DuBOIS, Pa. — Students in the business administration class at Penn State DuBois recently presented on project ideas they developed for possible new additions that could bring more people to the greater DuBois area and help boost its economy.
The class was taught by Laurie Breakey, associate teaching professor of business administration. In conjunction with the Greater DuBois Area Chamber of Commerce, the students spent six weeks working in groups, then presented their results to fellow classmates and a panel of community representatives, including several alumni.
One of the goals highlighted throughout all the projects was the idea of retaining younger professionals in the area. Often, students who leave the community for their education or a career opportunity in a larger metropolitan area might not choose to return because of the larger variety of activities available in those areas. The presentations also focused on the goals of creating jobs in the area as well.
“The objectives of this project were for students to learn about the area and what their potential job opportunities could be if they stay in the area,” Breaky said. “We’ve worked with several nonprofits in the area. This year we worked with the DuBois Chamber of Commerce, which came in with great projects and asked the students to come up with a brand for the tri-county area.”
Creating a potential brand for the tri-county area also had the goal of retaining or bringing back young professionals to the area by uniting efforts of the chamber and the community under a single brand. As part of their presentations, each group showcased their unique envision for what the brand should be. Several groups prepared logos, banners and other marketing materials.
Other ideas that were brought forward included a new indoor sports complex and an event center. Both were presented as new structures and the presenting groups shared details on the costs and benefits of each potential project. The proposed sports complex, which would encompass nearly 60 acres, would house three basketball courts, two soccer fields and two synthetic ice hockey rinks. The new event center would target its use for various events, including weddings and conferences. A discussion was also had about the event center doubling as a home for entertainment for young adults, such as a night club, which is something the tri-county area is often cited as lacking.
“With this collaboration, this allows us to move forward with different things to promote economic development, job growth, our workforce and our tourism,” said Jodi August, executive director of the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development. “I love getting messages from these students because it really shows the strengths and weaknesses of our area from their perspective. It really helps us plan more for the future of our area.”