In addition to being the seat of county government, Huntingdon is the commercial center of the county. The Huntingdon area houses more of the county’s employers than any other community. According to a recent HCB&I “Business Directory”, 499 (44%) out of 1,134 employers had a Huntingdon address. The area has a diverse employment base spread among manufacturing, government, service and retail sectors. This broad base has provided long-term stability to the county’s economy. The top ten employers in the Huntingdon County include:
Top Ten Businesses of Huntingdon County
|State Correctional Institution – Huntingdon||
|State Correctional Institution – Smithfield||
|Bonney Forge Corporation||
|JC Blair Health System||
|Huntingdon Area School District||
|FCI Electronics, Inc.||
|Mount Union Area School District||
|Mutual Bendfit Group||
The labor pool in Huntingdon County averaged 19,350 people in 1992, with approximately 2,600 of those seeking employment. While the county’s population held steady between 1980 and 1990, the number of jobs in the county increased by 21 percent. The chart below illustrates the distribution of employment among the 14,531workers employed by county employers in 1997.
There is an annual fluctuation in the county’s employment rate, which is highest in the summer and lowest in late winter. The trend is caused in part by the disproportionate number of seasonally employed workers in the construction trades. Also, some of the county’s largest manufacturers have seasonal demands for their products.
Many people find it convenient to commute to jobs outside the county, primarily in the Altoona and State College areas. Because Huntingdon County has historically been an area of labor surplus and a relatively low cost of living.
The percentage of firms with unions is comparatively small—approximately three percent; however, among those firms are some of the county’s largest employers, including the school districts, hospital, state prisons, and major manufacturers. Labor-management relations have generally been good, and strikes have been rare.
Some job vacancies are advertised in the local newspapers, and others are filled exclusively through the CareerLink office located at 54 Pennsylvania Avenue, Huntingdon. There’s seldom a shortage of applicants for advertised positions. CareerLink: (814) 641- 6408.www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us
Business Assistance Organizations
In addition to the Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce, there are several organizations in Huntingdon County devoted to both economic development and bolstering local businesses. These organizations, along with community leaders and the county’s state representatives, work cooperatively on an on-going basis.
- Huntingdon County Business and Industry (HCB&I), 419 14th St, Huntingdon PA 16652; telephone (814)641-6697; Website, http://www.hcbi.com
HCB&I is a member-supported economic development organization in Huntingdon County committed to promoting, facilitating and advocating business opportunities for the county. HCB&I is the developer of the Huntingdon Industrial Park in Smithfield Township and the new 250-acre Riverview Business Center in Shirley Township near Mount Union. HCB&I provides several publications profiling the county and its existing businesses, and describing business services. The organization also keeps track of available industrial buildings and sites. Services provided by HCB&I include Entrepreneurial, Business Planning, Financial Planning, Technical Assistance, Site Evaluations, Grant Writing, Marketing Assistance, and access to State and Federal Financing programs.
- Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau (HCVB), Seven Points Road, RD#1, Box 222A, Hesston, PA 16647; telephone (888)729-7869; Website, http://raystown.org.
The mission of the HCVB is to develop and implement strategic tourism marketing initiatives which will have a positive effect on the economy of Huntingdon County.
- Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC), 500 Alleghney Street , Huntingdon, PA 16652; telephone (814)643-1110; web site, http://www.huntingdonchamber.com.
HCCC is a member-supported organization with a Board of Directors, committees and staff dedicated to business and community development in the Huntingdon area. Through membership with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce Service Corporation and other organizations, the Chamber offers many benefits to help its members to manage and promote their businesses. The Chamber’s many goals are designed to positively impact the area’s quality of life, economic development, and planned growth.
- Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAPDC), 541 58th St., Altoona, PA, 16602; web site, http://www.sapdc.org
The commission is a six-county economic development organization administering a variety of governmental programs assisting business and community development. (814) 946-1641.
Retail and Tourism
The highway and downtown shopping districts in Huntingdon form the single largest retail area in the county. The retail businesses are a combination of chain- and privately-owned enterprises. Local retail outlets range from small craft boutiques to large discount department stores. The strength of local retailing is the small locally-owned store staffed with knowledgeable clerks and dedicated to customer service.
Travelers and tourists pumped $33.5 million into the county’s economy in 1991, sustaining 697 local jobs. Raystown Lake, covering over 29,000 acres of land and water, is the county’s top tourist attraction. The number of visitors at all the lake’s facilities (from daily attendance counts) averages 1.4 million a year, each contributing about $17 to the local economy.
Huntingdon County Demographics
Huntingdon County Demographics contains statistical information about Huntingdon County. A brief overview is provided for topics such as population, employment, education and tourism.
•Population and Wages – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats1.pdf
•Education and Employment – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats2.pdf
•School Districts – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats4.pdf
•Top Employers – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats5.pdf
•Tourism Information 1 – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats6.pdf
•Tourism Information 2 – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats7.pdf
•Population and Migration and Non-Farm Jobs – http://www.huntingdonarea.info/stats/stats3.pdf