A helping hand will be extended Friday at Penn Commercial Business/Technical School.

The 2019 Washington County Re-Entry Conference & Community Resource/Job Fair will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is designed to assist individuals who have been in trouble with the law with finding employment and transitioning back into the community.

Admission is free and the conference/fair is open to the public, although registration is requested. It can be done by calling 724-229-5083 Ext. 31, or emailing khuffman@washingtongreene.org.

Thirty-six vendors/employers will be on hand at the school, 42 Oak Spring Road, South Strabane Township. Seven topics will be addressed: “Your Rap Sheet & Expungement”; “The Clean Slate Act”; “Probation Information and Specialty Courts”; “On-site Applications with Employers”; “Employment & Training Opportunities”; “Housing & Legal Services”; and “Community Resources & Programs.”

The conference and resource fair will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with vendor set-up from 8 to 8:30 and sign-ins from 8:30 to 9. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Friday’s event is sponsored by the Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board, PA CareerLink Washington County, President Judge Katherine Emery and Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan.

SBA nominations

The Western Pennsylvania District Office of the Small Business Administration Agency is seeking awards nominations.

Kelly Hunt, the district director and a Washington County native, said her office is accepting nominations for: Small Business Person of the Year; Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year; Exporter of the Year; and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Local winners will be honored at an event that is not yet scheduled. SBA national awards will be presented in Washington, D.C., during National Small Business Week – May 3-9, 2020.

Nomination packages must be hand-delivered or mailed to the Western Pennsylvania office no later than 3 p.m. EST, Jan. 7, 2020. Emailed submissions will not be accepted.

For more information, visit sba.gov/nsbw, or contact Janet Heyl at 412-395-6560 x103 or janet.heyl@sba.gov

Chamber board

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce has announced the executive committee of its board of directors for 2020.

The committee consists of John Burglund (of WallacePancher Group), chairman; Gerald Cathell (Capital Retirement Plan Services, Inc.), vice chairman; Laural Ziemba (Range Resources), treasurer; Matt Thiel (AUMA Actuators), secretary; and William King Jr. (Washington Financial Bank), past chairman.

The chamber also announced that Brook Ward (Washington Health System) and Chris Koop (Energy Transfer) have been named to the board.

Steel Nation hire

David Benson has joined Steel Nation’s growing Engineering division. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with a focus on structural engineering, who previously worked for six years with the Westinghouse Structural design team. Benson earned a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech and a master’s in Civil Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Steel Nation, based at Southpointe, has four divisions: Steel Nation Buildings, Steel Nation Engineering, Steel Nation Environmental and Steel Nation Facility Services.

GACO event

California University of Pennsylvania’s Government Agency Coordination Office is sponsoring the 32nd annual Procurement Opportunities Fair. It is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Monroeville Convention Center.

The focus will be on providing companies with contracting and subcontracting information. Business owners can meet representatives of government agencies, corporations, regional service organizations and other businesses.

Participants will include Rand Corp.; Tetra Tech Consulting and Engineering Firm (Pittsburgh); 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command (Moon Township); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Pittsburgh); Port Authority of Allegheny County; U.S. Department of the Navy; and Allegheny County Housing Authority.

There also will be two seminars: “The Power of Networking: How to Sell Yourself and Your Business” and “The Business of Selling to the Government.”

Admission is $35. For a list of participants or to register, visit calu.edu/gaco. For more information, contact Tracy Julian at 724-938-5881 or julian@calu.edu.

As a Procurement Technical Assistance Center, GACO assists companies in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene and Washington counties with the process of government contracting at a federal, state and local level.

Pet food business

A new mobile pet food and supplies business will serve parts of Washington County and the South Hills.

Pet Wants South Hills, launched recently by Amber Sutfin, is offering free, personal delivery to Peters Township, McMurray, Canonsburg, North Strabane and Cecil, along with the Allegheny County communities of Bethel Park, Brookline, Carnegie, Castle Shannon, Dormont, Green Tree, Mt. Lebanon, South Park, Upper St Clair and Whitehall.

Pet Wants has multiple blends of dog and cat food formulas, along with healing salve, calming balm, anti-itch spray and paw wax.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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