Kathy Manderino

Kathy Manderino, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry secretary, speaks during the Johnstown Area Regional Industries’ annual luncheon on Thursday.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino was listed as the keynote speaker during Thursday’s Johnstown Area Regional Industries’ annual luncheon. But, more than just talking, she came to Mount Aloysius College’s Bertschi Center and Technology Commons to listen.

Manderino, a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, met with local business leaders and elected officials to learn about Cambria County’s economic climate.

“One of the things that I learned during my tenure as an elected official is you learn the most when you keep your mouth shut and you listen,” Manderino said. “So, even though today I was the guest speaker, one of the reasons I walked around the room beforehand was just to meet folks and get a chance to hear what’s on their mind. I had a nice opportunity to talk to folks before I got here to understand the needs of Johnstown. I just think that people on the ground know the best what they need, and it’s our role to listen.”

Manderino promoted Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget.

She also listened as JARI President Linda Thomson provided a 2014 year-in-review address.

“During the last year, we served over 400 clients with our services, which assisted in the creation of over 400 jobs and the retention of almost 2,400 jobs,” Thomson said.

“Ninety-one companies from our region received financing assistance.”

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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