Career Center students tour Kronospan Clarion Industries

Those in attendance at the Manufacturing Day event held on Oct. 2 at Kronospan - Clarion Industries are (front row - from left) Robert Zaruta, Northwest Industrial Resource Center, state Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-63), group of Clarion County Career Center construction technology students, Christian Schweitzer, operations director of Clarion Industries and Plant Managers, Tim Reitz (laminates) and Jim Confer (boards) and Controller, Jared Beggs (far back).

Career Center students tour Kronospan Clarion Industries

SHIPPENVILLE State Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-63), along with Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) President Robert Zaruta and students from Clarion County Career Center (CCCC), recently toured Clarion Industries in recognition of Manufacturing Day.

Plant Managers, Jim Confer of the boards department and Tim Reitz of the laminates department led the group through the facility focusing on automation at the sites and the wide-array of job opportunities throughout both plants.

Confer stated that he started at the company years ago as a sander, and is now the manager of the Boards Plant. Operations Director, Christian Schweitzer, and Controller, Jared Beggs, also contributed to highlighting the company and answering the student's questions.

The company currently has approximately 246 employees and Beggs noted they often promote within so there are many opportunities for advancement and learning new skills.

Paula Davis, student services director at CCCC, brought along a group of students from the construction technology program. These students were able to see first-hand how the skills they are learning apply to a career at the company.

"In order for manufacturers to grow and thrive, we need to ensure that the next generation is ready. The relationship between the Career Center and Clarion Industries not only exposes students to careers in manufacturing, but it also helps to prepare them for the world ahead of them," Oberlander said.

"Since earlier this year, we have spent a great deal of time at the state Capitol developing and passing policies that will assist job creators such as manufacturers and ensure that programs are in place so that our future workforce is equipped with the skills and training they need."

Oberlander, who chairs the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Caucus, also worked at Clarion Industries earlier in her career. "NWIRC arranged several tours this month because our mission is to help small to mid-sized manufacturers in our region grow and become more competitive. Part of that is spreading the word about great career opportunities in our own backyard," said NWIRC's Zaruta.

More information regarding this event can be found at