Focus Central Pennsylvania Ambassadors are a select group of community leaders that are passionate and supportive of growing economic opportunities in Central Pennsylvania and have firsthand knowledge of successfully doing business in our communities and are ready to share that knowledge with companies looking to relocate or expand. Below they share why they know Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to grow a business!

Why I know Central PA is a choice location to grow a business?

Central Pennsylvania is a great place to do business.  From the front line workers, to the government representatives, you can always find people willing to help you grow your business.  As a Vice President at Pik Rite Inc., I have been involved in manufacturing in the Susquehanna Valley for over 15 years and have found the resources of this area to be very fruitful.  Central Pennsylvania includes numerous resources for workforce training including many technology schools and colleges.  The universities and agencies in the region are eager to help organizations innovate and expand.  In terms of logistics, the region is centrally located, with quick access to shipping lanes that make it easy to satisfy customers needs in a timely manner.

Randy Beiler

Vice President, Pike Rite Inc.

Why I know Central PA is a choice location to grow a business?

As the president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania for over eight years, I’ve seen firsthand the many benefits of our institution’s location in the heart of beautiful Central Pennsylvania. Located about a mile south of Interstate 80, Bloomsburg University is Columbia County’s largest employer and, as such, has directly benefited from the area’s qualified, stable workforce. In addition, our nearly 10,000 students enjoy professional and learning opportunities through university partnerships with dozens of local businesses, manufacturers and economic organizations, such as Focus Central Pennsylvania.

Central Pennsylvania combines the best of all worlds – a rural setting connected by a string of small towns, yet within easy driving distance of major metropolitan centers, such as New York City and Philadelphia. Combined with educational opportunities through Bloomsburg University and other nearby institutions of higher education and local economic drivers, such as Geisinger Health System, Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to locate and grow a business and raise a family.

Dr. David L. Soltz

President, Bloomsburg University

Why I know Central PA is a choice location to grow a business?

SEKISUI Polymer Innovations, LLC has two locations in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and a third location in Holland, Michigan.

In February 2015, SEKISUI SPI announced our purchase of a second facility in Bloomsburg, PA. The 375,000 square foot facility sits on 56 acres and is two miles from our current headquarters. As an $11 billion global company, SEKISUI has choices of locations and industries in which to invest. Strengthening their position here is a direct reflection of our confidence in the North American manufacturing renaissance, which is alive and well in Central PA. Leveraging the strong work ethic that exists locally was a major factor in SEKISUI’s decision to expand and purchase the new building.

Ronn Cort

COO & President, SEKISUI Polymer Innovations, LLC

Shannon Munro

Executive Director, Workforce Development & Continuing Education, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Why I know Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to grow a business?

It is an unprecedented time in the energy industry. With more than ninety percent of UGI’s Natural Gas supply coming from Marcellus Shale, our customers are benefiting from this locally produced, plentiful, and lower cost supply.  UGI is partnering with businesses for long term, unmatched competitive energy supply to foster economic growth and sustainability, to expand opportunities, and to meet shareholder expectations. We are proud to be the Natural Gas distribution utility serving Central Pennsylvania, and we are committed to supporting the success and continued growth of our customers, as well as investing in our communities to make them stronger today and better tomorrow.

UGI Utilities, Inc. is a Natural Gas and Electric utility committed to delivering reliable, safe and affordable energy to our customers.

Don Brominski

Director, Business Development, UGI Utilities, Inc.

Why I know Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to grow a business?

Central Pennsylvania is a prime location to establish and grow a business due to: Its location within easy reach of the major urban metropolitan markets of the northeastern United States; the work ethic and loyalty of its people and workforce; and, first class infrastructure consisting of wide variety of excellent institutions of higher education, extraordinary healthcare services lead by the internationally recognized Geisinger Health System, and transportation and highway systems. These attributes combine with the region’s natural beauty and resources, and many great bucolic communities in which to raise a family. Central Pennsylvania is by far the leading location for not only establishing and growing a business but also a family.

Frank Trembulak

Executive Vice President & COO, Geisinger Health System

Why I know Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to grow a business?

As a representative of PPL Electric Utilities I see firsthand how a strong economy is powered by a reliable supply of electricity and that’s our company focus. PPL’s delivery system is being upgraded like never before to help ensure the continued safe and reliable delivery of power. PPL is renewing, strengthening and modernizing by replacing vintage equipment with better, stronger equipment.

In the first six months of 2015, we prevented nearly 200,000 power outages by installing smart grid, keeping trees away from lines, putting in stronger poles and wires and other reliability work.

PPL invested $4.7 billion over the past decade to improve our electric delivery system and will invest another $5.7 billion over the next five years as we to continue to renew, strengthen and modernize our network that serves millions of people.

On average, customers are experiencing 20 percent fewer outages today than in 2007 — when we embarked on one of the largest reliability improvement programs in our company’s history — and we will improve by at least another 20 percent by 2019.

Teri MacBride

Regional Affairs Director, PPL Electric Utilities

Why I know Central PA is a choice location to grow a business?

I have lived in Central PA all of my life.  In all my business travels around the country, I have not seen an area that has people with a work ethic any stronger than that of the residents of Central PA.  With people who have core values that translate into workers who care about the products they produce, the quality of life to which they contribute and the economic security they bring to our area, we are smack dab in the middle of a business person’s dream. Our local governments provide stable tax policies and sound governing which is often lost in this day and age.

Joe Kantz

Marketing Representative, Snyder County Commissioner , North Shore Railroad

Why I know Central PA is a choice location to grow a business?

Zimmerman’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram Truck in Sunbury, has served the transportation needs of central
Pennsylvania for over 100 years.  Our success and growth is a direct result of our quality staff that are dedicated to our mission of Exceeding Customer Satisfaction! The ambitious, hard working and committed work force in our community cannot be beat!
Any company that succeeds knows that a big reason is their employees understanding and fulfilling their company goals! Central Pennsylvania offers dedicated employees, our average length of service is over 20 years!

Robert C Zimmerman Jr.

President, Zimmermans Chrysler Dodge Jeep & Ram Truck

Why I know Central Pennsylvania is a choice location to grow a business?

Plastics companies are a critical component of Pennsylvania’s economy, representing 1.4 million plastics-related jobs, ranking sixth in the nation.  Since Pennsylvania is the third largest producer of natural gas in the nation, Central Pennsylvania is ideally positioned to attract companies producing plastics recognizing that natural gas is a critical resource to produce polymer materials used in plastics manufacturing.  The plastics industry in Pennsylvania, in particular, is poised for growth as it will become a low-cost producer of one of the plastics industry’s chief raw materials.

To efficiently drive the changes and improvements required to maximize the growth potential of the industry in Central Pennsylvania and beyond, a central source of technical expertise and leadership with a commercial focus is necessary.  The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC) at Pennsylvania College of Technology is an independent research, development, and continuing education center which provides technology resources to facilitate the growth and success of the plastics industry in Central Pennsylvania.  The PIRC maintains access to industrial-scale state-of-the-art process equipment, world-class training facilities, a highly skilled consulting and teaching staff, and is capable of demonstrating molding and forming techniques available to the industry.

I have had the opportunity to work with DCED and Team PA to meet with national and international companies who have a keen interest in creating a presence in our area.  I also spoke with international journalists who published articles on Pennsylvania’s resources, including the presence of an educated workforce, availability of state-of-the-art training facilities, and an economy ranked among the largest in the world.

It is privilege to be a part of the Pennsylvania team dedicated to creating new and expanded plastics industry opportunities in the commonwealth.  International plastics expositions like NPE provide excellent opportunities to meet executives of plastics companies interested in Pennsylvania’s resources and manufacturing environment.  I look forward to becoming an ambassador representing Focus Central Pennsylvania to continue the important work of promoting our world-class workforce and the benefits of locating and expanding companies in Pennsylvania.

Hank White

Consultant; Former Director, Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, Pennsylvania College of Technology