June 19, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 102 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATER SCRANTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 102
(Senate - June 19, 2018)
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[Page S4033] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATER SCRANTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce on their 150th anniversary. I am proud to highlight their many accomplishments and significant contributions to my hometown of Scranton and northeastern Pennsylvania. Eleven years after the city of Scranton was incorporated, 13 visionary and ambitious men met in the upstairs of a grocery store and formed the Merchants Association to encourage the economic growth of the city. Scranton was an industrial center of mining and railroads, and the association's first order of business was to establish equitable freight rates. Later, the association was renamed the Scranton Board of Trade and in 1923 was officially chartered as the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. For a century and a half, the chamber has actively served the region, always with the mission of cultivating a healthy business ecosystem that could attract, preserve, and create jobs in the area. In fact, the chamber has always been a national leader and trendsetter within the business community. In 1945, as many Scrantonians were serving in World War II, the chamber spearheaded a community effort to save jobs at the Murray Bomber Wing Plant, which resulted in the launching of the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company. This innovative effort created what is considered the American standard model for economic development. Today, as the largest business network in northeastern Pennsylvania with more than 1,500 member companies representing a variety of employers, the chamber helps to foster economic development, provides small businesses access to affordable capital, facilitates leadership development programs, and leads workforce development initiatives. From Scranton's early days as a hub for American entrepreneurship and industry, the chamber has played a critical role and continues to be one of the region's strongest and most effective business and community advocates. It has worked in partnership with numerous stakeholders to address the challenges brought on by an ever-changing regional economy. Although the mining and freight-dependent industries that represented the growth of the greater Scranton region's early days represent a bygone era, today, new industries now call northeastern Pennsylvania home. These new fields of business have helped the area become a regional leader in education, medicine, and manufacturing. Today, the region builds upon its rich history of industrial ingenuity, economic prosperity, and most notably, new Americans and immigrants seeking opportunity. In light of the region's diverse heritage and progress towards true equality, the chamber hosted its inaugural NEPA Women's Leadership Conference in 2015. I am proud of the chamber's continued efforts as it strives to promote the region as an ideal location for businesses of all genders, ethnicities, races, socioeconomic groups, sizes, and fields. The greater Scranton area continues to be well positioned to attract and retain businesses, startups, and entrepreneurial ventures. It is a privilege to pay tribute to Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce's historic legacy and the contributions its members have made to the city of Scranton and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over the last 150 years. I wish the chamber continued success and prosperity as it celebrates this extraordinary sesquicentennial anniversary. Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize my constituents at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce on their 150th anniversary and highlight their contributions to making the greater Scranton region a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. Established in 1867 as the Scranton Board of Trade, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is the largest business network in northeastern Pennsylvania, with more than 1,500 member companies representing a variety of employers. The chamber is also the parent organization to a number of affiliates that support economic development, provide small business lending services, facilitate leadership development programs, and guide workforce development initiatives. From Scranton's early days as a hub for American heavy industry, the chamber has actively served the region for more than 150 years, always with the mission of attracting, sustaining and growing jobs in the area. Since its inception, the chamber has been recognized as one of the region's preeminent business and community advocates. It has worked in partnership with numerous stakeholders to address the challenges brought on by an ever-changing regional economy. For their part, as the region transformed over the last century, so too has the chamber. Since 1923, the chamber has evolved and developed a number of affiliates whose missions are to address and respond to the changing regional dynamics through economic, industrial, workforce, and community development. These affiliates have worked to diversify the region's economy and utilize the tools and resources available to them to meet the needs of the community and its business members. Today, new industries now call northeast Pennsylvania home and have helped the area become a regional leader in fields such as education, medicine, and manufacturing. Most notably, what drives the region today is building upon the greater Scranton area's rich history of industrial and economic prosperity. These are key points the chamber and its partners have seized on to promote the region as an ideal location for businesses of all sizes and specialties. With a history of success and an abundance of talent and expertise, the greater Scranton area is well positioned to attract entrepreneurs and businesses alike. I wish to recognize the significant contributions that the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and its members have made to the city of Scranton and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over the last 150 years and wish them all the best as the chamber celebrates this sesquicentennial anniversary. ____________________