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Startup Alleghenies To Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

Executive Director of the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission Steve Howsare speaks at a press conference.
Katie DeFiore

Three Pennsylvania counties affected by the downturn of the coal industry will be getting help soon.

Startup Alleghenies, an initiative meant to encourage entrepreneurship in Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties, officially launched on Tuesday.

The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded a $1.2 million grant back in April to the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission, located in Altoona.

Cambria County Commissioner Mark Wissinger said this grant will help workers transition from the coal mines to other lines of work.

"I don’t think the mines are going to go away, but the need for as many miners, it’s just not there," Wissinger said. "We’ve got a lot of people who worked in the coal mines that have a lot of other capabilities, and we want to give them that opportunity to move on and be successful in other endeavors."

Startup Alleghenies plans to provide communal work spaces, financing and coaching to entrepreneurs across the region.

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