What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest

Catalyst Connection, which has been helping regional manufacturers grow their businesses for 30 years, celebrated the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus on Thursday, March 23. The program focused on getting students out of the classroom and into the manufacturing environment. The event attracted more than 175 people, including manufacturers, industry leaders, students, teachers and parents.

For the video content, 8 manufacturing companies were paired with 7 middle schools from Cambria, Indiana and Somerset counties who were encouraged to interview employees and go behind the scenes to learn about the manufacturing industry. Each team submitted its video to Catalyst, and voting took place on dreamitdoitpa.com. The contest yielded more than 48,000 votes over a five-day period.

Award winners included:

Best Manufacturing Message
Greater Johnstown with Lockheed Martin

Most Creative
Rockwood with ASSA ABLOY

Viewer’s Choice
Rockwood with ASSA ABLOY

Best Marketing Plan
Blairsville-Saltsburg with Clark Metal Products

Bonus Video on Community Impact
Forest Hills with JWF Industries

New System for Award Management (SAM) Security Measure

System for Award Management (SAM) registrants will see a new requirement when registering new entities. Due to alleged, third-party fraudulent activity, new entity registrations will require an original, signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator before the SAM registration will be activated. Notarized letters must be mailed to the Federal Service Desk and contain the information outlined in the FAQ posted here. Please note this may increase the time it takes for registrations to become activated.

GSA has posted information at this link if you are interested in learning more about the situation. Please contact us for more information regarding this or any of your government contracting assistance needs at (814) 254-4022 or (814) 254-4023 or via email at .

C3: Creating Opportunities, Connecting Resources & Contracting Diversity

Join the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Thursday, May 3rd from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at the University of Pittsburgh, Alumni Hall for the C3: Creating Opportunities, Connecting Resources & Contracting Diversity workshop.
This daylong event will provide opportunities to network with Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies, Prime Contractors, Universities, Support Organizations, and other businesses both large and small. Attendees can connect with representatives throughout the day, attend training sessions, market their products and services, and get answers to their questions. Click here to see the full agenda and click here to register.

JARI Launches “Expertise Matters”

JARI is excited to announce the launch of a new section of our blog called “Expertise Matters,” in which we will invite area experts to write guest posts on topics of interest to other businesses and people thinking about starting a business. It is a natural extension of our current educational offerings, such as our Lunch & Learn seminars.

A big way area businesses can help each other is by sharing their expertise. Thank you to our contributing partners that have given their time and effort into helping us get things started: Prime Design Solutions; HR Consultants, Inc; MASSolutions; and Attorney George Gvozdich.

We are excited about this new cooperative effort, which over time will result in an extensive archive of educational articles by local experts on our website. Let us know what topics you would like to see addressed in Expertise Matters, or you might volunteer to write for us, too. Just get in touch with Lauren Brewer at .

Don’t Miss the Early Bird Registration!

Time is running out to get your registration in at the early bird rate for the 2018 Cambria County Job Fair. Register by April 6, 2018 for the Early Bird discount of only $95! All registrations after April 6th will be $120.

The Cambria County Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, May 1st from 1 PM – 5 PM at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown Johnstown.

For exhibitor registration and sponsorship information click here, visit our website or contact Debi Balog, director of workforce development, at (814) 262-8366 or via email at .

Upcoming Community Resource Fair

Bridging Cambria County, a Vision2025 initiative, will be holding a free community resource fair on Thursday, April 12 from 5 PM to 7 PM at Greater Johnstown High School.

The purpose of the resource fair is to provide residents with information on a variety of topics such as social services, education assistance and job seeker services. All agencies, organizations, and service providers who offer services or programs within the Greater Johnstown/Southern Cambria County region are welcome to attend! Click here for flyer details.

If you would like to have a table at the resource fair, please contact Matt Spangler, United Way Community Relationship Manager, at , or Debi Balog, JARI Workforce Development Director at .

RNDT Inc. Receives Woman Owned Business Certification

RNDT Inc. recently received the National Women’s Business Enterprise Certification through Woman’s Business Enterprise National Council. This certification shows that RNDT, Inc. meets the requirements of the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program.

“We are excited about the possibilities this certification brings to not only RNDT, but also the Johnstown area,” said Jimma Raco, President at RNDT. RNDT provides nondestructive testing (NDT) services to the oil and gas, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. The Woman-Owned Small Business Certification will provide RNDT with the ability to bid on state and federal WOSB set-aside contracts, and will also open the door for partnerships with larger corporations.

The eight-month long certification process fell mostly on Raco and her staff at RNDT. However, she gives credit Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) for providing her company with the direction and insight to obtain the WOSB Certification. “JARI has been a great partner to RNDT over the years and we are grateful for their assistance in obtaining this certification,” added Raco.

RNDT Inc. is an A2LA ISO-17025 accredited NDT laboratory. The company employs highly trained NDT professionals that hold certifications conforming to the requirements of ASNT SNT-TC-1A CP-189 and National Aerospace Standard NAS-410 Rev. 3. These certifications satisfy national requirements for nondestructive testing personnel. RNDT is headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and has 30 employees.

Johnstown Featured in A Pennsylvania Story

Johnstown, Erie and Bethlehem, are featured in the 2017 edition of A Pennsylvania Story, a publication of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development. A Pennsylvania Story makes the connection between strong communities and thriving businesses, and how each supports the development and growth of the other.

A Pennsylvania Story focuses on three communities that include inspiring stories of local community, business, higher education, and nonprofit leaders — and the collaborative approaches they are taking to overcome the challenges facing their communities.

Click here to read.

2018 Board Appointments Announced


JARI officers elected to a one-year term:
Chairman: Bill Polacek, JWF Industries
First Vice Chair: Bill Locher, Somerset Trust Company
Second Vice Chair: Matt Smith, Laurel Auto Group
Secretary: Bob Eyer, Wessel & Company
Asst. Secretary: Marty Radovanic, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Treasurer: Jeff Stopko, AmeriServ Financial
Asst. Treasurer: Steve Tucker, DLP Conemaugh Health System

New JARI Directors appointed for a three-year term:
Gilda Jackson, Lockheed Martin AeroParts, Inc.
Greg Winger, First National Bank of Pennsylvania

Special thanks to Tony Caper of DRS Technologies and Mike Price of First Commonwealth Bank for their tenure on the JARI Board of Directors.


JIDC Chair: Jeff Cramer, 1st Summit Bank

New JIDC Directors elected for a one-year term:
Rob Cabala, First National Bank of Pennsylvania
Kevin Volk, Northwest Bank
Steve Zamias, Zamias Services

We would like to extend our appreciation to outgoing board members: Joe Anthony – Zamias Services; Jackie Kulback – Gautier Steel; Mike Stevens – Somerset Trust Company; and Greg Winger – First National Bank.

JARI Growth Fund:

JGF Chair: Steve Howsare, Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.

For a complete list of JARI and its affiliates’ board members, please visit the JARI website.

JARI Featured in Prime Design Solutions Podcast

This month JARI President, Linda Thomson, is featured in the Prime Design Solutions podcast to discuss what JARI does for our region as an economic development organization, and give an overview of JARI services that are available for new and established businesses of all sizes.

To read/listen to the podcast, visit the Prime Design Solutions website. If you’re interested in learning more about what JARI has to offer, call the JARI office at (814) 535-8675.