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Steel used to be big business in Pennsylvania they say … USED to be.

Back in the mid 1800s Andrew Carnegie made Pittsburgh the central hub of America’s burgeoning steel industry. Coal was abundant, and a desperate labor force from Europe came together to create a booming business that became well known around the world. US Steel and The Bethlehem Steel Company employed thousands and fueled the Commonwealth’s exponential growth. The steel industry hits it’s peak in 1969, but began to decline as lower wage producers around the world created a price war that America couldn’t win. Pennsylvania is now littered with the hollow remains of old steel factories and towns that used to house their countless workers. Pittsburgh, Reading, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia have all felt the effects of steel’s diminishing power in Pennsylvania.

Yet steel still remains. 

According to a report prepared for the Pennsylvania Steel Alliance, the industry is still responsible for generating more than $9.35 billion a year for PA. What’s more, the average steel worker makes over $70,000 a year! So where are these steel jobs you might ask? Look no further than York, Pennsylvania.

York has long been known as the manufacturing epicenter of the east coast, if not the US. Huge companies keep plants in York to produce everything from potato chips to Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Steel is also a part of the business landscape, with companies like Three M Tool fabricating stainless steel baskets by the thousands for various industries around the world. Companies like Boeing, Honeywell, and Exxon Mobile are frequent customers of this York-based manufacturer. Their stainless steel baskets are used for everything from ultrasonic cleaning to waste disposal.

While Pennsylvania is not likely to ever return to its former glory as the world’s leading steel producer, companies like Three M Tool shine a bright spot on an industry that still provides high paying jobs and economic impact to the Commonwealth. The ingenuity and innovation of these specialized steel manufacturers makes them a special part of the industry’s history.

So the next time you hear someone make mention of Pennsylvania’s steel industry as something of the past, remind them that steel is still alive and well in Pennsylvania!

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Spending Labor Day weekend in Harrisburg? Check out these fantastic events!

It’s Kipona weekend first and foremost! If you’ve never been to Kipona, it’s a weekend-long Harrisburg festival that attracts thousands of people for wine, art, and food. It’s a family friendly Harrisburg event that really has something for everyone. Check out the website for a listing of events taking place throughout the weekend along Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park. Don’t miss the chili cookoff on Saturday!

The Shippensburg Corn Festival is another event coming to the area on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. The event features about 300 food and craft vendors along with what else- a corn eating contest.

For something entirely different, check out the PA Rennaissance Faire. For Labor Day weekend they’ll have free admission for kids and lots of special activities catered to children.

If you’re in the mood for a Labor Day road trip, the Vineyard at Hershey will be tailgating at Penn State as they kick off the season. The Vineyard will be renting a limo-bus and providing their own beer and wine along with food. The event is sure to be a blast for anyone who enjoys football, food, and good drink.

Want to get out of Central PA entirely? How about making the most of the extended Labor Day weekend with an Ocoee River rafting trip? The folks at Ocoee Adventure Center in Tennessee provide Ocoee River kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, and hiking. What could be a more memorable Labor Day experience than screaming down a raging river with some friends? Rafting the Ocoee is sure to be an experience you won’t forget!

Beyond these above events, Labor Day in Harrisburg is full of a number of smaller events taking place at libraries, theaters, parks, and local businesses. Check out Pennlive or SaraBozich.com closer to Labor Day weekend for even more great events in the Harrisburg area and beyond.

What are you planning to do for Labor Day this year?

If you live in the greater Harrisburg area, you’ve likely heard all about the city debt and bankruptcy. Things seem to be headed in the wrong direction for this small city of 50,000 people.

Yet there is one bright spot- the Harrisburg Young Professionals.harrisburg young professionals

This group of active professionals has really lead the charge in the renaissance of the city; supporting local businesses and bringing people back into the city to live and play. Formed in 1998, the organization has grown rapidly, recently surpassing more than 750 members and corporate partnerships. Members come from Harrisburg law firms, banks, accounting companies, and many other local businesses to have fun and support the city.

Within the Harrisburg Young Professionals, there are numerous committees for members interested in marketing, city beautification, sports, and much more. Whatever your personal or professional interests might be, there is sure to be a place for you to contribute to the organization and grow the city. Besides the networking events at local restaurants and bars, the HYP sports league is extremely popular. Nearly year-round you can sign up for recreational sports like flag football, dodgeball, kickball and more. What could be more enjoyable then playing dodgeball against a team of Harrisburg tax attorneys?

HYP also hosts a number of special events throughout the year. They have both member-only events and also socials that are open to people interested in joining. One especially popular event hosted by the Harrisburg Young Professionals is the annual home tour, where members can visit beautiful homes and gardens of residents within the city. During the tour, attendees can see dozens of homes and enjoy an afterparty with food and drink as well. The idea is to showcase the city as a great place to live and this event surely succeeds! HYP has successfully attracted many new young professionals not only to visit the city, but actually move here. What an impact that has made!

The cost of joining HYP annually is just $40, quite cheap considering all of the benefits of membership! Along with great events and activities year-round members also enjoy a city passport entitling them to great discounts at local restaurants and businesses in Harrisburg. If you haven’t already joined, I hope you’re now sold on the benefits of HYP membership! Meet new people, have fun, and use your skills to support the city! There is certainly a lot of work to be done in Harrisburg, but you really can make the city a better place to live, work, and play by joining HYP. Visit HYP.org to learn more about the organization and how you can get involved!

Since moving to this area I’ve had a personal interest in seeing the region grow economically; after all, this is my home now! My personal commitment to growing the Harrisburg area is to invest my dollars locally as much as possible. I understand that may not always make sense, as some purchases are dependent upon convenience or price. Sometimes it’s also difficult to find the product or service you need locally.

My motto? Whenever possible, make your purchases local. That being said, start with the low hanging fruit (pun intended). The easiest products to shop locally for are fruits, vegetables, meats and milk. These items are as close as your nearest farm which in Central PA is usually just down the road. The next way to shop locally in the Harrisburg area is at restaurants. Next time you’re contemplating dining out, think to yourself, “is Applebees really deserving of my money?” Afterall, the company is headquartered in Kansas City, MO, and you know their food isn’t even good! Instead, look around and find a local substitute. The Central Pennsylvania area has an abundance of local ethnic restaurants, American restaurants, and standard diners by the dozens. These restaurants are owned by people who live and work here, who invest money locally and know their communities.

The importance of retaining dollars in your local economy cannot be overstated. According to StayLocal.org, “Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains.” Yikes!

There are lots of statistics and studies that back up the importance of shopping locally. One of my biggest arguments is that chain stores are just boring. It’s a simple argument but it’s also true! Have you ever been to a brand new town that has only chain stores with nothing unique about them? How did that experience compare with going to an old city somewhere that has a countless number of those amazing hole in the wall places only locals can tell you about? The experience you had was surely better there for obvious reasons!

In my humble opinion, the Harrisburg region has a long, long way to go in so many ways. That being said, I’m doing my small part to make this place better by buying locally. I hope you will too!

While Carlisle, PA isn’t terribly far from my home I don’t often head down there outside of work. Sometimes the whirlwind of daily routine can keep you from finding great things that are right in front of your nose! After staying late one day to finish up some research on CIP Compliance (everybody loves security compliance regulations and standards right?), I was surprised to see quite a commotion in downtown Carlisle on my ride home. Lots of people were walking into the square of Carlisle to an area where a number of tents and vendors had been stationed. Out of curiosity, I stopped in to see what event was going on there. Well, it just so happens that Farmers on the Square has been meeting every Wednesday in downtown Carlisle for months!farmers on the square, carlisle

Yea, completely missed that memo.

At any rate, these local vendors are fantastic! At the farmer’s market you’ll find a number of options for organic, pesticide free produce and meat. Among other things, you’ll also find fresh cut fries, honey, homemade birch beer, cookies, hot sauces, and lots more. I was amazed at the sheer volume of vegetable varieties. You’ll find way more types of tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies at Farmers on the Square than in your local grocery.  After sampling a number of local cheeses, hot sauces, and pickles, I ended up with a few bags worth of organic foods that turned out to be delicious. All of the vendors at Farmers on the Square are friendly and ready to help with any questions you might have. What I like best about the whole event is the focus on local. Why buy meats and produce from companies located in the midwest and beyond when central Pennsylvania is full of family farms?

You don’t have to go far to find good food here! Take a trip to Carlisle and check out Farmers on the Square every Wednesday beginning in May. If you’d like to learn more about the vendors or even be a vendor yourself there is loads of info on their website. They also have a learning center page, news section, upcoming events, and even volunteer opportunities. Check out Farmers on the Square, you won’t be disappointed!

Looking for a beautiful home for sale in Mechanicsburg? Look no further than Grantham Road less than one mile from the Messiah College campus and scenic Yellow Breeches Creek! If your ideal home is low maintenance, move-in ready, nestled in a quiet neighborhood and extremely affordable keep reading.

Home For Sale In Grantham, PA944 Grantham Road is a home for sale in Mechanicsburg that’s one of just eight units in Grantham Glen. Built in 1982 this lovely end unit is in excellent condition and absolutely move-in ready. You’ll be sure to enjoy the relaxing walk-out deck that receives full sunlight in the morning, and shade in the afternoon. The unit is a stone’s throw from a nearby stream, and less than a mile to Messiah College’s covered bridge, weight room, library, brand new (and stunning!) community theater, outdoor track, walking trails, computer labs, and more. Ideal as a home or a rental property, this Mechanicsburg home has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath, a washer and dryer conveniently upstairs, updated appliances, and both indoor and outdoor storage for all of your belongings. The downstairs is all tile flooring and every room has been recently painted. The location near Mechanicsburg’s Yellow Breeches Creek is also ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, fly fishing, and water tubing. Being part of Grantham Glen, the association handles grass, snow, trash, and the exterior of the building which really provides for low maintenance living. There’s also an open field and playground directly across the street for anyone with small kids. Mechanicsburg Home For Sale Near Messiah College

Another benefit of this home in Mechanicsburg is easy access to major highways. The condo is less than a mile from Route 15, and less than 5 miles from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Routes 83 and 81 are also nearby and Harrisburg is just a 15 minute drive away. The nearby borough of Mechanicsburg offers theater, dining, shopping, and entertainment. History abounds in the area as well from nearby Gettysburg and Carlisle. The estimated monthly payment to own this Mechanicsburg property is an incredibly low $389 principle & interest per month assuming 20% down and a 30 year mortgage at 3.75% APR. Whether you’re looking for a new home in Mechanicsburg or interested in a steady rental income this quaint condo has so much to offer!

To find more information and photos for this home for sale in Mechanicsburg, PA you can visit the Remax listing page and contact the Mechanicsburg Realtor listing the home. Schedule a showing today to see this beautiful home for yourself!

I’ve been in Harrisburg for about 10 years now (yikes!) and I sometimes forget about this area’s hidden treasures. There are a lot! Being that two of my biggest passions are eating great food and enjoying fine drink, downtown Harrisburg is a place I frequent quite a bit. I’m familiar with all of the restaurants and bars downtown, but perhaps too familiar because I often forget about the wonderful food and drink offerings the Harrisburg Hilton has!

Not only does the Hilton have the best brunch Harrisburg has to offer in their Raspberries restaurant, but they also have the Golden Sheaf restaurant for fine dining, the Patio for outdoor seating, the Bar for live jazz and Market Square Cafe for more casual meals. Have you tried these restaurants lately? They are all excellent. If you are a wine aficionado, definitely check out the Golden Sheaf for a mind blowing selection of world class wine. You probably didn’t know that the Golden Sheaf is Harrisburg’s only AAA Four Diamond restaurant and has won multiple awards from Wine Spectator for their wine selection. (If you’re not familiar with the area I can assure you this is a big deal for Harrisburg!)

Don’t underestimate the entertainment value of these venues either! The Patio is by far the best outdoor seating available in downtown Harrisburg, and what could be better than sitting outside and enjoying free jazz on a summer evening with a great craft beer, scotch, or martini?Hilton Harrisburg Patio

Also, if you’re looking for awesome special events in central PA the Hilton can certainly accommodate large parties or weddings, but actually puts on a number of their own special events that are definitely worth checking out. They have a winemaker dinner series every couple of months that highlights wine and food pairings from a particular part of the world, they occasionally do unique pairings like oysters with martinis, and they also have a number of outdoor events on the Patio through the warmer months as well.

The moral of the story here is get back to the Hilton Harrisburg! We’ve all been there at one time or another, but this place is always worth considering when you head downtown for a night on the town. They have different buffet offerings throughout the week at Raspberries, and also have fantastic deals for happy hour in Harrisburg. Did I mention they have free live jazz? I’m talking live jazz for happy hour every night! Really a fun venue and if you’re into great food and drink like I am you’ll surely enjoy any of the Hilton Harrisburg’s restaurants and bars.

Cheers!

If you’ve ever had a sports related injury or completed aquatic physical rehabilitation you very well may have dipped your toes into a therapy pool made by Middletown Pennsylvania based company HydroWorx International. The company’s advanced therapy pools are enormously popular with therapists, hospitals, clinics, and professional sports clubs all over the world. Not only do they feature a host of technological advancements like multiple depth floors, water treadmills, and deep tissue massage hoses; they have the research to back up their products. Elite athletes all over the world have made incredible comebacks from devastating injuries using the HydroWorx aquatic rehabilitation approach. Injured veterans, patients with neurological disorders, folks struggling with obesity, and elderly with balance problems have all used HydroWorx pools to improve their health. The company takes a research first approach which ensures all of their products are overwhelmingly supported with real data that has opened up partnerships for the company with elite organizations and athletes all over the world. hydroworx

One such athlete that has partnered with HydroWorx: 4 time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson.

Michael Johnson and Lindsey Anderson, the Director of Performance for Michael Johnson Performance, have teamed up with HydroWorx to offer a free webinar on Linear Speed Mechanics. The webinar is taking place on May 21st at 12:30pm EST, but if you aren’t able to attend HydroWorx does publish all their webinars to HydroWorx.com. For this particular webinar, participants will gain an understanding of linear speed training and also how to use aquatics to improve athletic speed. Coaches, trainers, and therapists will surely benefit from the insight and technique shared by the experts at Michael Johnson Performance.

My understanding is that Michael Johnson knows a thing or two about how to run fast, so make sure to check out this fantastic webinar! HydroWorx frequently offers top notch webinars about various aspects of aquatic training and therapy. Topics range from aquatic therapy for neurological disorders to creative aquatic programming ideas. The folks at HydroWorx truly are the aquatic experts, and they have the clients to prove it! HydroWorx plunge pools can be found in the training rooms of countless professional teams around the world, and a great number of university athletic programs have also added HydroWorx exercise pools to their facilities as well.

If you want to excel as a fitness or therapy professional, or would like to benefit from these amazing pools in your own home I definitely recommend visiting their Middletown, PA facility or visiting the HydroWorx website for more information!

This time of year I think everyone in the northeast is going a little crazy. The birds are chirping, flowers are popping up, and the weather can be snowy one day and summerish the next! Until this finicky transition to the sunny summer weather of southcentral PA is complete, it’s definitely time to consider a vacation!

From time to time I’ve written about day trips and such within easy reach of the Harrisburg area, but this trip is a little longer drive; call it an extended weekend trip. This extended weekend I’m recommending is to a small outfitter called Southeastern Expeditions that offers white water rafting in Georgia. True, this is an experience that’s definitely for the outdoorsy type, but they really do offer a lot of cool experiences even for folks less interested in taming the wilds of the Chattooga River. Besides rafting, SEE offers fun camping excursions, and you can also canoe or kayak the white waters in Georgia as well.

Chattooga River Rafting With Southeastern Expeditions

Don’t worry if you’ve never tried rafting, canoeing, or kayaking, they offer trips for different skill levels that start at different sections of the Chattooga River. I mean you can tell your friends anything you want, but ultimately the danger/excitement level is up to you. They do of course have professional photographers on site to take sweet pictures of you to show off as well. Just make sure to smile while you’re frantically trying to stay in the raft 🙂

To get a taste of what it’s like to raft the whitewaters of the Chattooga you can check out a ton of cool photos on Southeastern Expeditions website, or better yet find them on facebook for those classic candid shots. Some of the faces in those rafting photos are priceless! The one thing I especially like about this company is the staff; they are an exceptional bunch that really go out of their way to make sure everyone has a memorable experience (for the right reasons). If you have any questions about travel, lodging, rafting or whatever, just give them a ring and they’ll get you taken care of.

Aside from all the water, you can be sure that the end of day cookout along the Chattooga will be a blast! For some strange reason, nearly all of the guides double as expert grillers and are sure to prepare you a mean steak or locally caught trout. Great food, awesome staff, an incredibly memorable adventure and one more thing- they provide all of the gear! That makes it super easy for midstaters like us to get out and enjoy a fantastic extended weekend adventure without being weighed down by all of the details.

So get out and start an adventure, your extended weekend trip to the Chattooga River awaits!

Anyone have other extended weekend trip ideas for the greater Harrisburg area? Leave a comment below!

York, Pennsylvania is known for being home to countless names in manufacturing; York Barbell, Harley-Davidson, & American Hydro to name just a few. Industry IS the industry of the “White Rose City” just south of the state’s capitol Harrisburg. The history of manufacturing household names and industrial products alike runs deep throughout the city. One such manufacturer, Three M Tool, has become synonymous with wire baskets around the world. In fact, the company has a history of innovative manufacturing that dates back to the 1940s. Their metal baskets have been used for a wide array of industry applications and include a host of elite customers like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Exxon Mobile. wire-basket

Whether you need metal baskets for heavy industrial purposes, medical devices, or even food services, Three M Tool has you covered with their user friendly ordering website: AnySizeBasket.com. The site has a number of baskets all shapes and sizes ready for immediate shipment, as well as an easy to use tool that you can use to design your own basket. Hundreds of thousands of baskets have been produced locally in York, Pennsylvania, under the highest quality standards, most innovative techniques, and custom designs.

You may not realize it, but products from York, Pennsylvania are well known around the world for their quality and durability. The city is a powerhouse of metal engineering, fabricating, and innovation. The next time you need a durable basket, think first of Three M Tool & AnySizeBasket.com, think local!

AnySizeBasket