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Business leaders have a mission

Published October 08. 2011 09:01AM

The Carbon County Economic Development Corporation wants to create a business incubator in the county.

That's why on Nov. 4, the corporation will sponsor a bus trip to two successful neighboring incubators Can-Be in Hazleton and Innovation Center in Wilkes-Barre. The trip is free and open to area leaders and businesses interested in learning about a possible new venture in the county that could create jobs and support existing businesses.

The goal of the trip is to learn how other communities are being entrepreneurs and determine if this is also a viable option for Carbon County.

The concept of business incubators in Pennsylvania originated with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1983 with what was then called the Ben Franklin Business Incubator. Now serving a 21-county area, the BFTP/NEPB is located on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem and operates Ben Franklin TechVentures®, an award-winning incubator/post-incubator facility.

Ben Franklin enterprise developers work with early-stage firms and established companies to enhance their entire way of doing business. Their mission is to boost the economy of northeastern Pennsylvania with new and retained jobs, new technology companies and established manufacturers that are more competitive.

According to the website "WiseGeek" sent by Dawn Ferrante, executive director of the CCEDC, incubators are "designed to help new businesses develop and successfully launch."

The bus will depart the Carbon County parking lot, located in downtown Jim Thorpe, at 8:30 a.m. It will arrive at Can-Be at 9:15, where the group will tour the facility, as well as speak with Jack St. Pierre, executive director of the business.

The group will then depart at 10:30 a.m. for Wilkes-Barre, where officials will tour the Innovation Center and speak with John Augustine. The bus will depart Wilkes-Barre at 12:15 p.m.

Ferrante said she hopes that the tour will provide companies and entrepreneurs with ideas on how Carbon County can build a strong incubator within the county.

The CCEDC's overall goal is to build desirable locations for area businesses to utilize within Carbon County and create jobs.

The corporation has been around since the 1980s and has assisted businesses in securing loans to help develop or expand.

For more information on the tour or on the CCEDC, visit

To reserve a seat on the bus tour, contact Linda Rex at (570) 325-2810 or email Deadline for registration is Nov. 1.

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