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Montgomery County Commissioners Share Updates at Chamber Luncheon

            Lively conversation and an informative overview of county happenings headlined the UPV Chamber of Commerce's January Legislative Affairs Luncheon.


Pictured (left to right): Commissioner Joseph Gale; Carol Obando-Derstine, PPL (Legislative Series Sponsor); Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence; David Burkhart, Gillespie Electric, Inc. (Legislative Series Sponsor); Commissioner Chair Valerie Arkoosh; and Luanne Stauffer, UPV Chamber of Commerce.


            Held on Wednesday, January 24 at the Green Lane Fire Company, this luncheon was the first in a series of three Legislative Affairs meetings schedule throughout 2018 and featured the Montgomery County Commissioners. Newly appointed Montgomery County Director of Commerce David Zellers, Jr. was also in attendance, as well as Chris Smith, Director of Assets and Infrastructure. Representatives from all six local municipalities within Montgomery County also joined Chamber members at the luncheon.

            After sponsor introductions and a wonderful lunch catered by Tosco's Brick Oven Pizza & Restaurant, Commissioner Chair Valerie Arkoosh took to the microphone to address attendees with an update on county affairs. She noted progress in the area, and gains in population and employment, particularly that the number of people who people live and work in the county, outnumber those who leave to work elsewhere. Arkoosh also spoke about the opioid epidemic and work at the county level to overcome this issue.

            Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence spoke next and echoed Arkoosh's sentiments about the progress in Montgomery County. He noted significant work taking place in the county's infrastructure and talked about the MONTCO 20/40 Implementation Grant Program, intended to assist municipalities in making targeted physical improvements that achieve real progress toward the goals of the plan. The results of this grant can be noticed in our own area, as the Wayfinding Signs begin to be installed around the Upper Perkiomen Valley, in part thanks to a $42,000 grant from the county.

            Employment opportunities and progress at the county level was also highlighted in Commissioner Joseph Gale's address to attendees. He noted that Montgomery County ranks number one in Pennsylvania for manufacturing, and many of those jobs are in our region of the state. These lead to diverse employment opportunities, and a high demand for skilled trade workers in our area. Gale also provided the interesting statistic that the "millennial generation" (those age 15-34) accounts for 25 percent of the population in Montgomery County, meaning younger people are staying here to continue their education and seeking employment and residence within the county.

            All of the commissioners, as well as Zellers and Smith, were available after the presentation to answer questions and talk with attendees. The Chamber has several events coming up including an Information Session on Tax Reform on February 2 (open to Chamber members; registration is required), a Panel Discussion on the Opioid Crisis in the UPV at monthly meeting on February 15 at Spinnerstown Hotel, and a Social Media Seminar at the Chamber on March 20. To register, visit or contact the Chamber office for more details.

            The Legislative Affairs Series event was sponsored by Gillespie Electric, Inc. and PPL.  The January Luncheon sponsors were Falk Funeral Homes and Crematory, Inc., Good Shepherd Physical Therapy, Perkiomen School and QNB Bank.





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