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  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

     

  • The Economic Development Division of the Regional Chamber works to promote activities related to business attraction, expansion, retention, creation of infrastructure, and workforce development by cultivating partnerships and a business-friendly environment that encourages the investments necessary to support new business opportunities. 

    Why Lawrence County?

    Lawrence County, Pennsylvania is located in western Pennsylvania, along the border with Ohio. Our largest municipality is the City of New Castle located in the center of Lawrence County. New Castle is classified as a Micropolitan area, and in the 2018, Policom Economic Strength Ranking list, it is ranked the 251 strongest out of the 550 Micropolitan areas in the United States. 

    The City of New Castle, by ground transportation, is approximately 19 miles east of Youngstown, OH, 53 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA, 100 miles southeast of Cleveland, OH, 388 miles west of New York City, NY, and 428 miles east of Chicago, IL. 

    Lawrence County provides multiple lifestyle choices ranging from New Castle’s urban area to rural Amish farms scattered along the northern reaches of the county. Lawrence County has 27 local governments and 8 independent school districts. Many of our school districts have been named to the top 10 performers on standardized tests, as well as, winning a national blue ribbon for high student achievement.

    Besides being an outdoor paradise with significant green spaces and rivers, Lawrence County is home to leading private employers, such as: UPMC Jameson Health System, Westminster College, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Ellwood Group, Dairy Farmers of America, InfoCision, Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co., McKesson Corporation, North American Dental Group, and several others.

    The Regional Chamber undertakes economic development activities by focusing on three key areas:

    • Support a strong Entrepreneurship and Small Business ecosystem by providing needed tools such as access to capital and technical assistance to both new and established small businesses
    • Serve as single local point of contact for coordinated delivery of business attraction, retention, and expansion services 
    • Engage area employers and target industries in workforce development efforts to identify skill gaps and work with partners to both identify and implement sustainable solutions

    Entrepreneurship and Small Business:

    • Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center, Lawrence County (SBDC) –  Partner with SBDC to better support entrepreneurship and small business development by creating a dedicated, part-time office in Lawrence County, that is able to assist with business plan development, securing access to capital, and improving the capabilities of local small business management
    • Youngstown State University SCORE Chapter – Collaborate with Partners for Progress to better support entrepreneurship and small business development. SCORE is an organization with a dedicated group of retired business executives able to mentor individuals with a dream of becoming a business owner. They can assist with business plan development, securing access to capital, and improving the capabilities of local small business management
    • Access to Public Financing – Provide access to capital needed to qualified businesses from local, state, and federal sources with reasonable terms that provide the flexibility needed to facilitate the creation of new jobs
    • Lunch & Learn – Provide a forum for partners to impart knowledge of pertinent resources or programs that support division objectives

    Business Attraction, Retention, & Expansion:

    • Sites and Buildings Database – Collect and maintain current listing of available properties suitable for business development or redevelopment. We maintain a list of available commercial and industrial properties in Lawrence County. Click here to visit our Available Sites & Facilities (Zoom Prospector)
    • Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Visitation Program – Maintain regular contact and conduct an annual survey with existing industries and businesses to gain information on barriers and opportunities within Lawrence County, and provide information on targeted assistance programs to help facilitate ongoing projects, keep current employers competitive, and assist them to capture new market share
    • Lunch & Learn – Provide forum for partners to impart knowledge of pertinent resources or programs that support division objectives
    • !mpact Awards – Annual luncheon to raise awareness of successful economic and community development opportunities that have recently occurred within Lawrence County
    • Northwest Commission – Collaborate with this regional organization providing business development assistance in government contracting, international marketing, and business financing
       
    • Catalyst Connection – Team with Catalyst Connection, our county Industrial Resource Center, providing consulting and training services to our industrially-based businesses designed to accelerate revenue growth and improve productivity, ensuring the robustness of manufacturing in our community

    Workforce Development:

    • Lawrence County School-to-Work – Collaborate with School-to-Work, a nonprofit corporation founded through a partnership between Lawrence County school districts and local employers that spearheads programs designed to ready school-age children for jobs available in our community. Events include 11th and 12th grade Engineering Day, Educator in the Workplace program, and various other school presentations and workshops to help students better understand the career possibilities that exist locally for both non-college and college bound students
    • Lawrence County Learning Center – Our offices manage this Center which offers a comprehensive environment for classroom and computer labs that are free to businesses and regional educators 
       
    • Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Visitation Program – Mentioned above
       
    • West Central Job Partnership (WCJP) – Partner with WCJP, a non-profit organization responsible for administrating and operating job training and workforce development programs. WCJP is also the administrator for both the Pennsylvania CareerLink office of Lawrence County and co-founder of the Oh-Penn Interstate region created to enhance workforce development in a 5-county region of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. WCJP is the grant recipient for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds, Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) funds, and numerous state grants including grants from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), helping Lawrence County businesses fill their employment needs
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