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York leaders showcase area to German businesses

Katie Lentz, YCEA executive vice president, speaks with a group of German visitors recently in York. - (Photo / Submitted)

York County business and tourism leaders are always glad to showcase their area to outsiders, who may be seeing for the first time what the White Rose city and county have to offer.

Especially when the visitors are from a little farther away, such as Germany.

A dozen business leaders from near Berlin took a day-long tour of York in late April, making valuable contacts for both the Germans and the Yorkers – and possibly paving the way for future business partnerships, York County Economic Alliance officials said.

YCEA officials, with assistance from World Trade Center Harrisburg, said they were able to introduce York-area business Klinge Corp., a world-leading manufacturer of refrigerated transport containers, to officials from one German company, UNITAX Pharmalogistik GmbH.

“Making a connection for Klinge Corp. to do business with a new client would be considered a great success,” noted Katie Lentz, YCEA executive vice president.

During the German group’s day-long visit, the ZAB Brandenburg Economic Development Board presented information about their region, and South Central Pennsylvania economic leaders did the same.

A reception with local businesses at the downtown York shared-office space CoWork 155, on West Market Street, followed.

There were 11 German guests and two organizers, one from Germany and one from Philadelphia, representing the following companies:

— IBAR-Systemtechnik GMbH, electrical engineering, automation and robotics, energy control centers.

— GridLab GmbH, research and training center for power systems security, energy industry.

— BioRepro GmbH, pharmaceuticals.

— The Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Potsdam.

— International Software Quality Institute GmbH, software, certification provider and consulting.

— UNITAX – Pharmalogistik GmbH, pharma logistics.

— bauWerk, engineering.

— Alexander Schuke Orgelbau GmbH – musical instrument builder and restoration.

— ZAB Brandenburg Economic Development Board.

— And the organizers, AHP International GmbH & Co. KG and the German American Chamber of Commerce.

The German visitors, who spent a night at York’s historic Yorktowne Hotel and took a walking tour along Market Street, York’s former “Department Store Row,” also heard reports from regional economic development officials David Black, president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp., and L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp.

The German visitors, who toured other parts of the eastern U.S., spent nearly a week in the States.

But not all of them. One business owner said he and his wife were not flying home immediately after the trip, but instead were going to Miami to avoid, at least briefly, “going back to the cold at home,” he said, in English, during the visit to CoWork.

The YCEA usually entertains several delegations during the year, its officials said. “Between our overseas contacts, U.S. partners, (the) World Trade Center organization and the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development, many groups come to Pennsylvania,” Lentz explained.

“If the industry mix in our region is a fit, we are contacted to host some type of event,” whether a meet-and-greet reception, company tour or individual matched meetings with local companies, she added.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at [email protected].

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