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A Golf Club for the Whole Family

The Schuylkill Country Club provides its members, families and their guests many unforgettable memories to last a lifetime! The Schuylkill Country Club’s historic clubhouse brings a unique charm and elegance to every event. Golf outings, showers, weddings, business meetings and much more will be customized to meet your personal desires.

Golf • Dine • Swim • Relax

877 West Market Street Orwigsburg, PA 17961 570.366.0622 www.schuylkillcc.com Schuylkill 2018 DH.indd 3

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A CENTURY OF TRANSFORMATION

Schuylkill County Stands the Test of Time

6 WELCOME

Welcome to Schuylkill County.

8 CHAMBER CONNECTION

The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce celebrates 100 years.

12 TESTIMONIALS

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

TABLE OF CONTENTS

14 PHOTO GALLERY 16 DEMOGRAPHICS

Come see how we stack up.

24 SCHUYLKILL TIMELINE

Explore the county’s past.

28 EVOLUTION OF SCHUYLKILL COUNTY

Explore the past, present and future.

Cover photography courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce.

These VIPs reflect back. 4

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the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce.

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Welcome to Schuylkill County! Welcome to the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary Edition of our Community Guide. We have created this publication as a tribute to our 100 years of dedication and service to our business and nonprofit community and as an honor to all those who assist visitors in experiencing the greater

Schuylkill County area. For the past century, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, previously known as the Greater Pottsville Area Chamber of Commerce, has served as the anchor for business and community services. Today, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is the recognized hub for business and non-profit activity, associated with eight community affiliate chambers and business associations across the greater Schuylkill County area. The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is honored to be recognized and embraced as the key linkage to our business community. We are proud of our hard working people, representing a cultural “melting pot” of diversity, from many ancestral backgrounds. Our workforce and their commitment to excellence are unsurpassed. We are equally blessed that from this outstanding group of citizens, rises a volunteerism unsurpassed anywhere. We represent the third largest geographical area by county in Pennsylvania, spanning 778 square miles. We are rural by definition and yet “metropolitan” by our business base, boasting many Fortune 500 companies. We are conveniently located and traversed by major highway connectors, including Interstate 81 and PA State 61, connecting Interstate 81 and Interstate 78. This connectivity allows us to be within three hours travel to major East coast cities including Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and 20% percent of the U.S. population. Our rural nature, picturesque mountains and rolling valleys, coupled with our fantastic natural resources, attract many to our area. Those attracted to our area through tourism and unique shopping opportunities may find it

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a great place to relocate, to raise a family and/or build a business. We have achieved 100 years of service to our community, through advocacy, leadership development, networking, education, marketing and advertising for those we serve. Schuylkill County is successful because we work so well in collaboration and partnership. Over the 100 years of our rich heritage, we have been at the core of our nation’s Industrial Revolution, based on the natural resources, such as anthracite coal and the dedication to excellence in the textile and manufacturing industry of our country. We are now maintaining our prominence in the business world today through transition and the expansion of our business, service and distribution expertise. We are a county who also embraces small businesses and downtown revitalization is underway in many of our communities bringing the best of business and local communities together. Schuylkill County, our businesses and non-profits, have truly survived the test of time, by continuing the best work from the past and evolving our assets for the future. The Mission of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is “dedicated to serving its members and affiliates with valueadded programs and services, and improving the quality of life and economic vitality of our county”. This mission motivates us in representing the interests of business both individually and collectively in order to create and sustain a strong economy and quality of life throughout our region. The 100th Anniversary is a true celebration of business success, fueled by the greatest work ethic in America. We hope you enjoy this 100th Anniversary Edition Community Guide and the hallmark of achievement it recognizes for the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. Sincerely,

Robert S. Carl, Jr. President and CEO

1 Progress Circle, Suite 201 Pottsville, PA 17901 570-622-1942 www.schuylkillchamber.com

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair Jeff O’Neill M&T Bank 1st Vice Chair Edward Keyworth, III Pottsville Provision Company 2nd Vice Chair John Powers Ashland Technologies, Inc Treasurer: Shannon Brennan McCann School of Business & Technology Secretary: Mark Wiederhold Cougle’s Recycling, Inc. President & CEO: Robert S. Carl, Jr. Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President: Monica Walborn Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Past Chair: Jeanne B. Porter Boyer’s Food Markets, Inc. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Kim Lorimer The Evans Network of Companies Cynthia Mensch Alvernia University Schuylkill Center

VISIONARY

CLASS OF 2018 Jim Brennan, Miners Bank, a Division of Mid Penn Bank Denise Calderone, Schaeffer’s Harley Davidson John Crane, Crane Insurance Agency, Inc. John DeAngelo, Wegmans Maureen Donovan, Lehigh Carbon Community College Center for Leadership & Workforce Development Champ Holman, The Holman Group Peter Keitsock, Avenues Ginger Kunkel, Riverview Bank Alvin B. Marshall, Esquire, Marshall, Bohorad, Thornburg, Price & Campion, PC Dr. Darcy Medica, Penn State Schuylkill Tom Yashinsky, ARRO Consulting, Inc.

Savas Logothetides, Wheel Restaurant Pottsville Edward Kleha, Office of Rep. Wayne Lutsey, Tompkins VIST Bank|Insurance Neal Goodman Patrick F. Moran, Schuylkill EMS Patrick Leitzel, William Reppy, Lehigh Valley The Seltzer Group Health Network – Schuylkill Francesco Mercuri, Jenna St. Clair, Schuylkill Conservation District Waddell & Reed CLASS OF 2019 Kevin Steele, H.B. Steele & Son, Inc. Jamie Barton, Jack Rich, Inc Jesarela Ravelo, Walmart DC7030 Jason Bower, Dunkin Donuts 2017-2018 AT LARGE DIRECTORS Mary Beth Dougherty, Office of Jessica Dean, Power Kunkle Benefits Consulting Ed Winkelbauer, Insurance Agency Senator David Argall Robert DeColli, Jr., DO, Lehigh Valley Alliance Debbie Yuengling Ferhat, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc Physicians Group Jerry Labooty, Greystone Restaurant J.T. Herber, Williamson, Friedberg & Jones, LLC

Edward Kleha July 6, 1951 - March 8, 2018

Photos courtesy of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

SCHUYLKILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 2017-2018

for your service to Schuylkill County and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Board Member July 2013 - March 2018

CHAMBER TIERED MEMBERS

PREMIER American Computer Associates BB&T Boyer’s Food Markets, Inc. Capital BlueCross Carmelo’s Roman Delight

Hydro Jack Rich, Inc. Michael Foods, Inc./Papetti’s Hygrade Egg Products Mrs. T’s Pierogies/Ateeco, Inc.

Penske Truck Leasing Pioneer Pole Buildings, Inc. Power Kunkle Benefits Consulting Ramus Realty Group St. Clair & Associates, PC

Vito’s Coal Fired Pizza Wells Fargo

EXECUTIVE Alfred Benesch & Company Alvernia University - Schuylkill Center Avenues Buehner Family Dental Care CACL Federal Credit Union County Waste of Pennsylvania Crane Insurance Agency, Inc. Fabcon Precast First National Bank & Trust Company 8

Fulton Bank Heim Construction Company, Inc. Koch’s Turkey Farm - LVE, Inc. Lehigh Carbon Community College Mauch Chunk Trust McCann School of Business & Technology Miners Bank, a Division of Mid Penn Bank

Murphy Jewelers PageOne Design & Marketing LLC Penn State Schuylkill Peoples Security Bank & Trust Populytics, Inc. Pottsville Area School District PPL Corporation Progressive Vision Institute Providence Place Senior Living

Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson Schuylkill Center Genesis Healthcare Schuylkill Country Club Schuylkill County Municipal Authority Shenandoah Senior Living Community Solar Innovations, Inc Spotts Insurance Group Tompkins VIST Bank | Insurance Williamson, Friedberg & Jones, LLC

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PAST PRESIDENTS/CHAIRS John G. Royal............................... 1918-1920 Conrad K. Houck.........................1920-1923 W.J. Biever......................................1923-1927 E.S. Rudloff.................................... 1927-1929 William C. Green ........................1929-1934 Joseph F. Seiders .......................1934-1935 J. Robert Bazley ..........................1935-1938 Peter A. McCarron .....................1938-1941 Martin F. Malarkey .....................1941-1944 N.J. Beisel ..................................... 1944-1947 Robert B. Gable ..........................1947-1949 Daniel A. Morris ..........................1949-1952 John J. Miller ................................ 1952-1953 Joseph L. Maguire .....................1953-1954 Harold L. Warfel .........................1954-1955 Fred C. Hatter ..............................1955-1956 L.R. Overly ....................................1956-1957 A.V. Tidmore ................................ 1957-1958 Philip J. Malarkey .......................1958-1959 Albert C. Scott ............................1959-1960 James J. Haffey ...........................1960-1961 Richard F. Higgins ...................... 1961-1963 Ralph F. Eichert ...........................1963-1965

Robert K. Stoner ........................1965-1967 Kenneth L. Brennan...................1967-1969 Douglas N. Howe........................1969-1971 T. Russell Bevan........................... 1971-1973 Bill B. McDonald.......................... 1973-1974 Paul D. Heck.................................. 1974-1976 Milton I. Rosenberg...................1976-1978 Robert L. Favreau.......................1978-1980 Richard E. Fehr............................ 1980-1982 Wayne D. Lammie......................1982-1984 Frances D. Weiss......................... 1984-1986 Richard Fenstermacher............1986-1987 Joseph P. Schlitzer......................1987-1988 Guy Boyer......................................1988-1989 Ramon Grapsy III....................... 1989-1990 Kurt Keil..........................................1990-1991 Mary Sitcoske...............................1991-1992 Nancy Elser....................................1992-1993 James J. Corrigan........................1993-1994 Elaine Maneval........................... 1994-1995 Paul Datte......................................1995-1996 Joanne Parulis.........................................1996 James Clark.................................. 1996-1997

Timothy Twardzik.......................1997-1998 Frank J. Staudenmeier............. 1998-1999 Philip Olmes................................1999-2000 Donald Gintzig...........................2000-2001 Robert S. Carl, Jr......................... 2001-2002 Leon Jurgill................................... 2002-2003 Henry Nyce..................................2003-2004 Linda Walinsky............................2004-2005 Bill Kirwan.....................................2005-2006 Lloyd Wertz..................................2006-2007 Erica Ramus.................................. 2007-2008 Jim Donovan...............................2008-2009 Ken Huebner............................... 2009-2010 Dr. Mary Sacavage.....................2010-2011 Bill Wydra, Jr..................................2011-2012 James C. Bohorad...................... 2012-2013 Mark Fanelli...................................2013-2014 Karen Kenderdine......................2014-2015 Toni Everdale................................2015-2016 Jeanne Porter...............................2016-2017 Jeff O’Neill..................................... 2017-2018

Ashland lies in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. In May 1963, Pioneer Tunnel, which ceased operation in 1931, was reopened as a place where visitors could experience a real anthracite coal mine. Visitors ride into the Tunnel on mine cars rebuilt to carry passengers, and our expert guides give an explanation of deep-mining methods. Our other featured attraction is a narrow gauge steam train ride abroad the Lokie Henry Clay. Lokie is a colloquial term for small locomotive. Henry Clay is a steam saddle tank engine of 30 tons used years ago to haul coal cars. Now it pulls passenger mine cars alongside of Mahanoy Mountain creating a scenic and informative ride for our guests.

GROUP TOURS • GIFT SHOP • FOOD • PICNIC TABLES Join Us for Our Annual Pioneer Day! Locally Made Crafts & Food Fair Occurs Annually on the 3rd Saturday of August 10a-5p

19th & Oak Streets Ashland, PA 17921 pioneertunnel.com 570-875-3850 SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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A Century of

TRANSFORMATION

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

S C H U Y L K I L L C O U N T Y S TA N D S T H E T E S T O F T I M E

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F

rom coal and textile industries, to the bustle and buzz of the Industrial Revolution flourishing in bygone eras, to today’s logistics and manufacturing economy, Schuylkill County has evolved into a diverse area that has stood the test of time. The beginnings of growth and development in Schuylkill County, which was founded in 1811, trace back to the anthracite mining industry. Anthracite is a special type of hard coal found in Pennsylvania that gives off a significant amount of Old St. Nicholas Breaker, Mahanoy City energy when burned. “The growth of the anthracite “I am encouraged by the business mining industry was critical to the success of the Yuengling and Twardzik formation of many of our communities families who have taken a local brand today,” says Mark Major, Schuylkill and launched their products into Reading Anthracite Pit County historian. “Our shared heritage popularity not only regionally in connects many of our residents even though the industry has Pennsylvania, but across the country,” Major says. waned over the last half-century.” In addition to its part in the Industrial Revolution, Next came the railroads, which connected Pennsylvania Schuylkill County was the setting for a telecommunication towns to other municipalities. In fact, the rail connection revolution. In the late 1940s, local businessman John Walson between Mill Creek to the Schuylkill River in 1827 was only invented cable television. This innovation represented the third railroad in the United States at the time. Many of a transition from antenna-based transmissions to cable the early railroads used horses to pull the cars. The first train connections. Walson and his team continued to utilize in the county connected Tamaqua to Port Clinton, leading to new types of cables, including coaxial cables, to enhance railroads becoming the popular way of transporting coal in the television service. mid-1800s. When industries like mining started to decline, locals With the success of anthracite mining and the use of were left to find a new way to make a living and keep on rail, Schuylkill County was booming during the Industrial going. They did just that, establishing the present workforce, Revolution. The high demand for mining machinery and where small and large businesses, distribution centers and equipment sparked growth throughout the region, all related innovation thrive. to the needs of miners and the mining industry. Today, a variety of industries contribute to the Schuylkill With this transition came new challenges for businesses County economy, including manufacturing, health care and and workers and the rise of the Molly Maguires, also known education, just to name a few. While industries have adapted as Mollies. Formerly an Irish secret society, the Molly Maguires over time, much about the spirit of its people has remained became an alleged union of coal miners who fought for better the same. working conditions in the mining industry, though rarely by “This is a county of generosity,” says Tom Drogalis, peaceful means. While violence, unfortunately, was part of the Executive Director at the Schuylkill County Historical Society. history of the Molly Maguires and led to the assassination of “Schuylkill County citizens have stood shoulder-to-shoulder 24 foremen and supervisors, this part of Schuylkill County throughout the county’s best and worst times.” history was important to the labor movement. Major agrees that the commitment to family, friends and Also taking place in the 1800s was the founding of neighbors contributes to the community Yuengling Brewery in 1829 in Pottsville. This company is now “Growing up in Schuylkill County, I always noticed a the oldest brewery in the United States. sense of pride in community,” Major says. “I believe this Schuylkill County is the birthplace of Mrs. T’s Pierogies. pride has continued through the decades. For the most part, The Twardzik family of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, began we remain a collection of groups, towns, teams, schools and manufacturing these delicious dumplings in 1952, much to neighbors who understand and appreciate the value of what the delight of appetites across America. we have collectively.” n By Rachel Nall SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Testimonials

MICHAEL D. HAMMER “The Cressona Operation has benefited from its membership in the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce in many ways over the years. The Chamber has afforded leadership development opportunities for our high-potential employees by providing them with educational tools as well as an environment to apply the skills learned. The Chamber has always provided specific skills development training to help strengthen our organization and close gaps for individual development plans. The Chamber has also been a great business partner keeping the plant informed of potential legislation changes and how that may impact the way we do business. The Chamber events provide networking benefits with other members, allowing us to take advantage of local resources and further strengthen the local economy.” —Michael D. Hammer, Plant Manager/Cressona Operation, Hydro

JAMIE Barton

Argie Tidmore

“Bob Carl is a frequent guest on our local talk show, Step Up to the Mic, on WPPA-AM 1360 where he updates our listeners about Schuylkill Chamber activities. He will often bring in other Chamber members to discuss their businesses or events. It’s really a great program to tell everyone what’s happening in our community. It allows area businesses to let the public know what they do and how many people they employ. Some of these companies are business-to-business and aren’t necessarily well known to the majority of the public.” —Argie Tidmore, Owner/General Manager, WPPA-T102

“Jack Rich, Inc.’s membership in the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce pre dates 1970! I’ve been working for the Rich family since 1989 and the Chamber has been, and continues to be, a part of my business network and portfolio. I serve on the board of directors as well as the government affairs and education committees and just recently have agreed to serve as a Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) instructor. Very much like our community, you get out of the Chamber what you put into it. You reap what you sow. Engaging myself with the Chamber board and committees, and enrolling into their multiple programs has opened countless business networks and opportunities for our company.” —Jamie Barton, Vice President, Jack Rich, Inc.

DR. DARCY MEDICA “Penn State Schuylkill has enjoyed a long-standing, collaborative relationship with the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce since its membership began in 1978. The Chamber is considered a vital partner in the success of our communityrelated projects, especially those affecting quality of life, access to higher education, sustainability and the economic health of our region. Through ongoing communications with the Chamber and its members, we continue to develop the synergy needed to serve the greater public good.” —Dr. Darcy Medica, Interim Chancellor, Associate Professor of Biology, Penn State Schuylkill

BILL WILLARD “As a member of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years, there are numerous reasons why anyone belonging to or wanting to belong to our Chamber is a smart idea. First, there are excellent networking opportunities! Through meetings, events and correspondence, the chance to meet other businesses and people through the Chamber is

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unparalleled! Next, is the information and toolbox the Chamber has at its members’ disposal. But with all sincerity, the reasons I like most are the friendship of its members and the friends I have had the opportunity to socialize with, means more to me and the airport than anything that can possibly be measured! Great people!” —Bill Willard, Manager, Schuylkill County Airport

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Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Court House

Gary J. Hess, George F. Halcovage and Frank J. Staudenmeier

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Photo courtesy of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

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Photo courtesy of Ryan Smith Photography (ryansmithphoto.com)

photo gallery

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Photo courtesy of Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area


Demographics

TOP 50 EMPLOYERS

Bachelor’s degree.................................................................................................. 9.8%

1. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. 2. State Government 3. Hydro 4. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC 5. Jeld-Wen, Inc. 6. Lehigh Valley Health Network – Schuylkill South 7. Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation 8. Federal Government 9. County of Schuylkill 10. Boyer’s Food Markets, Inc. 11. Lehigh Valley Health Network – Schuylkill East 12. Pottsville Area School District 13. Hazleton PA Distribution Center 14. Closeout Distribution, Inc. 15. Blue Mountain School District 16. MI Windows and Doors, Inc. 17. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. 18. Guilford Mills, Inc. 19. St. Luke’s Miners Campus 20. United Parcel Service, Inc. 21. First Quality Nonwovens, Inc. 22. Papettis Hygrade Egg Products 23. SMNRC LP 24. The ReDCo Group 25. North Schuylkill School District 26. Saks & Company, LLC 27. Hexcel Pottsville Corporation 28. Tri-State Envelope Corporation 29. Tamaqua Area School District 30. Sterman Masser, Inc. 31. Trans Western Polymers 32. Redner’s Tiger Markets, Inc. 33. Versum Materials 34. Van Hoekelen Greenhouses, Inc. 35. Fabcon Precast, LLC 36. Schuylkill Intermediate Unit No. 29 37. Employer Solutions Staffing Group 38. Schuylkill Center Genesis Healthcare 39. Hollander Sleep Products, LLC 40. Schuylkill Haven Area School District 41. Pine Grove Area School District 42. Mrs. T’s Pierogies/Ateeco, Inc. 43. Integrated Medical Group, PC 44. Ecn Staffing, Inc. 45. Pleasant Valley Homes, Inc. 46. Giant Food Stores, LLC 47. Mahanoy Area School District 48. Williams Valley School District 49. Omnova Solutions, Inc. 50. Avenues

Graduate or professional degree.................................................................... 5.6%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry 4th Quarter 2016

POPULATION, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY 1820.............................................................................................................................11,339 1840..........................................................................................................................29,053 1860.......................................................................................................................... 89,510 1880.........................................................................................................................129,974 1900.........................................................................................................................172,927 1920.......................................................................................................................... 217,754 1940........................................................................................................................ 228,331 1960.........................................................................................................................173,027 1980....................................................................................................................... 160,630 2000.......................................................................................................................150,263 2016......................................................................................................................... 143,573 Source: U.S. Census and www.population.us

POPULATION BY OCCUPATION (2015) Civilian employed population 16 years+ Management, business, science, arts.......................................................... 27.8% Service....................................................................................................................... 16.8% Sales and office.....................................................................................................22.8% Natural resources, construction, maintenance....................................... 10.6% Production, transportation, material moving...........................................21.9% Source: U.S. Census

CLIMATE Average Annual Precipitation (in.)............................................................... 43.98 Average Annual Snow (in.)............................................................................... 30.91 Source: www.usa.com

INCOME (2011-2015) Median Household Income.........................................................................$45,535

EDUCATION (2015) Educational Attainment for Residents Age 25+ Less than ninth grade........................................................................................... 3.2% Ninth to 12th grade, no diploma........................................................................ 9.3% High school graduate......................................................................................... 47.7% Some college, no degree.................................................................................. 14.9% Associate degree.................................................................................................... 9.4%

Source: U.S. Census

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Fairlane Village Mall and St. Clair Industrial Park

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SCHUYLKILL TIMELINE 1943 - The government takes control over the coal mines, including Schuylkill County’s anthracite operations, when miners walked out on strike.

1918 - The Pottsville Chamber of Commerce was created, later changing its name to Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce in May of 1982.

1959 - Zerbey Airport is dedicated. 35,000 vehicles and 50,000 people attend

1937 - Pottsville’s City Hall is dedicated. 1949 - Pottsville Boulevard (Route 61) opens.

1928

1938

1948

1958

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

1918

1946 - The broadcast of WPPA Radio, Pottsville, starts.

1952- President Harry Truman visits Pottsville to campaign and is the only incumbent president to visit Schuylkill County. 18

1962 - A trash fire in Centralia ignites the Mammoth vein of anthracite coal that still burns today.

Photo courtesy of Evans Network of Companies

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

1922 - J.H. Zerbey publishes Pottsville’s first local morning newspaper.

1968 Photo courtesy of Schuylkill Conservation District

1934 - John O’ Hara’s first novel, “Appointment in Samarra,” is published.

1957 - King Saud of Saudi Arabia and his son Prince Mashur, who suffered a childhood illness, visit Schuylkill Haven. President Dwight D. Eisenhower recommends Walk In’s Sabel shoes.

1972 - Locust Lake State Park opens.

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100 Year Members

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

Fun Fact The current offices of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce are at the same location as the J. G. Royal building - built by the Pottsville Chamber’s first President - John G. Royal - and the location of Benesch & Sons furniture, an original member in 1918.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. F.J. Murphy Jewelry (Murphy Jewelers) Pottsville Daily Republican (Republican-Herald) Pottsville Free Public Library Pottsville Water Company (Schuylkill County Municipal Authority)

1997 - The Vietnam Memorial in Schuylkill Haven is dedicated.

1977 - Cressona’s ALCOA stops operations.

2000 - A Douglas Fir from the Auburn Christmas Tree farm is chosen for the Clinton White House.

1988

1998

2008

2018

1998 - D.G. Yuengling and Son builds a new brewery in Port Carbon.

1995 - Mother Teresa visits Mahanoy City.

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

1986 - John F. Kennedy, Jr. visits John S. Clarke Elementary School in Pottsville

Photo courtesy of D.G. Yuengling & Son

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

1978

2014 - Yuengling Ice Cream returns.

2013 - Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce moves to Union Station.

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City of Pottsville

From Pottsville Proper to Schuylkill County A Hundred Years of Service

By April Corbin and Sarah Lancaster

The Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 100 years of service to the region. First known as the Pottsville Chamber of Commerce, the name changed to the Greater Pottsville Chamber of Commerce in 1953 before adopting Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce in May of 1982 to reflect the broader, regional scope of the organization. While the name may have changed, the dedication to advocating for and supporting businesses and helping them thrive and create jobs for local residents countywide has always been a priority. “I wanted to bring the county together; North, East, South, West is all the same. We all have the same

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Center Square Town Clock, Orwigsburg

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Evolution of Schuylkill County Photo courtesy of Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

to establish a comprehensive workforce development program known as PA CareerLink. The first of its kind in Pennsylvania, the system was praised for its innovative team approach to employer and job-seeker services. It is also a great example of how the Chamber has continued to evolve to meet the needs of the region and world around it. “Looking back Mahoney City at my term as Chamber President, I must include the terms of the other presidents and board members during the 80s and early 90s. We were like the ‘Band of Brothers’ (and Sisters). We were active in the Chamber before, during and after our terms of office. During these terms, we went from the Pottsville Chamber to the Schuylkill Chamber…formed a County Government Study Commission, started hosting

goal,” says Karen Kenderdine, President from 2014 to 2015. “It was a great year. I was proud of that year, taking the Chamber all over the county.” Over the past century, the Chamber has achieved many milestones toward that goal. After World War II, the Chamber helped establish the Greater Pottsville Industrial Development Corporation—the predecessor organization of the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO)—to boost opportunities for employment. It is difficult to imagine what the county and region would look like now without that effort. “[The Greater Pottsville Industrial Development Corporation] led to thousands of jobs,” says David A. Donlin, who served as the Chamber’s Executive Director from 1990 to 2006. “That was the salvation of the county then. Otherwise we’d be in a terrible position.” Decades after establishing the industrial development corporation, the Chamber would spearhead the creation of a community coalition

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Mothers’ Memorial, Ashland

political debates, organized the first ‘All County Chamber’ meeting, established SKIP (Schuylkill Keep it Pretty), went from just breakfast meetings to social events, including the first Yuengling’s Oktoberfest, plus having Gov. Robert Casey and Sen. John Heinz address our members at our annual Chamber dinners,” says Joseph P. Schlitzer, President of the Chamber from 1987-1988. “Serving the Chamber, we had fun and developed many friendships. Most importantly, we helped make Schuylkill County a better place to live and work.” Other milestones from the past century include formally establishing the Schuylkill County Tourist Promotion Agency, which is now known as the Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau, in the 1980s, as well as creating various business, educational and leadership programming throughout the 1990s. “Congratulations to the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce on your 100th anniversary! Some of my fondest memories of Schuylkill County are of my tenure on the Chamber board and presidency,” says Mary J. Sacavage, who served as President from 2010-2011. “While serving, I enjoyed networking with other Chamber members at our various events and gained valuable knowledge and skills during seminars. I still enjoy following Facebook to see the success of the various Chamber programs, such as

Basic, Plus & Premier Membership Available • Domestic & International Travel Planning • Home, Auto & Life Insurance • Mature Driver Classes • AAA Discounts Pottsville 570-622-4991 www.aaa.com

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Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

Main Street, Shenandoah

Pennsylvania Power & Light Company. Serving as Chamber President afforded me the opportunity to work with so many wonderful business people that had one common

Photo courtesy of the Schuyllkill County Historical Society

the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) for Schuylkill County youth. Keep up the good work.” YEA! is a nationally recognized program that transforms middle and high school students into confident entrepreneurs with real-world experience. But perhaps more than anything, the Chamber acts as a voice for the business community. “[The Chamber] presents the opportunity to keep business community interests at the forefront of the minds of community decision makers,” says Donlin. “That is critical. All voices are being equally heard.” Schuylkill County is made up of 67 distinct communities. All of them—not just Pottsville— are represented by the Chamber. The central organization embraces working collaboratively with individual communities to boost their specific needs. “During my tenure as President of the Schuylkill Chamber, I was the Area Manager/ Community Development Director of

Borough of Schuylkill Haven SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Borough of Frackville

purpose: to promote and meet the needs of our business and industry here in Schuylkill County,” says Frank Staudenmeier, who was President from 1998-1999. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity and I congratulate the Schuylkill Chamber on 100 years of service to our community.” The Chamber understands that growth in one community is good for the entire region and there is strength in working together. “It was quite a year as we worked through a leadership change, fortunately, landing Bob Carl as our Executive Director. Bob was, and is, well suited to lead the Chamber and deliver on its mission,” says James J. Donovan, who served as President from 2008-2009. “The entire staff is dedicated, hardworking and completely committed to making Schuylkill County a better place to live and work! I thoroughly enjoyed my year leading the Schuylkill Chamber.” 24

The Chamber, along with its presidents and chairs, strive to promote the best economic climate for entrepreneurs, mom and pop shops, large corporations and, by extension, the people and families who run and serve those businesses. “I am honored to work with the Chamber President and CEO and staff in our efforts to bring value added programs to all member businesses and non-profits in an effort to help improve the economic conditions and quality of life in Schuylkill and surrounding counties,” says Jeff O’Neill, Chamber Chair from 2017-2018. “We have assisted with launching a Young Professional Organization that will help pave the path of developing the future Leaders in the County. I’m humbled by the hard work and dedication of the Chamber staff and their commitment to excellence and proud to be part of the Chamber team.” n

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Schuylkill County Historical Society ~ Museum 305 North Centre Street, Pottsville, PA 570-622-7540 schuylkillhistory.org Preserving the Past by Building the Future SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Several retail giants operate large-scale warehouses in the region, including WalMart’s 900,000 squarefoot, Lowe’s 1.2 million-squarefoot center and Wegmans’ 950,000 square foot distribution centers. While there are many factors that go into a company’s decision to operate their business in the county, Brian Hansbury, Vice President of the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), says the decision often comes down to two key elements. “I think the two most important factors are proximity to market and availability of workforce,” Hansbury says. “Within one day’s drive, we have access to over half of the United States’ population. That certainly is a major driving force.” While Schuylkill County residents have experienced changes over the years in how they obtain goods, there remains a healthy mix of small businesses, malls, bigbox stores and fulfillment centers delivering online orders to meet a person’s shopping needs, whatever Kepner Scott they may be. “It’s essential to have a mix of businesses,” Hansbury says. “It’s essential for any economy to have a diversified base of employment opportunities so if there is a downturn, you don’t have an overwhelming majority of residents employed in one sector.” Hansbury says that SEDCO has recently partnered with an organization called Penn’s Northeast, By Rachel Nall a regional economic development agency. With five or six participating counties, they pool Like much of America, Schuylkill County has experienced resources and maximize dollars to attract a diverse mix of changes in commerce and shopping over the years. While businesses. only local stores were available in the past, the transition Adding to that mix are local downtown businesses. to malls and the boom of online shopping has changed Downtown centers have again become hubs of how people access the goods they need and want. Thanks development as residents look for walkable streets, to Schuylkill County’s strategic location, well-trained locally-produced goods and neighborhoods with historic workforce and supportive business environment, the character. companies behind fulfilling online orders are joining brick Keeping up with this national trend of downtown and mortar stores in calling the area home.

From Malls to Mega Distribution Centers to a Revitalized Downtown The Evolution of Access to Goods

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Evolution of Schuylkill County revitalization, Schuylkill County’s downtowns are filled with one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and entertainment options. Historic neighborhoods charm residents and visitors as they explore the downtown districts of Ashland, Frackville, Mahanoy City, Minersville, Orwigsburg, Pine Grove, Pottsville, St. Clair, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah and Tamaqua. This provides an even brighter future for the booming business economy Schuylkill County has come to enjoy. n

Tamaqua Train Station

Lowe’s employs more than 290,000 employees, with over 2,370 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico; allowing us to help more than 17 million customers each week, Love Where They Live. Lowe’s has 400,000 + products available online and 13 product categories ranging from appliances and tools, to paint, lumber and nursery products. Locally, our Distribution Center here in Pottsville, receives and ships product, servicing 105 stores in PA, NJ, MD, WV, VA, NY, and DE. The facility offers employment to more than 750 local residents on our four different shifts.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT At Lowe’s, two key values are “To make a difference in somebody’s day, every day” and “To be a part of something bigger.” Lowe’s has always been known for its charitable contributions and community involvement all over the country, and locally our commitment is no different. Our team always strives to go above and beyond when coming to the aid of our community. Some of our recent community involvement includes Lowe’s Heroes, Capt. Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring, and Give Back Time Volunteer Program. Our Lowe’s Heroes project encourages our employees to volunteer and have a positive impact on the communities in which we live. One of our recent projects was the total makeover of the Girardville East End playground; a place that not only provides fun for our local children, but is also used to host a summer program that feeds 85+ children free lunch. We also participate in the Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring here in Schuylkill County. Some of the past projects that Lowe’s RDC 961 employee volunteers were involved with was the improvement of the local Pottsville YMCA, where they painted, provided new shelving, laid new mulch, and planted flowers. At the Avenues Habilitation Center in Pottsville, where volunteers painted the front lobby area. Day of Caring volunteers also planted flowers, laid mulch and added planters at the Mahanoy City CDC. Lowe’s also offers a Give Back Time Volunteer Program. We provide all full-time employees with eight hours of paid time annually to go into their community and volunteer for a charitable organization that has a special place in their heart. Some of the organizations that have benefited from the program have been our schools, firehalls and local animal shelters. Additionally, we conduct employee sponsored events that raise money for other charities such as Toys for Tots and Breast Cancer awareness. Lowe’s and our distribution center team is proud of our employees and we thank everyone for their support and involvement. We are a great company that strives to make our community a better place to live. Providing superior customer service requires superior people. Interested in learning more about opportunities at Lowe’s, or how best to apply?

LOWES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER. ALL QUALIFIED APPLICANTS WILL RECEIVE CONSIDERATION WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR PROTECTED VETERAN STATUS OR DISABILITY.

LOWE’S #961 REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER HIGH RIDGE INDUSTRIAL PARK, POTTSVILLE PA - (I-81 EXIT 119) SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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The McCann School of Business & Technology has been educating students for decades.

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From Pen and Paper to iPads From primary and secondary schools to institutions of higher education, the way students learn in Schuylkill County has transitioned with time. From jotting down notes during lectures to using iPads in the classroom to online learning opportunities, the area and its educational institutions have embraced advances in technology for the betterment of all students. For the second year, all students in the Pottsville Area School District will have an iPad in their hands as they learn. The Technology Inspires Dynamic Engagement (TIDE) 1:1 program expanded to all PASD classrooms for the first time during the 2016-17 school year. “Our vision for the future is to continue to refine the program by incorporating it more into the curriculum through the use of e-books and the utilization of more online content and by correlating it to how technology is used in the workplace to better prepare our students to enter the working world,” says Jeffery Zwiebel, Superintendent at Pottsville Area School District. Successfully implementing technology in the classroom requires more than just hardware. Teachers receive ongoing professional development with Apple. Other investments the district has made in technology include a device management system and upgrading network infrastructure with CAT6 cabling and new wireless access points.

By Kathryn Ingall

Photo courtesy of Nativity B.V.M High School

Connecting Education with Technology

Nativity B.V.M. High School

New technology presents the opportunity for students to learn through design and creation. Where students would write traditional book reports in years past, they now have the tools to create presentations with PowerPoint, Prezi and iMovie, as well as share information with QR codes. The Schuylkill Haven Area School District also uses technology to enhance education. Years ago, teachers used a blackboard and chalk to bring their lessons to life. Today, interactive whiteboards like the ones used in Schuylkill Haven Area schools open up a new world of student engagement. Parents also have some added perks in this new age of high-tech learning. No longer bound by quarterly report cards, updates on students’ grades, behavior and attendance can be accessed online anytime through software, such as SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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eSchoolbook and notification systems, like School Reach. Another way technology is transforming education is the ability to take classes away from a physical campus. Blue Mountain School District offers a Virtual Academy Program that allows off-site students, in sixth through 12th grades, access to instruction online. The program brings the benefits of a brick-and-mortar school to students anywhere, at anytime. Participants are still eligible for sports and social activities, such as prom. Minersville Area School District has implemented virtual learning through robots.

Higher education is also taking advantage of online learning. Many colleges and universities offer such programs for distance learners or working students who need the flexibility of online classes.

Alvernia University Alvernia University’s Schuylkill Center offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs conveniently located in the Pottsville area. Several programs are even offered online. The center also boasts flexible scheduling with day, evening and weekend classes, which are ideal for students trying to fit higher education into their already busy timeframes. “What excites me most about the Schuylkill Center is knowing that, at Alvernia, we’ve prepared our graduates well, with the skills and knowledge needed to be exceptional 30

employees and employers in the businesses and organizations in our community,” says Cynthia M. Mensch, Director of the Alvernia University - Schuylkill Center. “There’s no greater pleasure than to sit with a new student and register them for their first college class, guide and advise them along the way, then one day soon, watch them walk across that stage to receive their diploma!” Lehigh Carbon Community College Bachelor’s degrees offered include accounting, behavioral health, criminal justice, early childhood education, finance, health care administration and more. Graduate degrees include master’s degrees in business administration and education as well as post-baccalaureate certifications in education. CollegeCompare named Alvernia University to its recent list of Top 10 Best Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania for master’s programs.

Lehigh Carbon Community College Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) provides higher educational opportunities to students in Schuylkill County and the surrounding area. Undergraduates can choose from more than 90 degree programs in a variety of fields, including business, education, technology, engineering and health care, to name a few. Aside from LCCC’s two-year associate degrees, students have access to certificate and diploma programs, as well as workforce training. The college adheres to its goal to provide quality education that is also affordable and accessible. Established in 1966, the college has more than 6,000 students enrolled at five campuses. “Lehigh Carbon Community College provides affordable and high quality education close to home,” says Tom Bux, director of workforce development at Lehigh Carbon Community College. “Students can truly start here and go anywhere, whether furthering their education after they graduate or growing in their careers, LCCC works with them to reach any goal they have.”

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Lehigh Carbon Community College holds classes in Tamaqua at the Morgan Center, demonstrating the college’s strong commitment to helping meet the higher education needs of people in Schuylkill County. The Tamaqua site offers credit and noncredit classes and is also committed to addressing workforce needs and improving economic development in the area. LCCC also offers manufacturing training to provide comprehensive skill-building training to provide a skilled workforce for area manufacturers.

McCann School of Business & Technology McCann School of Business & Technology offers flexible classes to students, with on-campus and off-campus courses. Areas of study include business, legal and protective services, skilled trades, beauty and wellness, health care and technology. The school provides students with resources to find jobs after completing their programs. They also guarantee lifetime career assistance for other transitions in their career. Graduates may return to McCann to take refreshers on resumes, practice interviews and more. The Pottsville campus is one of seven operated by the Delta Career Education Corp. in Pennsylvania.

Penn State Schuylkill Two and four-year degree programs Penn State Schuylkill, a campus of The Pennsylvania State University, is part of a world-class research institution that is in the top 1 percent of universities worldwide. The Schuylkill campus is one of 24 campuses located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “Penn State Schuylkill offers an exceptional education and is a great value for students searching for a college that will prepare them for career success or advanced degrees,” said Darcy Medica, interim chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill. “Our campus is known for academic excellence, valuable and abundant experiential learning opportunities, and its commitment to community and civic engagement.” Established in 1934 as the Schuylkill Undergraduate Center in nearby Pottsville, it is among one of the oldest Penn State campuses. In 1948, the name of the Schuylkill Undergraduate Center became The Pennsylvania State College Center at Pottsville. In 1967, the campus was relocated to its present 70-acre site along a rolling hillside outside the borough of Schuylkill Haven and became known as the Penn State Schuylkill Campus. Students may choose from nine four-year degree programs and four associate degree programs that are offered at Schuylkill. Students also may select from 160+ majors through the 2+2 Plan and complete two years on the Schuylkill campus and continue at another Penn State campus, including University Park. SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Photo courtesy of Penn State Schuylkill

The doors of opportunity are now open for individuals in Schuylkill County who want to start or grow a business in a newly opened Innovation Hub in downtown Schuylkill Haven. LionLaunch is Penn State Schuylkill’s community-based entrepreneurship program that is funded by Invent Penn State, a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation, and student career success. The three key components of the LionLaunch program are a boot camp, a 10-week program to assist and mentor budding entrepreneurs; a business plan competition for start-up funds or business expansion; and the Innovation Hub, which provides working, networking, and meeting space. The LionLaunch community partners include the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), Northeast Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association,

Penn State Schuylkill LionLaunch

Schuylkill County’s VISION, Berks-Schuylkill SCORE, and Pottsville Area Development Corporation (PADCO). LionLaunch sponsors include Invent Penn State, M&T Bank, KPMG, Solar Innovations, and Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Ebling. For more information about the program, visit sl.psu.edu/ lionlaunch. n

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From Scalpels to Robots Medicine Has Come A Long Way By Dava Stewart To say that medicine has changed in the last 100 years is something of an understatement. Even in Schuylkill County, the difference in medical technology is hard to comprehend. The area has seen an evolution in care, with small community hospitals transforming into facilities offering cutting-edge technology and some of the best care to be found in the nation. At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), a blend of highly trained professionals, advanced technological practices and valuable partnerships ensure that all patients receive the best possible care. LVHN is comprised of Lehigh Valley HospitalSchuylkill E. Norwegian Street and Lehigh Valley HospitalSchuylkill S. Jackson Street. The E. Norwegian Street location was founded in 1920 1950s Good Samaritan by a group of Hospital - built around local doctors Francis W. Hugh’s house as A.C. Miliken Hospital, featuring a 30-bed converted home. The hospital was renamed the Good

Samaritan Hospital in 1929. The next year, operations moved into the Francis W. Hughes Manson, which could accommodate 60 beds. Throughout the years, the hospital has continued to grow and now has more than 100 beds. The S. Jackson Street location dates back even farther to 1895 as the Hospital of Pottsville, with a mission to provide general health care to patients and education to nurses. The hospital came to be thanks to Samuel and Elizabeth Shippen, siblings from Philadelphia, who wanted to create a hospital in memory of their parents. With the county’s proximity to railroads, industrial growth and a thenthriving mining community, the Shippens settled on Pottsville. While it only started with 50 beds, the facility now boasts nearly 180 beds. When the Schuylkill Health merger took place, the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center became Schuylkill Medical Center – East Norwegian Street and The Pottsville Hospital, along

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Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

Pottsville Hospital, 1950s

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Evolution of Schuylkill County with the Warne Clinic, became Schuylkill Medical Center – South Jackson Street. In 2016, Schuylkill Health became part of LVHN. “Lehigh Valley Health Network’s mission is to heal, comfort and care for our community,” says Dr. Lawrence M. Riddles, senior medical director at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill. “Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill is here for the community to provide the highest level of quality, community-based care with the full resources of the network firmly behind it.” As the health care industry continues to advance, one important trend is the move toward personalized medicine. “Personalized medicine is rapidly advancing and LVHN is at the forefront,” says Riddles. “From the caregivers to the technology we use, health care continues to advance as we are experiencing in our relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, part of our Cancer Institute.” Whatever the medical need, patients can expect the

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Lehigh Valley Health - Schuylkill South

Congratulations

to the

Chamber from Schuylkill EMS! Proudly serving the Orwigsburg, Schuylkill Haven and Pottsville areas since 1947.

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St. Luke’s Miners Campus

We Provide

Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Services

Seton Manor

1000 Seton Drive Orwigsburg, PA 17961 (570) 366-0400

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Evolution of Schuylkill County latest advances in medicine, administered by some of the best medical professionals in the nation. “Whether it be through the use of robotic assisted surgery, bringing more primary or speciality care providers to our community or maintaining health services that are necessary to a community’s well being, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill is dedicated to serving those needs now and far into the future,” says Riddles. St. Luke’s University Health Network has been providing high-quality medical services to the Lehigh Valley since 1873. Over time, St. Luke’s became a pioneer in medicine, bringing the use of antiseptic, X-rays, open heart surgery and more to the area. Today, the network is made up of seven hospitals, with one serving those in Schuylkill County at its Miners Campus. “St. Luke’s Miners Hospital has a long and proud history of caring for Schuylkill County residents. As part of St. Luke’s University Health Network, the hospital’s range of services, such as the only trauma center in the county, has only expanded. Miners has also received the highest possible five-star quality and safety rating from the Centers for

Medicare & Medicaid. This means people in our area don’t have to travel to the big city to get top-notch, big-city care. Now that St. Luke’s is expanding its footprint in southern Schuylkill County, St. Luke’s many exceptional services will be available to even more people in our region,” says Maureen Donovan, Chairman, Board of Directors, St. Luke’s Miners Campus. At the Miners Campus, patients will find a staff dedicated to excellence in caring for patients, educating medical providers and increasing access to treatment options within the community. The facility encompasses many speciality care facilities, including a sleep disorder center, a cardiovascular conditioning center and a new MRI center. The hospital is the first in Pennsylvania to receive Level IV trauma certification, demonstrating the facility’s commitment to high-level, quality care. Services include heart and vascular, emergency care, urology and radiology, just to name a few. From the late 1800s to now, patients are treated well in Schuylkill County. n

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Hart Farm

From Cash Crops to Fruits of Labor Agribusiness Continues to Grow Agriculture has always played a vital part of the life and economy of Schuylkill County. In fact, some farms have passed from generation to generation and are now embarking in new directions. Corn, Christmas trees, grapes for winemaking, potatoes, berries and more are grown right here in this portion of Pennsylvania. “Agribusiness is very important here,” says Robert S. Carl, Jr., President and CEO of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. “We have many farms that produce all sorts of crops, including hay, soy beans, field and sweet corn and strawberries in the spring. Schuylkill County farms are also an important Christmas tree producer.”” Jersey Acres Farms near Friedensburg has been family owned since 1911. 40

By Gennie Taylor “We are a fourth-generation farm,” says co-owner Kent Heffner. “I have two sons on the farm working full time and my daughter plans to return to work on the farm when she finishes college, making the fifth generation for the farm.” The diverse operations of Jersey Acres Farms include a roadside market selling a range of produce from apples to watermelons; Stone Mountain Wine Cellars, a winery; and a 200-cow Jersey milking herd. Since 1999, Jersey Acres Farms has grown grapes to sell to other wineries. As grape production increased, the Heffners established their own winery in 2004. Just as Jersey Acres Farms added additional crops and even a winery, other farms in Schuylkill County have acclimated to meet market demands. Aside from fresh farm

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Jersey Acres Farm

produce, meats and other treats, seasonal opportunities, such as fall and holiday events, add extra profit for farmers and enjoyment for the whole community. The holidays are exceptionally merry at local farms, as many sell Christmas trees. Pioneer Evergreen Farms, Halabura Farms, J.C. Hill Tree Farms and Pinecrest Tree Farms are just a few of the places where locals can go to find their perfect tree for the holidays. Other farms that have been operating in Schuylkill County for years include Hart Farms, Serenity Lane Farms and Huntsinger Farms. Sterman Masser Potato Farms has roots in the region that go back seven generations. Led by David Masser and Julie Masser Ballay, Sterman Masser Inc. employs 400 people and distribute more than 300 million pounds of potatoes each year—7,500 truckloads per year. With a family history that traces potato farming in Pennsylvania back eight generations, Masser Potato Farms shows how agriculture has developed and changed through the years. The farm uses advanced technology in every stage, from farming to packing to transporting their

product across the country. Another key in the company’s success is the development of new products designed for the modern consumer. New products, such as Side Delights® Steamables™, Bakeables™, Grillables™ and Roastables™ conveniently package potatoes for quick and delicious meals. Jenna St. Clair, District Manager of the Schuylkill Conservation District, says farming will remain a leading business in Schuylkill County. “I’d say the most obvious indicator of generational farming and the desire to continue it is our farmland preservation program,” says St. Clair. The program uses county and state funding to purchase the development rights to farmland through perpetual agricultural conservation easements. Schuylkill County currently has 100 preserved farms totaling 10,738 acres with an additional 70 applications for 5,990 acres on the waiting list. Although agriculture in the region has transformed over the decades, the strong roots of family farms will continue to have an impact on the local community. n SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Photo courtesy of the Schuyllkill County Historical Society

Pottsville Rail Yards

From Railroads to Runways Transportation Takes on Many Forms The use of railroads once drove the Schuylkill County economy, and ever since then, transportation has taken on many forms throughout the region. In the early 1800s, small railroads existed in Schuylkill County, such as the Little Schuylkill Railroad, which transported passengers between Port Clinton and Tamaqua. Further expansions began to connect Schuylkill County to Chicago and New York City. One major historical step forward was the opening of the Minersville Station railroad stop. The Philadelphia & Reading Co. announced they would build the station in 1911, and the building was open for business in April 1913. For two decades, the railroad station welcomed roughly 24 arrivals and departures a day. Thanks to the region’s geographical importance as the “heart” of anthracite coal mining, the railroad promoted the county’s 42

By Rachel Nall

commercial and economic interests. However, the Schuylkill County transportation landscape changed again as paved roads and the availability of automobiles made railroad travel less popular. The station remains an important part of the county’s history. Today, as the transportation landscape in Schuylkill County continues to grow, government officials and volunteers alike dedicate themselves to transportation projects. One example of this work is the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s transportation committee. Comprised of representatives from PennDOT, local, county, state and federal officials as well as volunteers, the committee meets monthly to discuss current, projected and needed road and bridge projects that bring business to the area and facilitate the transport of goods and services.

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When the coal industry was booming, the railroad helped transport goods in and out of the county. SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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FLY SCHUYLKILL Major interstate highway access (Interstate Highway 81 interchange exit 116)

Adjacent to Highridge Business Park Numerous business hotels nearby Close to major northeastern metropolitan areas (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C.)

Precision approaches (Minimums 200 feet and 3/4 mile visibility) Schuylkill County Air port

The Schuylkill Chamber’s Transportation Committee has been instrumental in many bridge repair/ replacement, highway improvements and safety projects in Schuylkill County. Another vital transportation component is the Schuylkill County/Joe Zerbey Airport. Opened in 1959, this public-use airport is located in Pottsville off exit 119 of Interstate-81 of Minersville. In recent years, the airport has undergone significant renovations, including the expansion of a runway and a new corporate hangar. These improvements reflect the growing needs of Schuylkill County area businesses, as the airport allows executives from large corporations, such as Mrs. T’s Pierogies, WalMart, Lowe’s, Sterman Masser, Yuengling and more, to easily fly in and out to conduct their business. “We are an economic tool in the county’s toolbox,” says Bill Willard, manager at Schuylkill County/Joe Zerbey Airport. “Thanks to planning and investment, our location and infrastructure can welcome major businesses who rely on air travel to get to many places in a single day. There is so much potential in this airport, and we have realized so much of it thanks to the community’s support. We are a diamond in the rough that has been polishing up nicely.” n

24-hour jet services Schuylkill County hospitality and service Courtesy rental cars available 24 hours a day Runway will extend to 5,100 feet by summer 2018

Schuylkill County Airport 240 Airport Road Pottsville, PA 17901 570.544.6002 pottsville-schuylkillcountyairport.com schairport@yahoo.com Bill Willard : 570.617.6002 SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Photo courtesy of the Schuyllkill County Historical Society

John F. Kennedy - 1960

From County Government to Capitol Hill Advocacy All Around

By Brooke Payne

Schuylkill County has always had a strong connection to government officials. From local to federal elections, residents are always eager to advocate for the community in which they live, work and play. “Advocacy is the heart and soul of our democracy, and it has a profound effect on how lawmakers at all levels of government approach the issues confronting the state and the region,” says state Sen. David Argall. “That’s why it’s so important for community residents to keep the lines of communication with their elected officials open and ensure their voices are heard.” During the 2016 presidential election, Schuylkill County set a historical record. Voters throughout the county exercised their right to vote in a record-setting 70 percent for then-candidate Donald Trump, which had not happened since the Lincoln election. The now-president won all 125 precincts in the county, an impressive show of support from Schuylkill voters. 46

Likewise, the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce advocates for its members and works closely with government officials at all levels to ensure that the community is a great place for members to do business. “When local governments are members of the Schuylkill Chamber, they have the ability to interact and network with business, thereby enabling them to find better ways to serve their communities,” says Champ Holman, President of The Holman Group, former Chief of Staff to state Sen. Jim Rhoades and former Deputy Secretary for the Department of Community and Economic Development. “A couple of examples of this [can be seen] through the Chamber’s negotiations with health care providers and electricity contracts. When these municipalities, as members, take advantage of these programs through the Schuylkill Chamber, there are significant savings to the taxpayer of their respective communities. These are just a few positives, of many, when a municipality is a member of the Schuylkill

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Evolution of Schuylkill County

Schuylkill County Court House

Chamber of Commerce.” The Chamber and government also collaborate to ensure that businesses throughout Schuylkill County enjoy profitability, which benefits the economy as a whole. Government representatives value hearing from Chamber members and state legislators, federal officials and department secretaries visit the county on a regular basis for Chamber-hosted events. “Local businesses are the economic engine that drive the local economy of the Commonwealth,” says state Rep. Neal Goodman. “It has always been my pleasure to work closely with organizations like the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce in our mutual efforts to make government work collectively on behalf of all the residents of Schuylkill County.” Key factors in the cooperation between government officials and the business community are the committees

organized by the Chamber. The Government Affairs Committee meets monthly to discuss the latest developments in legislation and strategize the best way to advocate for local business interests. Legislators often speak to Chamber committees and at special events to give updates on their work and receive feedback from members. The Chamber also keeps members updated on the progress of highway and road projects through the Transportation Committee. Keeping a finger on the pulse of key projects provides members with important updates to the community’s infrastructure. The advocacy and support provided by these committees and many others would not be possible without the dedication of Chamber volunteers. Their hard work ensures members have access to information vital to their businesses and that their interests are presented to officials at all levels of government. n SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Six “READER’S CHOICE CONTRACTOR”

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“The Greatest” trained right here in Schuylkill County for some of his most famous fights.

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Evolution of Schuylkill County

From a Farmland to a Legend’s Training Ground “The Greatest” Lives On in Schuylkill County By Samuel Matta and Sarah Lancaster No one ever figured a “superstar” would land in Schuylkill County in the early 1970s, but it happened when legendary heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali made his way to Deer Lake. The former training site for the late, great champ has historical significance. Ali was more than just a professional fighter, but a man of convictions. He was known worldwide and left his imprint in not just sports, but also

Photo courtesy of Jeff Julian

on mankind. He made history when the Supreme Court reversed a decision to convict him for choosing to not enter the draft during the Vietnam War. The case reached Supreme Court after Ali was denied conscientious objector status. Ali was trying to send a message to everyone in terms of peace, love and through his own message. The Supreme Court’s reversal was based on the grounds that the appeal board did not give any reasons as to why they denied Ali’s conscientious objector claim. Enter Schuylkill County. Ali’s business manager, Gene Kilroy, a native of Mahanoy City, mentioned to him that he should have his own training site. Showing interest, Kilroy introduced Ali to Bernard Pollack who owned a mink farm nearby. After touring the land, Ali showed little Muhammad Ali Cabin interest in the property.

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Muhammad Ali Ring

That was until Kilroy and Ali stopped for lunch one day off Route 61 where a mobile trailer company was also located in proximity. Kilroy mentioned that Ali could purchase a unit and place it on Pollack’s land. And the rest, as they say, is history. Here is where Ali

trained for some of his most famous title fights against Joe Frazier and George Foreman. He also left a lasting impression on those in the community who had the opportunity to personally meet him. “My friends and I used to visit the camp frequently

Developing Relationships. Constructing Value. L&K Construction Inc. has developed a strong reputation for handling every stage of the construction process. We’re also well known for building lasting relationships with our clients based on trust, respect and accountability. By taking the time to fully understand your needs, and working closely with you each step of the way, we deliver quality projects that exceed your expectations.

C ontraCtor • D eveloper 1 Field of Dreams Drive Pottsville, PA 17901 www.lkci.net 570.385.4154 52

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Evolution of Schuylkill County as teenagers,” says Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert S. Carl, Jr. “Ali opened the camp’s doors and welcomed visitors to watch him train and spend time in the camp. He was just as charismatic in person as he was on television.” While in Schuylkill County, Ali was extremely accessible at his camp. People could come right up to him. He even jogged on the rural roads surrounding Deer Lake and Orwigsburg, and he cut down trees with an ax as part of his training. Ali was very much a man of the people. Michael Madden, son of well-known National Football League (NFL) broadcaster and former coach, John Madden, bought the Deer Lake camp where Ali trained with the intention of restoring it as a historical venue and preserving the true history of the champ. For Madden, who met “The Greatest” as a boy, purchasing the training site was a dream come true. “I was a big fan of Ali growing up in Pleasanton (California),” he explains. “I followed his career as a young man, and I was disappointed to hear the (reporting) inaccuracies (out here) when Ali passed away (June 3, 2016).”

Today, the camp is being renovated and is officially known as Fighter’s Heaven, Muhammad Ali Training Camp, Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. Kilroy’s footprint is heavily accented in the newly renovated gym where his exclusive array of photos is on display, some of which have never been seen before by the public, and donated by Kilroy to Madden. In addition, a new boxing ring that replicates the original has been installed while other educational and informational components will be added in the near future. The log cabins where Ali and his team lived are updated. What comes of it from here is still to be determined. As a site where one of the most famous and prominent people of the world spent an important chapter of his life, it will be a destination where the young and young at heart can learn about Ali, but it would also make a great venue for corporate meetings and other gatherings. “Things are now (in) good hands with Mike Madden,” says Kilroy. “(Madden) put his money where his heart is and will carry the torch onward. Fighter’s Heaven is destined to become a National Historical site, which will drive countless visitors to Schuylkill County.” n

1206 Ag Center Drive Pottsville PA 17901 570-622-3742 ext. 5 schuylcd@co.schuylkill.pa.us www.schuylkillcd.com

Dedicated to protect, enhance, restore, and promote the responsible use of the county's natural resources for future generations by partnering, coordinating, and fostering cooperation. This is accomplished with the assistance of public agencies, private groups, and individuals. Like us on Facebook for the latest news and information about upcoming events: Bear Creek Festival, bus tours, Ag Day... We’re also on Instagram: @SchuylkillCD www.instagram.com/schuylkillcd

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www.schuylkillunitedway.org

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From End Zones to Baseball Diamonds Check Out This Impressive Highlight Reel By Sarah Lancaster Often when people think of history, the dramatic circumstances of war, revolution and invention come to mind. In Schuylkill County, there is all of the above and then some. The area celebrates a sportsmanship past that is still alive and well today. From local high school rivalries to international stars, the county’s history takes pages from the record book.

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Sports played a key role in the county, beginning in the 19th century with a rivalry between Reading High School and Pottsville High School. “They would bring a crowd to the city on Thanksgiving Day—and the game dates back to 1896—the oldest high school rivalry in the state and maybe in the country,” says Herb Tamburelli, account executive and sports reporter with Pottsville Broadcasting Company. “Now it does not only end there, every high school in the county, years ago, had a rivalry … they all play a part in entertaining the public with good football and good sportsmanship, throughout Schuylkill County and surrounding counties.” Back in 1925, the Pottsville Maroons won the National Football League (NFL) championship. The big game was not yet coined the Super Bowl, but was known as the league’s title game. “During their heyday, the Maroons football team showcased the athletic skills and talents of the ‘coal region’s’ best athletes,” says Tom Drogalis, Executive Director of the Schuylkill County Historical Society. “The team’s legend lives on in the hearts and minds of Schuylkill County residents young and old.” However, a controversy arose that is still discussed today.

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Photo courtesy of the Schuylkill County Historical Society

Evolution of Schuylkill County

1947 Pottsville High School Football

“The whole truth may never be known,” says Drogalis. “The NFL commissioner, at the time, claimed a rules violation of the NFL constitution by the Maroons for playing ‘outside their designated area’ when they played an exhibition game against an amateur team whose players included the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.” The title passed to the Chicago Cardinals, a team the Maroons defeated in their championship season. “Ironically, a copy of the league’s 1925 constitution is not on file at the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton,” says Drogalis. “If found, it would clearly state the prescribed punishment for any of the league’s rule violations, including playing an exhibition game.” The Schuylkill County Historical Society has items, including trophies, footballs, photographs, game programs and a championship ring, on display for all sports and history enthusiasts to enjoy. “It is not unusual for visitors to travel a great distance to view items related to the Maroons,” says Drogalis.

Another sports legacy in the area are the Reading Fightin’ Phils, which came to the area in the 1950s and play at FirstEnergy Stadium. Built in 1951, the stadium is the oldest home in the Eastern League. After many facility upgrades throughout the years, the community still enjoys watching ballgames here. Schuylkill County is also a great place for other forms of sports and recreation, such as hiking, biking, birding and fishing. From state parks to county recreational havens, this portion of the Keystone State cannot be beat. Spend a day at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary where you can learn about hawks, eagles and other birds of prey and view them in their natural habitat over beautiful rocky lookouts. Take a journey through the region’s history in the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, which begins in Schuylkill County’s coal country and explores the history of the region as the river winds toward Philadelphia. More intrepid travellers can prepare for the Schuylkill SCHUYLKILLCHAMBER.COM

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Photo courtesy of Dick Wolff

Sweet Arrow Lake

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

event celebrates its 20th anniversary in June 2018 and paddlers can join in the journey for a single day or the entire week. Schuylkill River Sojourn Visit Sweet Arrow Lake and enjoy the natural scenery Schuylkill County residents have been River Sojourn, a 7-day, 112-mile guided kayak or canoe visiting for decades. journey from Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia each year. The “Sweet Arrow Lake County Park is a great place for fishing, boating and trails,” says Drew Kline, Schuylkill County Parks and Recreation supervisor. “Sweet Arrow has a 1020 CHESTNUT ROAD lot of visitors each year. It’s a great spot.” ORWIGSBURG, PA 17961 Enjoy the tranquil beauty of nature at Swatara State 570.968.4445 • heimcc.com Park, where fields and woodlands surround the Swatara Associated Builders & Contractors Awards of Excellence Recipients Creek on 3,520 acres. For a fishing spot, visit Trout’s Run, the 2011, 2015, & 2017 park’s only trout-stocked stream. “Service is the life blood of any The state parks of Tuscarora and Locust Lake are organization. Everything flows from it nearby each other and offer beautiful views of Locust Lake, and is nourished by it. Customer service is not a department, it is an attitude.” Tuscarora Lake and Locust Mountain. The parks offer prime spots for hiking, camping and fishing. OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Schuylkill SUPERIOR QUALITY County continues to be a center for sports and recreation. n 56

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Evolution of Schuylkill County

From Today to Tomorrow Building on the Past, Focusing on the Future The Schuylkill County of today continues to build on the area’s legacy of industrial might with thriving and diverse economic development. The county’s economy has historically included a wide variety of businesses, from industry to agriculture. Location and natural resources drove both employers and employees to Schuylkill County in the past, and still does today. “Centuries ago we were in the heart of the nation, sitting on a great fuel source commodity of anthracite coal,” says Robert S. Carl, Jr., President and CEO of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce.. As the third largest county in Pennsylvania, agricultural production, from cattle and corn to potatoes to Christmas trees, has been a common thread throughout the years. On top of that, companies, including WalMart, Lowes, Big Lots and Wegmens, operate distribution centers in the area. The service

By Gennie Taylor

Wegmans

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Photo coutesy of SEDCO

industry has grown tremendously in recent years and now is a main staple of the Schuylkill area business community. The region is also home to manufacturers too. “We have many Fortune 500 companies in our area, especially in logistics,” says Carl. Schuylkill County will continue to build on its history as a vibrant region known for its work ethic and quality of life. Residents take pride in hospitals offering high-quality care and schools preparing students for academic and career success. Numerous opportunities in higher education ensure the advancement of a new generation of leaders. “We will continue to grow,” says Carl. “We will continue to transition with the industry demands around us, just as we have in the past.” n Walmart DC 7030 Highridge Business Park

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

AAA Schuylkill County................................................................................................................................22 Alvernia University......................................................................................................................................33 Anthony Mercado Agency, LLC..................................................................................................................... 7 Arro Consulting, Inc.....................................................................................................................................38 Cotler Group (Mountain Valley Comfort Inn).............................................................................................22 Dave Miller & Sons, Inc...............................................................................................................................39 Genesis Healthcare.....................................................................................................................................37 Heim Construction Co.................................................................................................................................56 Hexcel..........................................................................................................................................................39 Hydro...........................................................................................................................................................60 L&K Construction........................................................................................................................................52 Lehigh Carbon Community College...........................................................................................................32 Lehigh Valley Hospital.................................................................................................................................. 2 Leibold, Inc..................................................................................................................................................38 Lowes Companies, Inc................................................................................................................................27 M&T Bank...................................................................................................................................................33 McCann School of Business And Technology.............................................................................................32 Mid Penn Bank/Miners Bank.....................................................................................................................32 Miller Bros Construction.......................................................................................................................48-49 Mrs. T’s Pierogies.........................................................................................................................................57 Penn State Schuylkill..................................................................................................................................31 Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine............................................................................................................................. 9 Pottsville Provision Co.................................................................................................................................37 Riverview Bank...........................................................................................................................................22 Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau...............................................................................................................53 Schuylkill County Airport............................................................................................................................45 Schuylkill County Historical Society...........................................................................................................25 Schuylkill County Municipal Authority......................................................................................................17 Schuylkill County Transportation Authority...............................................................................................39 Schuylkill Conservation District..................................................................................................................53 Schuylkill Country Club................................................................................................................................. 3 Schuylkill EMS.............................................................................................................................................37 Schuylkill United Way.................................................................................................................................53 SEDCO..........................................................................................................................................................44 The Seltzer Group.......................................................................................................................................... 5 Service Access and Management, Inc........................................................................................................36 Seton Manor...............................................................................................................................................38 Smart HR....................................................................................................................................................... 7 St. Lukes University Health Network..........................................................................................................59 Wegmans Retail Service Center.................................................................................................................54 Wire Tele-View.............................................................................................................................................. 7 Yuengling...................................................................................................................................................... 9 58

This is a Town Square Publication created and produced for the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce 1 Progress Circle, Suite 201, Pottsville, PA 17901 Phone: 570-622-1942 Website: www.schuylkillchamber.com Copyright© 2018 Town Square Publications 155 E. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60005 www.townsquarepublications.com Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The Chamber and Town Square assume no responsibility for misinformation. Please contact the Chamber with any additions or corrections. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of the Chamber and Town Square is prohibited. Chairman, CEO and Publisher | Douglas K. Ray President and Chief Operating Officer | Scott Stone Vice President / Director | Scott Ray Production Manager | Joseph Nugara Assistant Production Manager | Darren Hinerman Editor | Gail Gaboda Client Liaison / Content Coordinator | Sarah Lancaster Graphic Designer | Darren HInerman Ad Production Coordinators | Tiffany Hogan and Neila Frontier Contributing Writers | Brooke Payne • Kathryn Ingall • Samual Matta • Rachel Nall • Dave Stewart • Gennie Taylor Photos | Shooters at the Beach Acquisition Manager | Gerrie Cook Advertising Sales | Tom O’Sullivan

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Schuylkill PA Community Profile  
Schuylkill PA Community Profile