FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                        April 16, 2024

(Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series about North Central’s pivotal role in fostering regional collaboration and prosperity in the six-county region. Future articles will delve deeper into the commission’s specific initiatives and success stories.)

North Central: Paving the way to a brighter future.

RIDGWAY – The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission (North Central) announces a new series “Fostering Economic Prosperity: Programs and Success Stories.” The series aims to highlight the significant contributions of the organization to the economic growth and community development in the six-county region it serves.

North Central serves Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties, and for more than five decades the commission has played an integral role in advancing the region toward a prosperous future marked by growth, innovation, and improved quality of life.

Established in 1966, the commission has dedicated itself to supporting local businesses, planning for the future, and initiating projects and programs with our federal, state, and local partners that bring widespread benefits to the region.

Headquartered in Ridgway, the commission is dedicated to creating sustainable development and progress through comprehensive planning, economic, and community development initiatives. The commission has been a cornerstone for regional collaboration by providing invaluable support to local businesses and communities.

North Central was created after Congress passed the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, a significant piece of legislation that led to the creation of a nationwide network of Economic Development Districts (EDDs). The legislation laid the groundwork for locally rooted, regionally coordinated economic development strategies across rural America.

The legislation created approximately 400 EDDs across the country who have played key roles in fostering collaboration among public, private, and nonprofit sectors of business while creating a comprehensive, strategic roadmap for regional growth.

North Central is also one of seven Local Development Districts (LDDs) in Pennsylvania and falls under the umbrella of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which encompasses 423 counties across 13 states stretching from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The region covers 206,000 square-miles and is home to 26.3 million people.

The ARC represents a collaborative economic development effort between the federal government and its 13 member states, including Pennsylvania. At the state level, the Department of Community and Economic Development works in partnership with the ARC and LDDs to identify and promote projects aimed at enhancing community capacity and driving economic growth, striving to achieve socioeconomic parity with the rest of the country.

North Central is funded through a combination of federal, state, local, and private dollars, and services, which enables the commission to carry out is mission to promote economic growth and development across the six-county region.

North Central fosters collaborations among public, private, and nonprofit sectors of business while creating a comprehensive, strategic roadmap for regional growth, with a focus on business and industry, transportation, planning, human services, broadband, and more.

Executive Director Jim Chorney, who took on the role in 2018, said the organization is dedicated to strengthening the six-county region.

“I want people to know there is no wrong door here at North Central,” Chorney said. “We are here to partner with business and industry, individuals, and local municipal governments in a collaborative effort to make the entire region stronger.”

North Central Board Chairman Dave Glass, who also serves as a commissioner for Clearfield County, said the organization is primed to improve the quality of life in the region.

“North Central is helping businesses and residents in these six counties to move ahead from an economic development and community infrastructure perspective,” Glass said.

North Central’s unwavering commitment to the region’s growth, resilience, and collective success is a hallmark of decades of dedicated service, planning, and collaborative efforts, and is a testament of what can be achieved when communities come together and envision a brighter future.


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