Erie Chamber Blog
Thursday August 30,  2018
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Your Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership is all about business! We love supporting not only local business but anything that educates our youth about business and future employment opportunities right here in Erie County. That’s why for years we’ve supported Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). This award-winning program teaches students to understand and celebrate our American private enterprise system and provides a unique, hands-on learning experience that helps students develop the vital skills businesses need to succeed. This summer, 167 students from Corry, Erie, Fairview, Girard, Harbor Creek, McDowell, North East, Northwest PA Collegiate Academy, Seneca, Union City and Villa Maria Academy high schools joined over 2,000 students from across the state to participate in the 40th annual PFEW summer program recently concluded in Williamsport.

At PFEW, students form management teams of approximately eighteen students and run their own manufacturing company, competing against other student companies. Throughout the week, world-class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics germane to the business world and their personal and professional development. It is not only a powerful educational experience, it can be positively life-changing. Here are several quotes from local students who attended this year’s program:

“After going to PFEW and having one of the best and most influential weeks of my life… This is a highly unique and beneficial experience you can’t find anywhere else.” Daniel Rutkowski, Fairview High School

 “About one day in, I realized PFEW is far more than a resume addition, far more than your usual business camp. PFEW is truly the experience of a lifetime, and I could not be more grateful that I was able to go.” Katelyn Salva, Villa Maria Academy

“I’ll admit that this has been one of the most rewarding and touching experiences of my life. Whether or not one plans to go into business, I think the camp is a fantastic experience.” Abigail Lucas, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy

“PFEW gave me the amazing chance to meet so many wonderful and passionate people. From the other students to the advisors to the speakers, I learned a lot about myself, others and the world around me.” Emma Deitz, McDowell Senior High School

The program is taught entirely by volunteer practitioners from the PA business community, and each year, over 200 volunteers are needed to put on this world-class program. Students attend via a $625 scholarship donated by a local business, foundation, civic organization or individual. This year, 82 Erie County organizations provided scholarship support for their local students to attend. To get involved as a donor or volunteer, or to discover more about PFEW, visit their website at, or call Scott Lee at 814-833-9576.

  • free enterprise week
  • business community
  • students

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