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Group seeks to improve Carbon

Approximately 50 people from businesses, schools, and other local organizations gathered together in the Carbon Career & Technical Institute cafeteria to discuss ways to improve life in the Carbon County Area.

The project, Reimagine Carbon, will support participants to create a bottom-up, collective visioning process for a sustainable, equitable economy in Carbon County.

Carbon falls under the geographical boundaries of Appalachia, which consists of counties and cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

The representative for Carbon County is Kara Scott, a member of the Bowmanstown Borough Council and other local groups.

“I was chosen to be a cohort for Reimagine Appalachia,” explained Scott, who organized the event. “Reimagine Appalachia gave us money to support a Visioning Session, which is what we are doing here tonight.”

Reimagine Appalachia was born out of a broad recognition that the economy has not been working for most people and places in the Ohio River Valley.

In response, a diverse set of economic, environmental and community leaders, and grassroots organizations, came together to find common ground and build the future we want to see - a 21st century economy that’s good for workers, communities, and the environment.

The community effort works to offering hope for the next generation.

Guest speakers included Natalia Rudiak, Director of Special Projects for Reimagine Appalachia.

“We’re excited to bring Carbon County into a myriad of possibilities through a lot of the federal funding.” Rudiak said. “But, there is also a lot of other philanthropic opportunities to take advantage of. We at Reimagine hope that through this process, we can see a ground up vision with members of the community to decide what they would like to see happen.”

The second guest speaker was Leo Fierno, Director of the Pennsylvania & Appalachian Sustainable Business Networks, who spoke via a Zoom call.

The attendees broke up into five groups to discuss or “mind map” ideas in five areas: government, environment, business, infrastructure, and community & culture. Each group then presented its findings to the rest of those gathered.

The main goal of the meeting was to find three to five viable projects to put into motion for the Carbon County area.

All the plans and papers will be taken and compiled into a report of the evening’s ideas. A Zoom call will be held at a later date of those who attended to discuss the findings and determine the next course of action.

Scott offered a thanks to the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Reimagine Beaver County for leading the way in developing this process.

The sponsors for this program were the Carbon County Council of Governments, First Northern Bank and Trust, St. Luke’s Carbon Campus, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, and Lorenzo Pizza Kitchen.

Kara Scott, who coordinated Reimagine Carbon, speaks to those attending the event. JAMES LOGUE JR./SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Natalia Rudiak, Director of Special Projects for Reimagine Appalachia, was guest speaker at Reimagine Carbon. JAMES LOGUE JR./SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Attendees at Reimagine Carbon brainstorm ideas on projects to put into motion to help make improvements in Carbon County.