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New CBICC Initiative Encourages Civic Involvement

by on January 09, 2019 5:00 AM

The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County (CBICC) is launching a new program aimed at getting more residents involved with local government.

"ABC Essentials" will offer a series of monthly, hourlong presentations that explain the authorities, boards and commissions that guide a wide range of decisions for municipal, regional and county governments. 

The free program will offer a casual setting for attendees to learn about specific ABCs, understand the roles and expectations of volunteers, and ask questions of municipal officials and individuals who currently serve on ABCs. 

"The decisions made by various boards and commissions impact the quality of life and the economy in individual communities, and ultimately, the county as a whole,” CBICC President and CEO Vern Squier said in a news release. “The 'ABC Essentials' initiative fulfills the CBICC’s and municipal officials’ desire to promote greater understanding about the critical role authorities, boards and commissions play in governance, and responds to concerns about growing the pool of people able and willing to serve.”

"An Introduction to ABCs," will kick off the initiative at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the CBICC office, 131 S. Fraser St., Suite 1, State College.

Douglas Shontz, State College Borough communications specialist, said volunteering for authorities, boards and commissions is a way to contribute to improving local communities.

“Every volunteer that is selected to serve on the borough’s more than 20 ABCs is an important factor in the Borough accomplishing its mission to enhance the quality of life by fostering a safe, vibrant, diverse and sustainable community,” Shontz said.

Ferguson Township Manager David Pribulka said expertise is not required to serve on ABCs and that "ABC Essentials" will help those who have not participated before become more comfortable with doing so.

"Local government is where the rubber hits the road, and good decisions cannot be made without the thoughtful input from dedicated volunteers on each of these committees,” Pribulka said. “As individuals learn more about these opportunities through the CBICC’s 'ABC Essentials' initiative, I ask that they pay close attention to those that ignite curiosity and passion. It is those areas that one’s service will be most valued, regardless of one’s current level of experience or knowledge of the subject.”

Interested participants can attend as many of the sessions as they choose. Light refreshments will be served at each presentation, which will take place at 5:15 p.m. in the CBICC office on the following dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Kick-off/"An Introduction to ABCs"
Wednesday, Feb. 20 – “The Future’s Blueprint,” featuring Ferguson Township Planning Commission
Tuesday, March 19 – “Developing Opportunities,” featuring College Township Industrial Development Authority
Wednesday, April 17 – “Embracing All Perspectives,” featuring State College Borough LGBTQ Advisory Committee
Wednesday, May 1 – “All Aboard!” featuring CATA
Wednesday, June 26 – “Grab Your Sunscreen,” featuring Centre Region Parks & Recreation
Tuesday, July 9 – “A Water Droplet’s Life,” featuring University Area Joint Authority and the State College Borough Water Authority
Wednesday, Aug. 21 – “Got A Plane to Catch,” featuring University Park Airport Authority
Tuesday, Sept. 10 – “Leisure Time,” featuring Harris Township Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and Library Board
Tuesday, Oct. 15 – “Room to Run Wild,” featuring Patton Township Open Space Stewardship Committee and Open Space Preservation Task Force
Tuesday, Nov. 12 – Program conclusion


Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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