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Places to be: Young workers wanted in Altoona-Blair County


Need a job? Go to Altoona. That’s right, that Altoona in Blair County. The old railroad town has erased industrial decline thanks in large part to the work of the Altoona-Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation, which created or retained more than 2,300 jobs in the last year and received national recognition.

N.E.W. Customer Service Companies opened its 11th call center in Altoona in the spring, adding 481 jobs. ABCD also worked to bring in newcomers like Diversapack and Advanced Metal Processing, who added 185 jobs combined in the county. High-tech is also well represented thanks to INRange Systems, which was named one of the continent’s top 100 tech ventures, joining past winners like Yahoo, Google, Skype and YouTube. The North Allegheny Wind Project, which straddles Blair and Cambira counties, has contributed to the state’s growth in wind energy.

Penn State-Altoona’s innovative rail and transit engineering program, expected to enroll its first students in the fall of 2010, will help keep local talent closer to home as rail projects beef up across the Commonwealth.  Thanks to $2.5 million from the family of Altoona-based Sheetz, the school will also open an entrepreneurial studies center that will be the cornerstone of the school’s facilities, which are part of an ongoing, large-scale redevelopment of the downtown.

With partnerships with Penn State-Altoona and Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the goal for ABCD is to keep young people in Altoona. With a vibrant downtown and plentiful jobs, that just got a whole lot easier.

Source: Keystone Edge
Writer: Joe Petrucci

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