Since 1957, the communities and counties of Happy Valley have relied on the outstanding assistance offered by the Susquehanna Economic Development Association Council of

“Centre County, and Happy Valley in particular, is one of the most diverse areas of the SEDA-COG region,” Kim Wheeler, SEDA-COG Executive Director, said. “Business opportunities abound, from land-based businesses such as agriculture or tourism to large corporations and mom-and-pop shops to University-influenced enterprises, startups and high-tech businesses. It is always a pleasure to support the creative energies and ideas of Happy Valley entrepreneurs.”

Originally developed through a series of community forums in an effort to address the common concerns of Happy Valley, SEDA-COG now plays a key role in developing the economy and helping address the multifaceted challenges faced by Happy Valley communities. Some of the issues addressed in those meetings over 50 years ago remain a focus today, including transportation, health care services, family-sustaining wages and workforce development.

The organization is overseen by a board made up of County Commissioners, business leaders and local elected officials, and SEDA-COG’s staff is made up of professionals with expertise in a wide range of fields — everything from transportation and international sales to information technology and financial packaging.

SEDA-COG helps Happy Valley’s counties and local communities meet needs in areas such as business and manufacturing services, housing, community revitalization, water systems, and other infrastructure improvements. SEDA-COG also provides supplemental financing to assist new and expanding businesses. The SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority owns nearly 200 miles of rail line, preserving transportation service vital to key employers in the region.

SEDA-COG in Action

One of SEDA-COG’s most recent success stories is that of Nittany Laser Technologies – a manufacturer that provides a wide range of laser processing tools and services, from custom-designed laser cladding tools and turn-key systems to in-house laser cladding, welding and machining. The business offers innovated, tough laser processing components for a range of applications, in industries such as oil and gas recovery and refining, aerospace, transportation, defense, and mining. With the help of SEDA-COG’s Export Development Program, Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership (MVEDP) and the determined effort of owner Andrew Nissly, Nittany Laser has exponentially increased its operations and international buyers to include contacts in Russia, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Australia and France.

SEDA-COG also recently worked with the State College Borough on an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) application for the Calder Way Infrastructure Implementation Strategy planning project. With this project, the borough will contract with a competitively procured engineering firm to prepare a strategy to repair or replace critical overhead and underground utilities located in the downtown business district. The project will include a utility analysis to understand capacity of the infrastructure that supports an estimated 6,960 jobs at 348 businesses. Through the assistance of SEDA-COG, the project was awarded $60,000 in funding for a $150,000 project.

Can SEDA-COG help your business?

SEDA-COG’s multi-faceted approach to economic development and community improvement provides opportunities for all businesses across Happy Valley.

Would you like to expand your business? SEDA-COG’s Business Finance Department offers loans statewide to qualifying businesses.

Looking to take your product to international markets? SEDA-COG’s Export Development Program helps businesses develop international market sales. The region’s documented export sales continue to rise and were worth $85 million last year.

Want to grow your customer base? SEDA-COG’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center helps companies tap the nation’s largest market – sales to federal, state and local governments. In 2014 and 2015, SEDA-COG clients were awarded contracts worth $241 million.

Additionally, SEDA-COG has weatherized 8,600 homes, helping Happy Valley communities realize high energy savings. The agency also has developed affordable housing in more than 11 counties, including an award-winning transformation of a blighted site into new elderly housing. Other efforts have included a $30 million flood protection project partnership that will preserve over 700 jobs.

If you, your business or your community in Happy Valley would like to tap into the resources and technical assistance offered by SEDA-COG, the organization can be reached by phone at 570-524-4491, or by email at information@seda-cog.org.