Job and business growth for Johnstown region

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. - JARI is building economic momentum in the Johnstown region.

The economic development organization released its 2016 Annual Report. Highlights include 328 jobs created, over 4,000 jobs retained, 11 new startup companies and almost $7 million in financing and tax credits.

JARI's clients range from healthcare, manufacturing and service-related companies to small businesses.

"We saw more jobs created, more jobs retained. We saw less relocated workers, meaning less people laid off in the region. Our financing was up, almost double from the year before," said Linda Thomson, the president of JARI.

Thomson said the success is partially because companies are willing to take risks and JARI wants to ensure those risks pay off.

In 2016, JARI also formed the JARI Growth Fund, which provides additional financial assistance to companies. The Growth Fund has a couple hundred-thousand dollars available, but could have over $1 million if state and U.S. Treasury grants are approved.

"It doesn't matter who you are, as long as you're running or starting a business and you think you have some capital needs, we are here to help get you where you need to go," Thomson said.

Thomson said the momentum from 2016 has carried over into 2017. More jobs were created this year, including 250 jobs with a new call center, Convergys. There's also been interest in the region from international companies, particularly in the defense industry.

Thomson said JARI will continue to help companies find locations, recruit and train employees and secure funding. JARI is also looking for ways to improve and expand in the years to come.

"We do have the resources to support entrepreneurs and we are continually trying to grow those resources to make them better," Thomson said.


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