Ben Franklin’s Big Idea Contest Now Open

Have you been thinking about developing or commercializing an innovative product, process or new software application? Ben Franklin Technology Partners are looking for budding entrepreneurs, researchers, software developers or even small existing businesses. The risk-free BIG IDEA contests have been helping folks start or grow their businesses for nearly 20 years.

A simple online application could be the first step in taking you from Start UP to UP and running. Visit the Ben Franklin website for more information and to apply. The application deadline is October 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Click here to find out if you qualify! For questions, contact Jill Edwards at  or phone (717) 948-6625.

Calling All Vendors, Sponsors and Participants!

We are back again this year for the 15th Annual Alleghenies Regional Safety Conference. This year’s event is scheduled for October 3, 2017 and will once again be held at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown Johnstown. Our keynote speaker will be Wylie Davidson from Dival Safety with a presentation, “Safe 4 the Right Reasons”.

Vendors, sponsors and participants help to keep the conference strong year after year. It has proven to be a good opportunity for companies to display products, make new contacts with local businesses and visit with existing clientele. Vendors are able to connect with new and existing customers while participants can gain useful information on the latest resources to keep the workplace safe and secure.

Below you will find more information as well as the vendor/exhibitor registration form, the sponsorship form and the participant form.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the Safety Conference, contact Debi Balog at  or at 814-262-8366.

Vision2025 and Chamber Expanding Marketing Efforts

The Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce and Vision2025 announced a partnership last week to expand marketing efforts and enhance the online presence of both organizations.

Steve Jones joined the Chamber & Vision2025 teams as the new Digital Content Coordinator, a shared position between the two organizations designed to create an enhanced online and social media strategy.

Jennifer Tiffany transitions from her role as the Membership Relations Manager at the Chamber to the Communications Director of this new collaboration.

“We’re excited to have this new team work on our collaborative effort with Vision2025 to market our region and to tell our story of Johnstown and Cambria County through traditional, digital and social media,” Mike Artim, Chamber President & CEO.

For more information on what Vision2025 is or how you can get involved, visit their website at

15th Annual Alleghenies Regional Safety Conference

The 15th Annual Alleghenies Regional Safety Conference will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center, Johnstown, PA.

This year’s opening session, Safe 4 the Right Reasons, will be presented by Wylie Davidson, Motivational Speaker and Trainer with Dival Safety. Safe 4 the Right Reasons breaks down basic human nature, wiring and instincts and delivers a personal motivation to each attendee to value their own safety. It is personal for every attendee and can be incorporated into all of your safety messages.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the vendor booths and take part in the workshops that will be going on throughout the day.

Workshop topics, keynote speaker and registration information will be released soon.

If you are looking for more information about the Safety Conference contact Debi Balog, Director of Workforce Development, at (814) 262-8366 or via email at .

JARI Releases 2016 Annual Report

The 2016 JARI Annual Report “Building Economic Momentum: Creating a Strong Foundation for Growth” is now available for review on the JARI website.  The report documents improved economic activity over the past year, with more jobs created and retained, more financing secured, and less displaced workers served. Eleven new businesses were started with JARI’s assistance, while 725 people received training to enhance job opportunities. Highlights include the creation of the JARI Growth Fund, assistance to companies locating or growing in the region, and diversification strategies for small defense firms.

The support that is received from our partners, financial contributors, directors and committee members is paramount to the collaboration that ultimately assists our regional employers and our communities

Please contact me at  if you have questions or would like additional information about this report.

JARI and SAPDC Partner to Assist Local Entrepreneurs

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded a $1,213,868 grant to the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The grant, along with $1,233,213 of partner matching funds, will help the partner organizations develop places and resources aimed at addressing the needs of the region’s current and future entrepreneurs.

The program’s objective is to build a robust entrepreneurial pipeline so people from across the region can access the resources and support needed to be successful.

JARI is pleased to announce Jose Luis Otero as the Cambria County Coach. Rich Lasek and Dan Parisi will be the Coaches for Blair County and Somerset County respectably.

For more information and to read the full press release, click here.

Commonwealth Tax Credits

On Thursday, April 27th, Lindsey Bennett, KIZ Resources, LLC, will share her expertise on the variety of tax credit programs that may be available to area small businesses. Attendees will learn about the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ), Research and Development (R&D), Neighborhood Assistance-Enterprise Zone (NAP-EZ), PA Historic Preservation Credits (HPTC), Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) and Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC).

This Lunch & Learn will be held at the JARI Center (160 JARI Drive) on Thursday, April 27. The cost to register is $5 per person and lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please complete the registration form and e-mail it to Lauren Brewer at .

UFC Finds Partners in Mexico City, Philippines and Japan

SAP&DC Newsletter

Universal Forensics Corp. (UFC) is a full service genetics DNA testing laboratory located in Somerset, Pennsylvania. UFC’s principal services are relationship testing, infidelity, immigration testing and forensics for identification of disaster victims.

UFC’s Larry Marsh, Director of Strategic Alliances attended the BTW2PA (Bringing the World to Pennsylvania) event that was coordinated by SAP&DC. After meeting with Pennsylvania’s ATR for Mexico at the BTW2PA event, UFC was able to successfully negotiate a representation agreement for Mexico City.

UFC also worked with the Pennsylvania office in Singapore to successfully sign contractual agreements with a company in the Philippines as well as the parent company located in Tokyo, Japan.

For more information about UFC, visit their website. Also, look for the full articles in the SAP&DC April 2017 newsletter on their website.

Entrepreneurial Coach Openings

Michele Clapper
VP, Economic Development

JARI, along with Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission and other economic development partners are searching for three Entrepreneurial Coaches.

The successful candidates will be independent self-starters with excellent interpersonal skills and an in-depth understanding of finance/financial management, business planning, capital formation, marketing, workforce development, and other elements essential to growing a successful business across a variety of industries. A passion for recognizing, encouraging and guiding entrepreneurs to create new businesses, expand existing businesses that will ultimately generate new jobs and investments in the Alleghenies Region is a must.

Coaches will be associated with one of three economic development agencies in Blair, Cambria and Somerset Counties in PA. Interested candidates should contact "> to receive the position descriptions and information for applying.

Lockheed Martin AeroParts Adding Jobs to Johnstown

Lockheed Martin announced Thursday, March 23, that they will be expanding production for components of the F-35 Lightning II with a new facility in Johnstown. This expansion will add more than 40 new jobs by the end of 2018.

“The F-35 Lightning II is beginning to transition to full-rate production and the manufacturing expertise we have here has a growing role in delivering this incredible aircraft to the men and women who defend our nation,” said Gilda Jackson, general manager of Lockheed Martin AeroParts.

Lockheed Martin is in the process of finalizing plans to lease and equip an additional facility to accommodate this new work and begin producing a subset of parts for the program.

For additional information, visit their websites: and www.f35com.