Linda Thomson

Linda Thomson

Johnstown Area Regional Industries has joined a coalition, consisting of labor and business organizations, dedicated to modernizing the state’s energy infrastructure through private investment.

The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance supports developing pipelines as what it calls the safest mode for transporting natural gas.

“The reason we’re interested in being a member of this alliance is that it’s an opportunity to really have our name associated with development in Pennsylvania,” JARI President Linda Thomson said.

“As pipeline is developed, as the gas gets to the marketplace, it can really enhance our state and our region.”

The alliance is still in its rudimentary stage after its launch on June 8, so not a lot of specific plans are in place. It was founded by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 and Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Along with JARI, another group, the Mon Valley Progress Council, joined earlier this month.

Members hope they can work together to not only improve the infrastructure but also provide statewide economic stimulation.

“We want to create good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and harvest all the natural gas we have in Pennsylvania,” Abe Amoros, LIUNA’s Pennsylvania legislative director, said.

“This is an exciting opportunity because any time you get labor and business together it’s a win-win.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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