JARI is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024

Author’s Note: The Johnstown Regional Industries Helped Park Square Market Secure financing

SOMERSET ― JARI is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024. The Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI), a nonprofit economic development organization that has been a devoted partner of the business community in Cambria and Somerset counties, was launched in 1974.

No matter what business you are in, JARI can help establish and grow your company in today’s global economy. JARI offers an experienced team to help companies of all sizes, from start-ups to long-time businesses, in their business development as leaders in economic and workforce development. JARI provides value-added services and connections to the right people in government, commercial lending, equity investing, real estate and other regional, state and federal economic development groups.

“JARI works with the entrepreneurial coaches in both Somerset and Cambria counties to begin discussions with new or growing entrepreneurs,” said Linda Thomson, president and CEO of JARI. “Once the coach does an assessment of needs, JARI’s small business team and the coach work together to meet the specific needs of the company.”

For larger, established companies who need assistance with expansion or workforce development, contact JARI at 814-535-8675, she added.

What can JARI do to help?

Services JARI provides includes: workforce development, government contracting support, small business loans/technical assistance, site selection, financing and grant work, marketing, retention of existing businesses, and support rapid response team when there is a layoff.

In Somerset County, JARI’s Apex Accelerator team (government procurement assistance to small/medium companies) assisted 51 companies in 2023 alone. The group supported company small business certifications.

JARI in Somerset County

The Somerset County JARI office opened at Uptown Works, 109 E. Main St., Somerset, in late 2022

A Somerset entrepreneurial coach, Matt Reckner, works out of that JARI office, and may be reached at startupsomersetcoach.outlook.com

There were 18 new start-up businesses in Somerset County that were assisted by the county’s entrepreneurial coach with some technical and financing assistance from JARI. JARI became a certified economic development provider for Somerset County, allowing the group to administer and apply for the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds and state financing programs.


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