What’s up next for our local hospitals?

How does the local real estate market look?

And why would a young professional leave Charlotte, N.C., to come home to Johnstown?

You can find the answers to all of that and more in today’s special section, Vision 2013.

It’s The Tribune-Democrat’s annual progress edition, which looks at business and industry. This is actually the second of the two-part series.

Last week’s section included stories on how companies in our region are blending the past with the technology of the future.

While the economic news we hear is often depressing, there are plenty of things to be optimistic about in Vision 2013.

The expansion of the four-lane portion of Route 219 South could put many businesses on the road to success, while trucking company Fast Freight Expeditors of Windber grew more than 25 percent last year.

Our local colleges and universities are growing, both in terms of students and faculty members, as well as in the opportunities they offer.

Farmers were all ears in last week’s edition, which included a story about how high corn prices have them planting more and feeding fewer kernels to their cows.

This week’s section takes a look at health care, which continues to become increasingly important for us. Local hospitals saw expansions in the past year in terms of services offered and upgraded technology.

And, despite what you might have heard, the real estate market is improving, according to regional experts.

We talked with established entrepreneurs about how they found their niche and young ones who are still discovering their way in the business world.

We found groups that offer help to startups and spoke with young professionals about what our area has to offer.

But the 14-page section, which also includes business profiles, isn’t the only place in today’s paper that you’ll find information about how our companies are doing. The front page includes stories about how Cambria County War Memorial Arena is faring under its relatively new management, and how events such as Thunder in the Valley impact our region.

The business section looks at why automobile dealers are revved up about the future, while the sports section examines how the Johnstown Tomahawks junior hockey team was a hit in its first season, both on and off the ice.

The goal of Vision 2013 is to provide a snapshot of the local business climate, both now and in the future.

And while we acknowledge that it could be a little brighter, we like a lot of what we see.

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