Child Care Roundtable Discussion

JARI and The Learning Lamp are hosting a roundtable discussion to address child care needs across the region. Child care is a workforce issue that negatively impacts business operations. According to the Child Care Action Campaign, U.S. businesses lose $3 billion annually as a consequence of child care-related absences. Employer-supported child care improves employee recruitment, reduces turnover and boosts productivity. For every $1 invested in high quality early care and education, communities like ours can save between $4 and $17 in future costs for things like special education, juvenile justice and welfare support.

Join us and share your feedback on employee child care issues as well as ideas on how to improve services.

When: March 26, 2019 at 8:30 AM
Where: Penn Highlands Community College
Richland Campus, Workforce Education Center, Room A142

For more information and registration, please contact Debi Balog via email at .

Local Entrepreneurs Will Pitch to Win Up to $10,000 in Somerset!

Do you know Mark Barbera, Kirk Sherbine, Tim Kretchman, BJ Opett, Dan Morris, or Emily Mahler? For the past several weeks, these local entrepreneurs have been participating in a business startup accelerator program, the TechCelerator@Somerset. On March 14, 2019, they will each make a graduation “pitch” to a team of judges from the community. The winner will walk away with up to $10,000!

Come and support local entrepreneurs, each of whom will have the opportunity to share with the audience their intended target market, the problem, their solution and how their idea will make money for them and future investors. While the judges deliberate, stay to enjoy the fun networking reception, co-sponsored by the Somerset Trust Company and Uptown Works, that follows.

When:           Thursday, March 14, 2019 / 5:00 PM
Where:          Historic Somerset Trust Building – 131 N. Center Avenue
Why:              Local entrepreneurs will “pitch” for a cash prize of up to $10,000.

Join us for the presentations, but also stay and enjoy the reception! Click here to RSVP by March 9th!

About the TechCelerator@Somerset:

As an important component of the Startup Alleghenies initiative, www.startupalleghenies.com, the team at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA developed a curriculum that is providing Somerset County entrepreneurs, grad-students, faculty members, and emerging tech-startups with a weekly business training accelerator program.

Voting Open for the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Video Contest

Catalyst Connection will be hosting an award ceremony for students who participated in this year’s Explore the New Manufacturing Student Video Contest. Eleven regional schools were paired with 11 regional manufacturing companies to create a video with the theme “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” The program is one of many efforts to build awareness about career opportunities in manufacturing. Come celebrate the resurgence of manufacturing in the region, see the work created by regional students and network with regional manufacturing companies.

Click on the voting link to review the videos and cast your vote.  Click on the registration link to RSVP for the ceremony. JARI and the Somerset Chamber of Commerce are partners in this program. If you have any questions, please contact Debi Balog at 814-262-8366 or via at .

Flood City Flooring Hosting Ribbon Cutting Event


Flood City Flooring LLC will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, March 8, at 2 PM for their grand opening at 225 Washington Street, Johnstown, PA. Please plan to join us in celebrating this new business!

Justin and Christina Schrengost are the owners and operators of Flood City Flooring LLC. Justin has worked for almost 20 years in the flooring industry. “Christina and I are very excited to have our own new business! It would not have been possible without the help of JARI, the City of Johnstown and the support of friends and family”, said Justin. Linda Thomson, President, JARI, stated “JARI is pleased to welcome another home-grown small business into our local economy. Flood City Flooring will be a great addition to the downtown business community.”

Flood City Flooring LLC now has their showroom open to the public at 225 Washington Street, Johnstown. Justin and Christina are proud to create local jobs to help the community prosper and provide customers with excellent service at an affordable price.

JARI Funds Blair County Business

JARI is pleased to announce the Microloan and USDA funded business, Open Season Outdoors. Open Season Outdoors, owned and operated by Chris Fedora, is an authorized Prime, Hoyt, Bowtech and Elite archery dealer. They are also the only Mathews dealer in Blair County.

Chris Fedora started in the archery industry in 1989. He is on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania State Archery Association and is the president of Flood City Bowmen in Johnstown, PA. He is also a USA Archery Level 2 instructor and a member of the NFAA and USA Archery. “Opening my own shop has always been adream. That dream became a reality in November of 2018 when I opened the doors of Open Season Outdoors, LLC,” said Chris.

Open Season Outdoors recently launched their new website. For more information about their business visit www.openseasonoutdoors.net.

If you would like more information on the JARI Microloan Program, please contact Michele Clapper at (814) 262-8368 or via email at mclapper@jari.com.


Kitron Expands Presence in Pennsylvania

Monday, February 18th, international electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company Kitron started operations at its newly acquired site in Windber, Pennsylvania. The new location complements its existing facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and significantly strengthens Kitron’s presence in the area. Kitron acquired the Windber facility from API Technologies Inc., adding 115 employees to its US staff.

“The transaction significantly strengthens our position in the US market, particularly within the defense market sector. We can now support customers who have wanted us to expand our presence in the United States. We see great opportunities from the business combination, and we look forward to further increasing our presence in the local community”, said Jason Galiote, Managing Director, Kitron.

Click here to read the full press release.

JARI’s Workforce Development Director Recognized by VCI

Debi Balog, JARI’s Workforce Development Director, will be recognized on Friday as a recipient of the Ed Cernic, Sr. Community Support Recognition Award through the Veteran’s Community Initiative. The award recognizes individuals who support and assist our veterans and their family members.

Congratulations, Debi!

March Seminars Hosted by SAP&DC

The Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission will be hosting two seminars this March:

For more information, contact the SAP&DC at 814-949-6500 or by email at .

Area organizations assisting during partial government shutdown

The partial Government shutdown is beginning to be felt by area contractors, subcontractors and Federal employees alike. Many organizations are doing what they can to help. If you or someone you know is affected by the shutdown, be sure to check into any and all assistance to help you and your company through this difficult time.

The United Way of Pennsylvania is maintaining a website of resources for furloughed federal employees, to view these Shutdown Resources click here. If you are looking for contractor/subcontractor resources, please feel free to contact the JARI PTAC at (814) 254-4022 or (814) 254-4023 or via email at .