The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 5, 2014

Speaker to tout benefits of wireless connectivity

JOHNSTOWN — Utilizing wireless connectivity can strengthen businesses in many ways.

But understanding how to best use the technology can be challenging.

On Wednesday, a leading expert in the field is scheduled to speak during a noontime luncheon, sponsored by the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce and Johnstown Area Regional Industries, at the Holiday Inn Johnstown-Downtown.

J. Michael Schweder, president of AT&T’s Mid-Atlantic region, plans to talk about how wireless connectivity can drive economic development and strengthen small businesses.

“Any time we’re able to bring this kind of high-level executive in front of our members, we do it,” said Debra Orner, the chamber’s vice president.

The chamber and JARI put the event together on short notice after Schweder scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College’s Richland Campus to announce AT&T’s participation in a workforce development program.

“We just put together the program because he was going to be in the area for the day. ... We’re just taking the opportunity to have him address the business community,” said Robert Layo, president and CEO of the chamber.

Jim Penna, AT&T’s director of external and legislative affairs for southwest Pennsylvania, helped set up the day’s events.

“I think it’s a big win for everybody involved,” said Penna, a former local television news director and staff member for U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown.

The cost is $30 per person to attend. Both chamber members and nonmembers are welcome. More information is available at the organization’s website, johnstownchamber.com.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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