Officials prepare for conference

RIDGWAY - Officials Wednesday afternoon announced updated plans for the second annual North Central Communities Conference.Matt Marusiak, community development coordinator for the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission [NCPRPDC], revealed two keynote speakers: Dan Meuser, the acting secretary of the Pa. Department of Revenue, and U.S. Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA-5).The conference is scheduled for May 18 at Penn State DuBois."This conference will provide an excellent opportunity for local officials and community groups to meet with federal and state agencies and learn about new programs," Marusiak said. "Over 150 state legislators, county commissioners, county planners, local municipal officials and community leaders attended last year, and we expect even more to attend this annual event."The conference is scheduled to feature a lunch discussion on Governor Tom Corbett's budget with Meuser and closing remarks by Thompson, as well as informative concurrent workshops designed to meet the needs of local communities.According to Marusiak, the workshops are organized into four tracks: improving communities, workforce development, municipal training and computer training. Various topics include strengthening communities with social media, workforce needs of the gas industry, overview of posting and bonding regulations, economic and community impacts of Marcellus Shale development, GIS training and others."This conference will be an important resource for our community leaders in the north central Pennsylvania six-county area," Marusiak said. Interested patrons with questions or those in need of additional information are asked to please contact Marusiak at 814-773-6162, ext. 3042 or information and online registration can be found at The registration deadline is May 6.