The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission hosted 13 trade and 11 investment representatives from Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East on Wednesday at The Red Fern in Kersey. The event is held in conjunction with Pennsylvania International Week and works to connect local businesses with international markets.



Local industries meet with international trade, investment representatives

KERSEY – Expansion into the international market for local businesses and industry was the focus of Wednesday’s Bring The World to PA event hosted by the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission at The Red Fern.

The event, a two-day stop in Clearfield and Kersey on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a larger two-week, statewide tour, was part of Pennsylvania International Week. The tour is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and featured 13 trade and 11 investment representatives from Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

Chris Perneski, who serves as director of enterprise development at North Central, said the event worked to foster future international relationships with industry in the region at a time when the economy is still dealing with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it went really, really well, and that can be credited to the companies that agreed to participate,” Perneski said. “It was different this year. I think it was reflective of what is going on in the international arena right now. We used to have a lot of companies that would come and be interested in meeting with every market.

“The companies were very, very focused this year on what markets they wanted to meet with. They were very specific in the information they wanted from those markets.”

Perneski said international businesses are dealing with similar issues, such as a limited number of employees and supply chain issues, that domestic businesses are trying to overcome.

Regional businesses attending the event included Ram Forest Products, Little Red Riding Hood, Kane Hardwood, Thompson Farms, Advanced Food Products, Ridgway Powdered Metal, Horizon Technology, Wortman Controls, ABC, Acutwist, and Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel and Terry Noble.

The businesses were able to meet with trade representatives from Australia, Canada, China, the Middle East, Netherlands, South Korea, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Mexico, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Soleil Tong, authorized trade representatives for Pennsylvania for China, said she had a pair of productive meetings with Kane Hardwood/Collins and Ram Forest Products.

“China has been locked down for three years, Tong said. “We just opened (for business). We didn’t see a lot of activity from Pennsylvania companies in the China market probably because there are a lot of uncertainties with transportation and shipping, but this year I think will be much better.

“In addition, the foresting industry is not new to China. Pennsylvania has been exporting to China for many years. We got a lot of Pennsylvania companies and have been working with them for several years. Kane Hardwood/Collins they export 35 shipping containers per month to China. Ram Forest told me 80% of their export sales come from China. That is a huge market for American hardwood companies.”

Tong said Horizon Technology, a maker of powdered metal automobile parts, could also potentially have opportunities to expand into China.

Phil McDonald, who represents Horizon Technologies in St. Marys, said his company is geared toward making automobile parts for engines.

“The powdered metal industry is 85% automotive industry focused,” McDonald said. “From that most of those parts go into internal combustion engine components, whether that’s connecting rods, bearing caps, or transmission components. As the automotive industry transitions away from engines and more toward electric vehicles, we kind of need to pivot and look at what kind of components we can make to support that.

“This event gives us the opportunity to look to what countries we can work with for that.”

Jennifer Black, who serves as executive director of PA Office of International Business Development, said the event in the North Central region is always well attended.

“The goal here is to give local companies an opportunity to speak to our international representatives to discuss market potential and sales opportunities,” Black said. “Now, the real work is going to begin after the tour. The representatives and the companies will talk, iron out the next steps in each market, and we hope these meetings are the start of some robust projects that will ultimately lead to sales for companies.”

The two-day event kicked off Tuesday evening at River’s Landing in Clearfield as North Central hosted a meet-and-greet dinner. Perneski, along with her team comprised of Deb Delhunty, Mikala Biondi, and Brent Addleman, were joined by Clearfield County commissioners; AHUG; the powder metal industry; Clearly Ahead; Sen. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson); Rep. Dallas Kephart (D-Clearfield); and representatives from Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congressman Glenn Thompson’s (R-PA) office; and seven members from the DCED staff.


The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission is a premier regional development organization that serves the public and private sector through a wide range of economic, community, infrastructure, human services, and technology programs for Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties.

Contact:  Brent Addleman:  814-773-3162, ext. 3060