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Retired aeronautics engineer now helps small Centre County businesses take off

by on November 02, 2016 2:05 PM

After a career of building ships that traveled to space, retired aerospace engineer Joe Blazosky now helps people in Centre County build their new businesses.

Blazosky volunteers as mentor with the central Pennsylvania chapter of SCORE, a national nonprofit that works with people who are new to the startup business world and helps them navigate a difficult process.

“We don’t do the work for them, they have to do it,” said Blazosky. “But we are there to offer support and help them with resources and tools that might save them money or keep them from making a mistake.”

Blazosky grew up in Clearfield and graduated from Penn State in 1965 in aerospace engineering. After graduating, he worked for firms that were contracted by NASA to help build and control many different crafts that went to space, satellites and the space station.

When he meets with new business hopefuls as a SCORE member, his experience can be overwhelming for some.

“But they all want to know, ‘OK, how can you help me with my business,'” said Blazosky.

Along with his experience as an engineer, Blazosky has been in charge of a lot of different aspect on the business end of things. He received a master's degree in business administration, and later worked as a consultant and set up and ran an engineering center. He has experience as someone who has helped run and manage business and the experience is valuable to someone who is just starting up. In fact, Blazosky took some SCORE workshops years ago when he was first delving into business, so he knows firsthand how helpful the organization can be.

While SCORE used to focus on using retired people as mentors, they now look to include anyone with the experience who is looking to help.

“Someone might think, ‘What do I have to offer,’ but there are many areas where people need help,” said Blazosky. “I have no idea how to start a restaurant, so we have someone else who would help those types of businesses.”

Mentors are helpful in any area of business, including starting or switching medical practices, managing social media, starting a nonprofit and navigating the loan process, along with anything else that goes into running a business.

Blazosky said he would encourage anyone who has been involved in business and is interested in helping others to get involved with the organization.

“It’s a good way to give back, and to help this community grow,” said Blazosky. “We can help these business grow and avoid mistakes. Then they can hire more people, and we can keep this community thriving.”

Along with mentoring, the organization offers workshops and online tools. The Central Pennsylvania chapter serves Centre, Clearfield, Huntington and Mifflin counties.

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Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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