In the Moshannon Valley, the economy is always a hot topic.
Philipsburg and Rush Township on the Centre County side of the borderline do tend to have more in common with Clearfield County than they do the Centre Region. The area is largely identified by industries that have fallen off over the years, like coal, lumber and brick, but there is still an active business community ready for new blood and expansion.
Stan LaFuria has seen a lot of change in the area over the years as executive director of the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership. There have been steps forward and steps back as the Moshannon Valley made strides and as the national and state economies ebbed and flowed.
He is still confident about the future of business on the western edge of Centre County.
At the Moshannon Valley Enterprise Center, tenant companies show a mix of homegrown businesses such as Clemmer Fire Protection and Diamondback Truck Covers and companies that have seen Philipsburg as a marketplace, like American HomePatient and DuBois Business College.
The draw of a new industry is seen at the partnership’s Moshannon Valley Regional Business Park. The biggest structure, right along U.S. Route 322, is the home of PMG Pennsylvania, part of a global powdered metals manufacturing group with production facilities in Europe, Asia and North America. Powdered metals industry is also represented nearby with Advanced Powder Products.
The business of medicine is also on an upswing locally.
Although the former Philipsburg Area Hospital is being razed in Rush Township, construction is well underway for a new Moshannon Valley Community Medical Building, an outpost of Penn Highlands Healthcare, on Route 322.
In the downtown, Philipsburg Revitalization Corp. continues to provide a vibrant atmosphere for businesses to serve the public, while across the area, new retail and restaurant opportunities have been opening up, including Jose’s Pizza on Centre Street and Salsa’s Mexican restaurant on Route 322 in Decatur Township.