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Dickinson College to host forum on regionalism

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A fall forum at Dickinson College in Carlisle will explore the impact of regionalism in Central Pennsylvania.

The Oct. 15 forum hosted by the college’s Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues will look at how the business community is affected by regionalism, among other topics, organizers said.

The tentative forum title is “Regionalism in Pennsylvania: Is Bigger Better?” Harry Pohlman, executive director of the Clarke Forum, said it will consist mainly of a panel discussion.

“We do all kinds of events and a part of our mission is to have a degree of outreach to the local community,” he said. “The event on regionalism is one that we are sponsoring to serve the local community on a topic that we think is relevant.”

“Regionalism is frequently a topic of conversation and advocacy among the business community as a means of addressing market development issues and, at times, project approvals for new or expanding businesses,” Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger said in an email. “Understanding how the current system works, including the reasons it sometimes presents obstacles, is critical to finding the right solutions that balance the needs of businesses and their host communities.”

When it comes to economic issues, Cumberland County has experienced both sides of the regionalism issue. Ten years ago, commissioners broke away from regional economic development and tourism agencies and established what are now named the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. and the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Capital Region Economic Development Corp., part of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, continues to operate in Cumberland County with much success.

Founded in 1994 with a donation from Trustee Henry Clarke, the Clarke Forum presents an annual schedule of speakers, debates and forums designed to explore contemporary issues in greater depth.

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