Partnership for Community
Health; Shell Appalachia and TCDC.
Regular Public Meeting
February 12, 2016
Board Work Session
March 11, 2016
Regular Public Meeting
May 13, 2016
TCDC On the Road
June 10, 2016
Board Work Session
July 8, 2016
Regular Public Meeting
September 9, 2016
Board Work Session
October 14, 2016
Regular Public Meeting
November 11, 2016
Board Work Session
December 9, 2016
Regular Public Meeting
TCDC’s 20th Legislative Breakfast
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Historic Penn Wells Hotel
TCDC’s 23rd Annual Meeting
Monday, July 25, 2016
TCDC’s 9th Meet Our Member Mixer
April 20, 2016
Mansfield, PA 16933
TCDC’s 10th Meet Our Member Mixer
September 21, 2016
Article: Courtesy Wellsboro Gazette
TCDC Closes on Loan with MSPI Enterprises
On Thursday, November 19, 2015, the Tioga County Development Corporation
(TCDC) closed on a Tioga County Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Fund Industrial
Component loan with MSPI Enterprises LLC. The $150,000 loan helped construct
a 12,000 sq. ft. manufacturing building in Elkland, Pennsylvania.
Muffler Shop Plus was begun in 2003 by Bob Simmons and Jeremy Freeman.
MSPI Enterprises LLC is a wholesaler of mufflers and exhaust systems; exhaust
pipes for heavy duty trucks & busses; and customized steel tube bending for use in
the fabrication of stair steps railings. They have approximately 150 clients. In
2011, they purchased Bear Paw Hand Cleaner from a New York State business
which was dissolving. They distribute to approximately 25 states, Canada and
Along with financing from the Tioga County Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan
Fund, funding was received from the Northern Tier Regional Planning and
Development Commission, Northwest Savings Bank and Private Funding. For
more information, applications or assistance on the Tioga County Loan Programs
or other financial assistance, contact Robert J. Blair at (570) 723-8232 or eMail to
Photo Caption (L to R) Front Row: Robert J Blair, TCDC; Missy & Jeremy Freeman, MSPI
2nd Row: Bob and Lisa Simmons, MSPI
3rd Row: Kim Barnes and Stacey Urban, NTRPDC
4th Row: Kim Miller, Northwest Savings Bank and William Stokes II, Attorney
Connecting Northern Tier Businesses with NTRPDC Services
‘Bringing Home the Bacon’ workshops conducted throughout the region.
Entrepreneurs and other Northern Tier residents who aspire to
launch or expand small businesses do not have to go it alone—a range
of assistance is available from NTRPDC. To help spread the word
about its services, NTRPDC business services and workforce
development staff conducted workshops in each of the region’s five
counties in October and November.
The workshops highlighted finance, export, procurement, and
workforce development assistance available to Northern Tier
businesses. Topics discussed included lending assistance, introduction
to growing your business market through export and government
procurement, and addressing the workforce needs of the local
economy. Participants represented a wide range of organizations.
“These outreach sessions are key to fostering stronger relationships
with potential and current small businesses to help them better
understand how we can help them grow and succeed,” said NTRPDC
Deputy Director Kim Barnes. “In addition to the county outreach
sessions, we will gladly make presentations at the meetings of service
or business organizations in our region.” For more information contact
Kim Barnes at [email protected] or 570-265-1542.
Frank Thompson, NTRPDC Deputy Director/Workforce
Development gives an overview of the CareerLink and other
workforce development programs available through the
Westfield Business Park Update
Additional State Funds Approved/Phase 1 Demolition Complete
The Westfield Business Park Phase 1 Demolition was completed in December 2015. Several above ground storage tanks, a
lime silo, an electrical substation and a house will be demolished as part of grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission
(ARC) via US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
(DCED ) PREP Program. Additional funding is being provided by TCDC. The Bids opened on May 12, 2015 and the project was
awarded to Tri State Trucking of Mansfield.
In conjunction with this project, the Tioga County Development Corporation (TCDC) completed an Industrial Sites
Reuse Program 1 (ISRP) Grant from DCED for the final phase of the environmental evaluation of the property. An ISRP
$13,575 Grant from DCED was awarded in October and the remediation was completed the week of December 7, 2015. The
match was provided by the Tioga County’s Act 13 funding.
A Growing Greener Grant Application submitted by the Borough of Westfield for the relocation of Closes Creek is pending
action. The match was provided by the Tioga County’s Act 13 funding. In January 2015, we submitted a Grant Application for a
Pennsylvania RACP for $1.5 Million for demolition. We have not seen any action on this request.
Foor & Associates, Architects and SSM serve as our engineering consultants for the development of the Westfield Business
Park. The Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission (NTRPDC) have been very helpful in securing
PennTAP Tip of the Month
A Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
grant funded entity is available to small business and anchor institutions to assist with
high-speed internet and information technology issues.
For More Information:
Donna Yale, Advanced IT Team-Lead
[email protected]du or (570)596-3585
Tip Of The Month:
Donna Yale, Advanced IT Team Lead, The Pennsylvania State University’s PennTAP,
often provides “tips/hints” to small–medium sized businesses throughout the
Are you getting the Broadband speed that you are paying for?
www.speedtest.net – Made by Ookla – Click on “Begin Test”, once it selects a
location/server to test with it gives you Down-speed and Up-speed results.
www.Speedtest.Frontier.Com – supported by Frontier.net immediately goes to
work, selects a server then provides Down-speed and Up-speed results.
www.att.com/speedtest - another
It is good to use different tests and run one then another. Compare the results to your Monthly Bill. If they do not
match do a “Prnt Scrn” (print screen) and copy it to a word document. Test 3 times throughout the day, save the results
and share with your Internet Service Provider.
** In recent news – the New York attorney general is asking people to test their speeds, review their bills and access a survey
online, trying to determine if Verizon is providing the service that it is promoting.
Blair reelected to FFFE Board
At the November 2015 Annual Meeting of the Foundation For Free Enterprise
Education, TCDC President/CEO Robert J. Blair was re-elected to his second three year
term. FFFE manages and operates PFEW.
In 1979, the founders of Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week hoped to create an
educational experience where the youth of Pennsylvania could learn about the wonders
of our private enterprise system and what it means to our democratic form of
government. That tiny first program, with fewer than 100 students, has grown to be an
internationally acclaimed annual event modeled by dozens of other states and foreign
countries. In 2015, nearly 2,500 students graduated.
Local Students Learn About Health Careers
11TH Annual Health Career Fair Held at Wellsboro High School
Students learn about Yoga and its health benefits
From Amy Delozier, Mansfield University.
On December 3rd, approximately 200 high students from Tioga County
attended a Health Career Fair where they learned about many health careers
that offer rewarding benefits such as competitive pay and opportunity for
advancement. This annual event was created to generate interest among our
area youth in pursuing a career in health care.
The students participated in a variety of hands-on activities as they rotated
between tables of health care professionals and training providers. They were
able to gain a better understanding of the training needs and available
employment opportunities from the professionals themselves. Over
two dozen health careers were highlighted at the fair.
Sponsors of the event included the Tioga County Development Corporation,
Northern Tier Workforce Investment Board, the Northeast Regional Health
Care Industry Partnership, Northern Tier Industry and Education Consortium,
PA CareerLink®, Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Tioga County
Partnership for Community Health
Transportation costs were funded through the Northeast Regional
Healthcare Industry Partnership. The Partnership also provided a Career
Exploration Guide highlighting allied health occupations and training
opportunities in our region.
For more information on the Health Career Fair or other health career activities in the region, contact
Jody McCarty, Workforce Program Manager at NTRPDC, 312 Main Street, Towanda, PA
Blackwell Recognized for Years of Service
The Tioga County Development Corporation recognized Christie
Blackwell, Leadership Development Coordinator, who attained the milestone
of 10 years of service with the organization.
Blackwell operates the Leadership Tioga County program and serves as
the Public Relations Coordinator for the Corporation in charge of Press
Releases; development of eNews Insider issues and Web Site Management.
She assumes the responsibilities of the Career Development and Workforce
Development functions by operating the EITC Program through the Tioga
County Foundation. She assists in grant application and implementation, as
well as operating procedures and public awareness.
PFEW: A Unique Program Celebrating Business!
If you have not heard, there is a truly unique and wonderful program that has been operating in Pennsylvania for the past
thirty-five years designed to teach our high school students why “free enterprise” is key to the American way of life. Pennsylvania
Free Enterprise Week (PFEW), internationally-acclaimed for its excellence, graduated more than 2,000 students this past summer
with a vastly improved understanding about how free markets operate and what the challenges are that face all American
companies, particularly those located in Pennsylvania.
Each summer, PFEW holds five, one-week individual sessions in July and August. The focus of the week is to group the
participants (strangers at first) into “management teams” of senior executives who have inherited imaginary “companies.” These
teams, under the guiding hands of an “executives-on-loan,” called Company Advisors, operate their firms for a computer-simulated
three-year period of time. To add a sense of reality, they are competing against two other student “companies” manufacturing and
distributing the same product. Each day’s activities include four to five presentations from world-class business people from a list
that reads like who’s who in Pennsylvania. The students hear about: Business and Finance, the Role and Relationship of Business
and Government, Taxation, Business Ethics, Labor Relations, and much, much more. Is it effective? Said Sarah Minor from
Coudersport Area Junior/Senior High School in Potter County, “I can tell you honestly that this was one of the most incredible
opportunities that any young man or woman could ever possibly dream of having! PFEW not only promises amazing speakers
and an amazing experience, it delivers on all of its promises 100%! It really was an indescribable honor to be a part of PFEW
and I recommend it to any teenager, even if they aren’t interested in business. I will carry these memories forever!”
TCDC is proud to support PFEW to give our local students an eye-opening experience like Sarah described. We encourage
our local companies and civic organizations to provide sponsorships for our students and, if possible, volunteers for the sessions.
Every student attends PFEW on a fully tax-deductible $525 scholarship (the actual value of the scholarship exceeds $1,500) which
is provided by a local firm. PFEW is also an approved organization through the PA Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC)
program through the Department of Community and Economic Development.
PFEW is open to all current sophomores and juniors in Pennsylvania and information on attendance, as well as
program applications, can also be found on the website. Questions can be directed to Ms. Amber Goss, Schools Assistant for
PFEW, by calling her office at (814) 833-9576 ext. 103 or emailing her at [email protected]
CONGRATULATIONS 2015 Tioga County PFEW GRADUATES!
We would like to congratulate the graduates of the 2015 Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). Of those graduates, 49 of
those were students from Tioga County. Listed by school, those students include from Achievement House Cyber Charter
School: Samantha Davenport; Cowanesque Valley High School: Grace Cary, Austin Seely, Paige Swartz; NP-Liberty High
School: Zachary Alexander, Jayna Brodnicki, Deven Cohick, Trevor Jackson, Matthew Munford, Rebecca Rossell and Kaitlyn
Wetzel; NP-Mansfield High School: Charlies Andrews, Sophia Brown, Justice Giarth, Nicholas Greene, Brandon Heck, Taylor
Henninger, Rebecca Hill, Sarah Hohman, Olivia Hunt, Darby Kasper, Dannielle Kerstetter, Sean Kshir, Lyndsey Payne, Brittany
Weiskopff, Aaron White, Cheyenna Wolcott; Wellsboro High School: Audrey Becker, Melody Benner, Sara Bump, Noah Colton,
Brody Coolidge, Abigail Cooper, Janessa Davis, Alexandria Drew, Alexander Freeman, John Hoover, Makanna Johnson, Kaycee
Kaltenbach, Casandra Kibler, Ryan Osgood, Cortney Renninger, Dillon James Thall, Gene Wagner, Clint M. Walker, Jr, Darci
Warriner, Hope Wilkinson and Audrey Zuchowski and Williamson High School: Gabrielle Naylor.
If you would like to learn more about this award-winning program and how you can
help, you can visit their website at www.pfew.org or contact John Trombetta,
President of the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education at (814) 833-9576 ext. 106
or e-mail him at [email protected]
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Leadership Tioga County Update
Leadership Tioga County was created in 1999 by former Chairman Fred LaVancher to develop new
leaders for Tioga County. The purpose of Leadership Tioga County is to recruit, train, encourage &
develop caring individuals to participate in community leadership activities & responsibilities
throughout Tioga County. Since both leadership programs began we have graduated 661 individuals
from Leadership Tioga County: 148 Community Leadership Program Graduates & 513 Youth
Leadership Program Graduates. This year we continue to reach new Milestones in the Leadership
Program. We have received a total of $2,101,517.90 in in-kind services from throughout Tioga
County as of April 2015. What a remarkable accomplishment for our County!
Our Community Leadership Program kicked off in October 2015. We have 12
individuals participating in the program this year. As a major component of the
curriculum each individual is to choose an organization to volunteer with
during the course of the program. On November 4, 2015 the Class of 2016 held
their second session on the importance of volunteering. The Tioga County
Partnership for Community Health coordinated the session. Participants had the
chance to visit and volunteer an hour at Goodies for Our Troops and heard from
Goodies organizer Dawn Phletcher on how volunteering gives back to our
Projects for this year are as follows: American Cancer Society; Animal Care
Sanctuary; K.A.R.E, Inc.; Pine Creek Watershed Council; Special Olympics;
Goodies For Our Troops; Mansfield Food Pantry; Susquehanna Health Hospice
and SSMH Auxiliary; Tioga County YMCA and Blossburg Fire Department.
Class of 2016 Introduced to Healthcare Services
On December 8, 2015 the Tioga County Development
Corporation Leadership Tioga County Youth Leadership
Program Class of 2016 learned about Health Services in Tioga
County during Session 3 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial
Students participated in various activities aimed at
introducing them to the many Healthcare Services available
through the Susquehanna Health. Janie Hilfiger, President of
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital gave an overview of the
system and helped students explore career options available in
the healthcare field.
The Class of 2016 participated in team building and
leadership style training activities and had the opportunity to tour
different operations at the Hospital, including an exclusive look
at the new Cancer Treatment Center. The Session was sponsored
by Susquehanna Health and co-coordinated by the Tioga County
Partnership for Community Health.
Session 4 Teens & The Law will be held at the Tioga County
Courthouse and the Tioga County Prison in January.
Pictured Above are students of the YLP Class of 2016 working
on a gum drop teambuilding exercise.
A special thanks to Sheetz for their
to Leadership Tioga County
No Cost R&D Tax Seminar
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
To Register for a training
Call 570-819-8966 or
Log on www.nepirc.com
Attend this event to learn:
How broad the definition of R&D is and where R&D takes
place in a business
In addition to Federal R&D Tax Credit, PA has a very
attractive and unique R&D Tax Credit
How the PA Tax Credit can be immediately monetized and
sold for CASH, even if no tax liability exists.
Tips to ensure your documentation and methods are
positioned for maximum tax credit benefit for your company.
NEPIRC is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing
world-class professional services exclusively to manufacturers throughout
northeastern and northern Pennsylvania since 1988.
NEPIRC works with manufacturing clients on consultative engagements
designed to address their unique challenges and maximize their profitability.
NEPIRC’s staff of professional business advisors and highly-qualified
specialists design customized solutions for NEPIRC clients that enable them
to adopt industry best practices, implement next generation manufacturing
strategies, achieve profitable growth, successfully enter new markets and
innovate new products and, ultimately, achieve profitability levels that
exceed industry benchmarks.
To find out more information on the courses NEPIRC can offer your
business, stop by the Tioga County Development Corporation, 114 Main
Street in Wellsboro, and pick up some information or contact Jack Adams,
Two Receive 2015 “Foremost Under 40” Award
Congratulations to Christie Blackwell (Tioga County
Authority) on being named to the Pennsylvania and
Marcellus Business Central’s “Foremost Under 40” list.
Both are employees of Northern Tier PREP Partners. The
annual list, which honored 41 Pennsylvanians this year,
acknowledges young professionals who demonstrate hard
work and are seen as future leaders in the business world.
Development Corporation) and Chris Brown
Elkland Business Community Center
117 Coates Avenue, Elkland, Tioga County, Pennsylvania 16920
Located one block off Main Street in Elkland this nearly 24,000 square foot one story brick office
building provides prime reasonable rental for businesses and non-profits in the Elkland area. The
facility is completely ADA handicapped accessible. Rental Offices range from 216 square feet to
Office Suites (Air Conditioned) at 1,152 square feet and a large multipurpose room at 1,836 square
feet. Each Office has it’s own personal restroom and there are public restrooms for the public
accessibility. The building has a modern double natural gas boiler system providing consistent
computer controlled heat to all rooms. There is a 24 hour gas generator assuring continual
electricity and heat to the entire building. There is a camera monitoring system covering all
entrances. Rent includes all utilities (electric, gas, public sewer & water, municipal garbage pickup)
with the exception of telephone and Internet service. There are 53 off street parking spaces and
outside green areas. There is an adjacent 9.450 square foot outbuilding also available for rent. The
entire property is a non-smoking environment. Loan Funding to assist for-profit tenants is available
through the Tioga County Loan Program.
Please direct all inquires to Robert J. Blair, President/CEO, Tioga County Development Corporation,
114 Main Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania 16901, 570.723.8232, Fax 570.723.8441,
Tioga County Development Corporation
114 Main Street
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania 16901
For more information: www.tcdc-pa.com
From The President
The last quarter of 2015 has been a very active period for the Tioga County Development
114 Main Street
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania 16901
E-mail: [email protected]
Chairman of the Board
David E. Cummings
First Vice Chairman
Second Vice Chairman
Ronald J. Butler
Alan J. Quimby
Robert J. Blair
Board of Directors
Brenda G. Abplanalp
Diana L. Barnes
Roger C. Bunn
H. Russell Hastings
Francis L. Hendricks
Ronald J. Minnick
Christopher R. Morral
Andrew S. Rohrer
William W. Roosa
Sam A. Rotella, Jr.
Deborah L. Sawyer
Aneurin J. (Bill) Williams, Jr.
We continue to provide direct services to our customers and Members through our partnering
with our economic development providers serving Tioga County. Several activities and events
were jointly shared with the NTRPDC, NEPIRC, SBDC and PennTAP. All of these benefit our
businesses and industries.
Our workforce development efforts continue to grow. We held our 2nd STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math) Day for 8th graders and conducted our annual Health Career
Day in the County. Our number one Service Industry is health care. Our students are exposed to
the many health careers available to them right here in Tioga County. Through EITC we were
able to provide each of our 3 public school districts with $14,087 grant funds due to the
generously of several of our businesses.
In 2016 we will begin our 25th year. We have accomplished much, but there is still more to be
done. During the 1st quarter of 2016 we will conduct “Outreach To The Future Summit 2". We
will bring all the economic development providers together, like we did in 1989, and revisit each
of our roles and services to the public in an effort of cooperation.
The Board and Staff are continually working on ways to improve and expand programs and
services to be relevant to today and tomorrow through our new Mission and Vision as we
continue to make Tioga County . . . a place to call home.
Robert J. Blair
President/Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Robert J. Blair
Leadership Development Coordinator
Christie L. Blackwell
Carolyn E. Conte
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