Mission & Current Initiatives



The objective of the Economic Development Taskforce is to promote and support activities that increase the business of BC Chamber members and enhance the economy of Beaver County and the surrounding region.

The Taskforce is led by BC Chamber Vice Chairman, Dennis Nichols, and is comprised of leaders from various segments of the business community including representatives from private industry as well as non-profit organizations.

The Taskforce has several subcommittees including the following:

Ambassadors for Economic Development – Hal Martin, Howard Hanna, Chairman

Ancillary Business to the Shell Ethane Cracker – Dennis Nichols, BC Chamber, Chairman

Freedom Road Improvement – New Business Development – Karen Teams, FNB, Chairwoman

Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Jen Cushman, Penn State Beaver, Chairwoman

Government/Business Interaction and Development – Heather Harmon Kennedy, Esquire, Chairwoman

The sub-committees create specific goals, strategies, and action plans in support of their missions. The intention of the sub-committees is to be focused, goal intensive, and action oriented.

Current goals and activities for the sub-committees are:

Ambassadors for Economic Development – working with commercial and industrial real estate professionals in the region to ensure that available business sites are properly listed and up to date in the Pittsburgh Prospector Website, hosted by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance,  and are readily available to developers and site selectors. The Ambassadors are also engaging the residential real estate professionals in Beaver County to develop the housing industry through creating more housing stock and encourage housing construction. The Ambassadors are further seeking to spread knowledge and awareness of the business opportunities, life style, and culture of Beaver County to current and potential residents.

Ancillary Business to the Shell Ethane Cracker – investigating and determining potential ancillary business that may be created by the existence of the Shell Cracker facility and promoting the advantages of Beaver County sites to potential new businesses as well as supporting the expansion of existing businesses that may benefit from the Cracker operation.

Freedom Road Improvement/New Business Development – evaluating new business potential from the improvement of the Freedom Road corridor and its connection to the Cranberry area and working to support new and existing business growth that may result from the transportation improvement of Freedom Road.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation – investigating ways to support entrepreneurship and innovation in new business creation including various facets such as business incubators, business hubs, financial support mechanisms, and aid in infrastructure for new business start-ups.

Government/Business Interaction and Development – determining ways in which businesses may be initiated or grow in the easiest manner while complying with governmental ordinances, regulations, zoning, and other government requirements as well as coordinating ways to educate business owners on government requirements and facilitate business efforts to begin or grow under government mandates. The subcommittee will also work with government entities at the municipal, county, state, and federal level to coordinate and improve efforts to streamline processes that will promote business growth.

The Taskforce will address issues on a broad and as needed basis to accomplish its goal of economic development in the residential construction, commercial, and industrial sectors for the Beaver County area and will address government and legislative issues as needed in conjunction with the Chamber’s Legislative Committee.  The Taskforce will also support and coordinate its efforts with the various Councils of the Beaver County Partnership for Community and Economic Growth.

Additional sub-committees and other initiatives will be sponsored by the Taskforce from time to time.  The Taskforce is planning a seminar for late August that will discuss “Doing business in the Era of the Shell Ethane Cracker”.  Also the Taskforce is developing a program that will speak to “Financial Support For Business”.  This program is targeted for the early of 2018.

The Taskforce is further engaged in supporting and leading the expansion and strengthening of the Beaver County Manufacturer’s Association in conjunction with Manufacturing Sector Partnership sponsored by the Workforce Development Board and the Department of Community and Economic Development. Beaver County has a strong history in manufacturing and with the availability of abundant energy resources, transportation capability, proximity to substantial markets in the US and Canada, and a labor pool with strong work ethic, Beaver County has the ability to once again be a major and diverse manufacturing center.