Start-Up Alleghenies Ecosystem will diversify and strengthen coal impacted economies in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, and Somerset Counties.

JOHNSTOWN, PA, OCT. 14, 2020Today, JARI Growth Fund was awarded $1,281,900 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to further enhance entrepreneurship in our region.  The JARI Growth Fund (JGF) in partnership with Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI), Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC), the Alleghenies Angel Fund, and other private lenders will provide technical assistance to businesses and access to the newly launched Startup Alleghenies Microloan Fund, resulting in a strengthened entrepreneurial ecosystem in a seven-county, coal-impacted area of Pennsylvania.

“The JARI Growth Fund is grateful and excited to receive ARC POWER funding to support entrepreneurship.  I want to thank the ARC for supporting this important component of our economic development program,” said Linda Thomson, President.  “It is a pleasure to partner with ARC and the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission to grow our region.”

“This important funding from ARC will help us broaden the impact that we are having in the region by allowing us to help more entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. We have found that businesses started in our region normally stay in our region. Helping us all create more jobs and allowing us to retain people. So, thank you once again to ARC, JARI Growth Fund and our other partners for this opportunity,” said Steve Howsare, Executive Director, SAP&DC and Chair of the JARI Growth Fund Board.

Funding for today’s award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Additional support for the Startup Alleghenies Microloan Fund is provided by Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, local banks, Startup Alleghenies, and the local banks.

To date, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.

“I congratulate JARI Growth Fund for their POWER award and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”


The JARI Growth Fund is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) which was formed in May 2016.  The Mission of JGF is to develop the skills and provide capital to individuals, businesses and organizations in the six-county Southern Alleghenies region to support the growth of a diverse economy and build vibrant communities, enhance the quality of life for residents of the region, improve housing, and otherwise address the needs of low to moderate income residents of disadvantaged, poor and minority communities within the region.


The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.


Johnstown Companies Announce 130-million in Defense Contracts. (Johnstown Tribune Democrat)

Johnstown companies in the defense industry announced secured contracts with a total value of about $130 million that will keep hundreds of jobs in the area, leaders said Thursday.

Concurrent Technologies Corp., JWF Defense Systems and Martin-Baker America reported contract awards at the Showcase for Commerce press conference in the 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial. Click here to read more.



Art Walk in Stackhouse Park. (WJAC-TV)

Many people got out their fall jackets for the first time this season to enjoy “Art Walk in the Park,” an event hosted by Studio U in Johnstown.

Crafters, artists, musicians, and food vendors lined the trails of Stackhouse Park, which event organizer Denise Urban says allowed for social distancing and a chance to feel the crisp fall air. Click here to read more.


Johnstown receives $1.95 million federal grant, bringing new business and jobs. (WJAC-TV)

The Johnstown Redevelopment authority was just awarded a $1.95 million grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The money will be used to renovate the former Cambria-Rowe Business College building on Central Ave in Johnstown. It will then house a new business, TeleHelath Suite. Click here to read more.


Creator Square launches national call for makers

The Daily American

Creator Square, a makerspace set in the heart of historic Johnstown, is seeking its first cohort of artists, makers and small batch manufacturers. Construction at the Creator Square makerspace and gallery space is on track for completion in spring 2020, and application requirements and details are available at the Creator Square website, creatorsquarejohnstown.com.

The program is designed to connect world-class and emerging makers with small-batch manufacturing tools and regional entrepreneurial support. It also builds upon the region’s manufacturing heritage and its role in a national “metalsmith revival” and the city’s diverse arts scene.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Building Maintenance Training Opportunity

JARI is offering a 24 week Building Maintenance training program at no cost to eligible individuals residing in the Minersville, Moxham, Walnut Grove and Kernville Neighborhoods, City of Johnstown.

The program will be conducted by the Commonwealth Technical Institute at Hiram G. Andrews Center and will offer the option to earn industry based credentials that will enable participants to seek employment in public or private schools, apartment buildings, retail facilities, motels or public utilities. Classes are scheduled for March 16th through August 31st. Classes will run Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Orientation will be held on March 6th at 9:00 A.M.

Seating is limited. Individuals who meet the requirements will be enrolled in the course on a first come basis. If you are interested in learning more about the program and registering for the information session, please contact Debi Balog, Workforce Development Director via e-mail at or by calling (814) 262-8366.

The program is funded through PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program.

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