January 31, 2024
Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce's Inaugural Roundtable Sparks Insightful Dialogue on Regional Growth
The Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce recently convened its inaugural Roundtable discussion for 2024, marking a significant milestone in fostering collaboration among diverse business leaders, board members, and stakeholders. The event aimed to facilitate an open exchange of concerns and ideas, not confined to specific industries but with a broader regional perspective to boost the growth of Westmoreland County.
Commencing with a presentation outlining the Chamber's key Strategic Goals and Objectives for 2024, the focus remained on enhancing the "Voice of Business." Attendees reflected on the Chamber's achievements in advocating for the local business community at various levels of government and explored strategies to address the pressing need for the county's regeneration amidst current and future challenges. A primary concern identified was the loss of population and the ensuing necessity for increased housing. This triggered a discussion on making Westmoreland County more inclusive and appealing to individuals of all ages, abilities, nationalities, and backgrounds. Recognizing demographic shifts, participants acknowledged the importance of making the county an attractive place for the younger generation to live, work, and play in the years ahead.
Workforce development, childcare support, and improved public transportation emerged as urgent priorities. Participants underscored the need to create opportunities for single mothers, working families, and individuals seeking a second chance due to personal challenges. Simultaneously, there was a call for better mobility options, addressing challenges faced by those reliant on public transportation. Infrastructure, including the maintenance of roads and bridges, was a critical focus, particularly for manufacturing companies dealing with large equipment requiring secure access both within and beyond state borders.
The Chamber would like to thank our partners and the distinguished panel for their valuable insights during the inaugural Roundtable discussion. Notable participants included Maria LaVelle (President/CEO of People Federal Credit Union), Mike Storms (Director of Operations, Elliott Group), Brian Fritz (President of Frick, Latrobe and Westmoreland Hospitals of Independence Health Systems), Dan Galbraith (Business Owner – Solutionist), Emily Neff (Director of Public Policy, Trying Together), Dan Gordish, and John Pomponi (First Energy, West Penn Power), Amy Hopkins (External Relations Manager, CNX), and Janet Ward (Executive Director from the Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Investment Board).
The information gathered during this collaborative session will guide the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce in addressing the most pressing concerns of the business community. The Chamber is committed to advocating for meaningful changes at the local, state, and federal levels, ensuring a thriving and inclusive environment for businesses in Westmoreland County.
Anticipation is high for the next official Roundtable Discussion in 2024, as the Chamber continues to play a pivotal role in steering the region towards sustainable economic growth.