Report reveals economic strategies

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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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New pub, eatery coming to Mohegan Sun Pocono

PLAINS TWP. A new pub and eatery is coming to Mohegan Sun Pocono, according to an announcement president and general manager Tony Carlucci posted on a Facebook page to employees. Its name is still being finalized, Mohegan Sun Pocono spokesman Cody Chapman (read more)

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Grossman

By Howard Grossman

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), is the latest regional report performed by the NEPA Alliance in its capacity as an economic development district under the federal Economic Development Administration. The CEDS is prepared every five years. This process has helped reveal several economic strategies that include the following six:

• Retain and expand existing businesses;

• Attract new businesses;

• Encourage entrepreneurial activity and innovation;

• Link workforce with current and future job opportunities;

• Build on energy, environmental and agricultural opportunities; and

• Inventory and strengthen regional infrastructure.

To achieve these goals, collaboration is strongly recommended with other economic and small business development agencies in the region. Here are some of the issues discussed.

• Outmigration of younger population — this demonstrates that between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2015, the seven county region declined by 14,466 people or 1.6 percent. All counties showed some decrease. The document suggests a brain drain in the age group 25-64, but entities exist to help entice young people to stay. These include POWER which is Professionals Organized and Working to Enrich the Region.

• Aging infrastructure including 662 deficient bridges in the region, but improvements to major interstates have been occurring such as the Safe 80 Task Force and actions to improve I-81. Water and septic systems need work and the housing stock is one of the oldest in the commonwealth.

• Shortage of skilled technical labor. This problem is being addressed by workforce investment boards, colleges, universities and local technical schools.

• Low educational attainment levels. There are 18 colleges and universities in the region, many public school districts, many private schools and seven vocational technical schools.

• Lack of terminal degree programs. The region does not have a critical mass of terminal degree programs in fields such as engineering, sciences and technology. Some efforts help, including The Commonwealth Medical College and doctoral degrees programs at Misericordia, University of Scranton, and an agreement at East Stroudsburg University with Indiana University of Pennsylvania toward an Ed.D degree.

• Lack of entrepreneurial culture. Continued expansion of entrepreneurship in niche markets is needed, according to the report.

• Industry Clusters. Targeted industry clusters. include advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, agriculture and food production, building and construction, business and financial services, ducation, information and communication services, life sciences, logistics and transportation and lumber, wood, and paper. Some of these are found in the region and have positive location quotients. They represent targets for recruitment.

The report outlines a SWOT analysis of the region, looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This lead toward the six goals mentioned previously and a strategy that is designed to enhance the regional economy. There were many strengths and weaknesses and in the opportunities were energy, health care, tourism, transportation, available workforce, educational institutions, cluster development, buying local, reshoring of jobs, municipal/regional cooperation, proximity to major metropolitan areas and Tobyhanna Army Depot/defense related industries. Among the threats were the Defense Department budget, low wages, economic contraction, population loss, taking funds out of businesses, federal spending decreasing, youth migrating out of the region and more. An issue is perception of the region.

Of the six goals based upon SWOT, encouraging entrepreneurial activity is key and included five strategies as follows:

• Assist aspiring entrepreneurs by increasing their awareness about regional and state resources;

• Promote financing programs that are geared towards entrepreneurs;

• Encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to enter annual business plan competitions;

• Explore the possibility of having student-run entrepreneurial residential program at colleges; and

• Market business incubators that provide kitchen space to producers of agricultural products who can add value.

Howard J. Grossman is the former executive director of EDCNP, now NEPA Alliance. Email him at GrossmanHJ@aol.com

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