Hard at Work

Community Development Corporation of Butler County
Written by Pauline Muller

Butler County, Pennsylvania offers a wealth of job prospects in sectors ranging from manufacturing to banking. The only county in Pennsylvania with both a community college and full university also has robust industry and a healthy medical system…
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Butler County’s natural beauty also offers exciting recreation for individuals and families alike, and its highly-rated school system ensures that children have a well-rounded education to meet modern-day market needs with confidence. Thanks to all these fantastic resources, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to making the most out of life here.

The county’s residents go out of their way to make everyone welcome. It is a close-knit community where unemployment is the lowest in its metro area, and job opportunities are abundant. Life here is affordable and a large selection of homes offer something for all tastes and budgets. Attractive suburban housing and larger properties abound, and its central location makes it super accessible.

Pittsburgh is only twenty minutes away, and getting to the closest international airport only takes around thirty minutes. Two smaller airports for light aircraft are also not far off, and Interstates 79 and 80 cross its borders. Route 422 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are also just a stone’s throw away.

Butler County’s Community Development Corporation is its official development body. It was founded in 1959 by the county’s entrepreneurs and industries to help grow the area by creating and maintaining employment. “We achieve this through teamwork between our business owners, the municipalities, the county, and other pivotal role players in both local and national government,” says Executive Director Joe Saeler, who has dedicated over twelve years of service to the county.

The council works is especially proud of the growth of the county’s education sector. Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School offers training in electrical and 14 other areas of study. Butler County Community College offers training in various disciplines and even creates tailored industry-specific skills courses specifically for trades’ professionals. In this way, the institution both educates and provides market-relevant capabilities for the area’s growing industrial market. In addition, Penn United Technologies, a local component and assembly facility offers in-house training in manufacturing for its own staff as well as trainees from other companies.

Another of the county’s very well-respected tertiary institutions is Slippery Rock University. It introduced its new engineering school in the past few years, offering petroleum, civil, and mechanical, engineering courses. “We especially foresee large growth in our natural gas industry thanks to fracking our large Marcellus Formation shale deposits,” says Joe.

The county is home to the brand new, 75,000-square-foot Steamfitters Local 449’s Technology Center that will no doubt lead to great advancements in the quality of local and national industry skills. This multi-million dollar training facility in the picturesque town of Harmony takes hands-on training to an entirely new level with learning spaces adjoining laboratories and over sixty welding stations. With over 350 apprentices learning the ropes of a host of disciplines, a number of big industry leaders have also chosen to rent here.

Founded on March 12, 1800, the county has a history dating back 218 years and was named after General Richard Butler, a Revolutionary War hero. The southern part of the county is mainly suburban, and its main town and county seat, the City of Butler, is centrally located along Connoquenessing Creek. The city is the heart of the county, and all its administrative offices, many businesses, and county festivals are all well-established here. While the south is a bustling hub of commercial activity, the north is more rural and every bit as industrious on the agricultural front with many small, family-owned farms, small villages, and towns scattered amongst rolling hills.

As rural as Butler County may appear at first, its growth and development are experiencing rapid diversification across many fields. One such a big advancement is Allegheny Health Network’s new 34,000-square-foot cancer treatment facility. This state-of-the-art oncology unit is scheduled to open its doors to patients in April 2019 at the Pullman Center Business Park expansion in the City of Butler and will employ more than fifty people. The county is also in discussions with a distribution center that will soon be moving its operations to the Victory Road Business Park in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.

The region’s existing infrastructure is also quite impressive. The Butler Health System is a 296-bed medical facility that also serves outpatient locations with laboratory services, imaging, and cardiology testing ensuring that residents do not have to travel further afield for life-saving services.

Its residents also know how to have fun. The county’s exquisite Moraine State Park stretches across 16,725 acres and offers pristine beach along forty-two miles of shoreline on Lake Arthur. This is the third-largest lake in the state, and its three thousand acres of water inspires numerous watersports. Visitors also enjoy playing disk golf and geocaching. Over seventy miles of trails crisscross the park that is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. More than one million visitors come to enjoy its natural beauty annually. The lake also plays host to the county’s annual regatta that takes place every August.

This is not the county’s only opportunity to kick back and relax. Every year, locals and visitors all gather in the City of Butler on a Friday in mid-June to celebrate the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival throughout the afternoon and into the evening, when the festivities relocate to Cooper’s Lake Campground where the adventurous can put their off-road skills to the test during the weekend.

There is also the Butler Fair on the Fourth of July and many other smaller festivals that mark the county’s calendar. Moreover, thanks to its large German ancestry, many of Butler County’s towns celebrate Oktoberfest. Residents also take a lot of pride in their historical societies while the arts and culture scene offers something for everyone.

“Our communities love getting together. Food truck nights are as popular as dining out and so are yard sales in the south. Soccer, softball, Friday night football, and similar sports are all a wonderful opportunity for communities to gather,” says Communications Director Marcie L. Barlow.

Ice hockey is another favorite here. In fact, UPMC Sports Medicine and the Pittsburgh Penguins joined forces and built a multi-million dollar hockey facility in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex serves as primary practice and training rink for the Penguins and offers medical services for sports injuries to outpatients. The facility is pivotal in the development of local young talent and makes a large contribution in growing the sport.

The hardworking people of Butler County welcome newcomers of all ages. The Butler County Community Development Corporation is especially focused on driving diversity in business and industry to avoid duplicating services and maintain a healthy ecosystem of small business and industry with skills-led education to feed its ever-growing workforce.

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