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What it means here: No Free Enterprise Week in 2020

No Free Enterprise Week in 2020

The statewide board of directors of the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, which presents Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, voted in to cancel Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week 2020 this summer.

“With more than 2,000 students, 150 volunteers and 30 staff members from across the state scheduled to come together in Williamsport for this life-changing program, this decision was not made lightly,” a news release from the foundation said. “While this is certainly not how we envisioned our 42nd year of educating the youth of Pennsylvania to be, it is in the best interest of the health and safety of all of our respective communities to cancel.”

Each July and August for the past 31 years thousands of high school students and volunteers from across the state gathered on the campuses of Lycoming College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology to “learn, discover, and explore the magic of business and the American free enterprise system,” the news release said. “What makes PFEW such a unique and special program are the human interactions, collaboration of minds, college life experiences and the opportunity for students and business professionals to gather together, share ideas, learn and compete together. For our young people, it’s that personal interaction that allows them to truly understand the trials and tribulations of everyday business and life. … We are aware of the negative economic impact this will have on the City of Williamsport and our host campuses, and we share in the collective sadness, frustration and heartbreak this cancelation, and all cancelations, will cause to our participants and the wonderful people of Williamsport.”

“As someone who has been a supporter and volunteer for PFEW for over 25 years, I know the important role this program plays in the economic education of Pennsylvania High School students,” said Vincent Matteo, past president/CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and foundation board member, according to the news release.

“As the former President/CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce for over 18 years I also am aware of the positive impact running the program here has on our local economy. Canceling the 2020 program is a great disappointment. However, it is the correct decision and I am positive the program will return stronger and more impactful then ever in 2021.”

The news release said Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week will return to Williamsport in 2021 “bigger, better and stronger than ever. We can’t wait to share in the collective joy, excitement, and energy that will surely return to your businesses, the colleges, your community, and the great people of Lycoming County.”

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