In an effort to bring the business community together and create a plan of action following the NCAA sanctions against Penn State, the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County is holding a members-only meeting this morning.
The CBICC gathering comes two days after a similar meeting hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Chamber members will discuss solutions to potential revenue losses as a result of the sanctions. The penalties announced Monday by NCAA President Mark Emmert include a $60 million fine, a loss of scholarships for the football team and a four-year bowl ban.
“We’re going to focus the discussion on solutions that will help us move forward in a positive way,” said Vern Squier, CBICC president.
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Mount Nittany Medical Center CEO Steve Brown attended the visitors bureau meeting and said he will be at the CBICC session.
Brown said he will try to convey the idea that State College is “more than just a football town.”
He said the community needs to focus on attracting more people with diverse interests to the area because of all it has to offer.
Another topic to be addressed is companies becoming more independent from the university and not relying on Penn State as heavily, Squier said.
“Penn State is a premier university and they are the economic driver (in the county),” he said. “But we can’t expect them to be the sole driver and carry the community.”
Squier said all the topics addressed at today’s meeting will be taken to university officials to help create an even stronger partnership with Penn State going forward.
Brown said the situation requires county leaders to fulfill their roles and help guide the area through its problems.
“I think it starts with leadership,” he said. “Now more than ever this community needs its leaders to step up.”
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan