We have been associated with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) and Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGC) for years, but recently developed a true partnership. As a result of Jason Rigone, Director of Planning & Development, Executive Director of WCIDC and Janice Albright, Administrator PA CareerLink Westmoreland, being on the same radio program with Chad Amond, Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce President the seed was planted. Their dialogue led to a connection between Kim Donnelly, Business Development Director of WCIDC and Awanda Pritts, a PIC Account Representative at the PA CareerLink Westmoreland.
Awanda and Kim are coordinating efforts to develop working relationships that provide resources for Westmoreland County employers. These efforts began with R.E. Uptegraff, a Scottdale based company that Awanda has been involved with for the past 3 years. This started with an introduction of Kim to the new owners, Shenda Electric of China. This company retained the Operations Manager, Awanda’s primary contact, that allowed her relationship with R.E. Uptegraff to not only continue, but to grow with the new company’s future plans.
Awanda organized an introduction for Kim with the new owners as well as a guided tour of the facility with discussion of their expansion plans in Westmoreland County. This discussion led to a second meeting where Donna Bates, Director of Finance, Marketing, and Programs for the EGC was included to provide information on assistance with the purchase of new equipment for this expansion project. Resources like this allow us to help our local employers maintain and/ or expand their operations by providing them with job candidates, financial assistance and referrals. We are a source for them to access for information and referral services to assist them reach their goals. They also visited The ExOne Company in North Huntingdon where they reviewed the resources available to them in the future.
This partnership works both ways. After the merger of Pittsburgh Electric Engine and Watt Fuel Cell, leadership roles in the business changed. When you are getting a project like this off the ground you are working 25 hours a day. The PA CareerLink was very interested in establishing a working relationship with Watt Fuel Cell, but wanted to wait until the time was right. Kim had the opportunity to meet with the Director of Corporate Services when the company was getting established in Mt. Pleasant. This time it was Kim who set up the meeting to introduce Awanda to inform Watt about the services that the PA CareerLink can provide to them.
This open line of communication that Kim and Awanda have developed keeps moving forward with the sharing of information and services available to the businesses in Westmoreland County.
Next stop is Equipment and Controls Inc. in Monessen. By the time you read this article I am sure there will have been more successful meetings to report on and more scheduled for the future as well, thanks to this community partnership.
If you have any questions about the Employer services that are available in Westmoreland County you can contact Awanda at 724-755-2330 or Kim at 724-830-3606 or stop by a local Chamber Event where you may get a chance to meet both of them.