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Whether your family has resided in Somerset County for generations or you just moved in last week, no one is a stranger. Conversation is still an important part of life here and a handshake can still seal a deal.
Millions of visitors come to Somerset County every year, many to escape the rigors of daily life and to get reenergized in the mountains. The adventure seekers can take advantage of some of the best skiing in the eastern U.S., take a mountain bike ride or go hiking and biking on any of the region’s world-class trails, including the Great Allegheny Passage—tabbed by National Geographic’s travel editors as one of the top 10 places in the world to visit in the fall. Others can go whitewater rafting on the Stonycreek, named Pennsylvania’s River of the Year in 2012. Outdoor recreation in Somerset County is just our way of life.
Energy is a huge part of the economy in the county with activity in the coal, wind and natural gas industries. Manufacturing remains the number one industry and continues to grow throughout the county. Agriculture has always played a major role in the region and today it is still a huge part of the local economy. Somerset County grown and produced means quality.
Somerset County is home to the Flight 93 National Memorial honoring the brave passengers and crew of that fateful flight on September 11, 2001. Just down the road is the Quecreek Mine Rescue Site where nine miners were rescued after 77 hours trapped underground while the entire world watched.
There is something for everyone in Somerset County. It is simply a great place to live, work, play and do business.
Somerset County has established itself as the ideal place to live full time or part time. Whether you’re looking for an affordable starter, a glamorous resort home or anything in between, you’ll find it in Somerset County. Our location makes our region a wonderful place for a second home or mountain getaway, as Somerset County is only hours from major metro areas such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Columbus.
For those looking for small-town life or something in the country, an array of choices will assuredly meet your needs. The rural nature of the county and its scenic splendor make living in Somerset County like non-other. Options include something in one of our quaint trail towns along the Great Allegheny Passage or a quiet cabin on an area lake or stream.
Resort living has been on the rise, and more homes are being built to meet the demand. Possibilities range from comfortable townhouses and condo living to spacious and glorious single-family homes, all close to the action and amenities of the resorts. The abundance of choices also allows many people to experience resort life on different budgets. While year-round resort areas such as Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort head the list, there has been very definitive growth in smaller resort areas like Indian Lake.
Affordability is perhaps the best thing about living in Somerset County, along with the friendly nature of its people. The residents here support their friends, family, neighbors, churches, and local businesses.
Agriculture has always been an important part of the landscape of Somerset County. Many early settlers came to this roof garden plateau for its rich farmland, and agriculture is still a top industry in our county.
Dairy has always been the largest component of Somerset County’s agriculture but many other farm commodities are thriving in this county, including beef cattle, poultry, hogs, equine, sheep and goats, vegetables and fruit, greenhouse and nursery, and grain and hay operations. All together agriculture sales in Somerset County exceed $100 million for the local economy each year.
A segment of agriculture that has experienced a huge growth in Somerset County is the “locally grown and produced” items. Many products are available in the various farmers’ markets around the county and an array of local markets and stores. Besides the huge array of produce, meats, flowers, cheeses and other fresh products at these markets, there are now a growing number of jarred and canned products, such as green beans, beets, barbecue sauces, jellies, salsas, honey spreads, and more; the list continues to grow by the day. Also included in area markets are organic products as well as products grown and produced by the Amish community.
If Somerset County is known for one product, it would be maple syrup. Generations of maple syrup producers still use traditional methods to produce some of the finest maple syrup in the country, and maple syrup sales exceed $1 million annually. The maple season is celebrated each spring during the Pennsylvania Maple Festival in Meyersdale.
Residents of Somerset County know the greatness that comes from working together. We know that no farm is tended by a single set of hands, no factory is built by just one person, and no town is made without others to give it the essential element of connection that makes it our home. The Somerset County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) believes in the value of collaborative effort to build a strong, diverse economy supported by vibrant and engaged communities.
The SCEDC works to strengthen bonds between local business and civic leaders, regional development organizations, and government agencies. They facilitate cooperation between these entities, including member businesses and staff of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, community groups such as Somerset, Inc., the Somerset County Commissioners and other governmental agencies, and regional development authorities like Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission.
Somerset County offers a wealth of opportunities to bring high-demand jobs to attract skilled and educated employees to our area, sparking community regrowth and opening the doors to incalculable potential in every pocket of our county. The SCEDC works to help business, industry, government, and community build it together.
To learn more about the SCEDC, please visit www.scedc.net.
Close to a million bicyclists are drawn annually to the Great Allegheny Passage, part of the 334-mile rails-to-trails project connecting Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., and named by National Geographic’s travel editors as one of the top 10 places in the world to visit in the fall.
Skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities thrive at three of the top resorts in the eastern U.S., Hidden Valley Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, the latter of which features the highest vertical drop in Pennsylvania. There are also cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling trails throughout the county.
Whitewater rafting, paddleboarding, and kayaking have a strong presence in the area, including on the Stonycreek River, Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year. The county also offers a multitude of mountain bike trails from easy to expert. Fishing, hunting, boating, bird watching, geocaching, and camping are also popular pastimes and ways to unwind. Sporting clays has become a destination sport, as Somerset County now offers three unique and nationally acclaimed shooting sites.
Others enjoy hiking along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage. Area state parks offer numerous activities and recreational opportunities as well as comfortable cabins and pavilions for rent.
Teeing it up in Somerset County is easy with everything from nine-hole community courses to PGA-rated resort courses. ATV riding is also available at the area’s unique and challenging ATV parks.
Looking for more? Somerset County’s full slate of fairs and festivals celebrate the area’s culture, heritage, the arts, and the changing seasons that occur throughout the year. Cultural events also have their place in the county. The region boasts several small theaters and playhouses that offer everything from major productions to concerts and small-scale performances. Several art galleries showcase the talents of regional artists, and many may be surprised to learn Somerset is home to the National Museum of the Guild of American Papercutters.
Educational opportunities are available throughout Somerset County for those of all ages and levels of experience. The county is divided into 11 school districts. Pre-K and early childhood classes are also readily available throughout the county. Private school and religion-based schools are available as other options.
Somerset County is home to a branch campus for Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and also limited classes for Allegany College of Maryland. The newest addition to our education partners is the opening of a full-scale nursing program through Clarion University. The county will continue its quest to provide other education and training schools to its Somerset County Education Campus to address the county’s workforce needs. The region’s technical facility, the Somerset County Technology Center, continues to add increasingly popular adult education classes to its already large vocational curriculum for high school students.
For more information, consult the member section of this directory under “education” or visit our online membership list.
You’re never far from quality healthcare when you’re in Somerset County. The Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber, UPMC Somerset, and Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center are located in the northern, central and southern parts of the county. Each offers a variety of services administered by proven professionals.
The Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber, is a nonprofit, community healthcare provider dedicated to providing excellence in personalized, quality healthcare services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. Serving patients for more than 100 years with the highest level of quality care and customer service, the hospital utilizes the latest technology and an innovative caring philosophy. Additionally, the institute boasts the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center, Windber Hospice and a nationally accredited bariatric surgery center.
UPMC Somerset is a hospital with 111 inpatient beds, a state-of-the-art medical imaging department, a newly renovated ER, a laboratory backed by a full-service reference lab, accredited catheterization lab, inpatient psychiatric services and offers a full complement of wellness and rehabilitation programs, the new partnership will bring new innovative and state of the art services that will continue to increase the level of care for our residents.
Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center is an extension of the Cambria County-based Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, part of Duke Lifepoint Healthcare. This institute specializes in family and primary care. The new Conemaugh Somerset Outpatient Center provides onsite imaging services, primary care, cardiology, neuroscience, and urology services all under one roof.
Another significant player in the healthcare industry in Somerset County is the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber. The institute is a private, non-profit biomedical research institute that provides two distinct but complementary programs: translational research and health promotion/disease prevention. The research programs include breast cancer research and cardiovascular disease research.
In addition to these facilities, the county offers a MedExpress Urgent Care Center, as well as an array of other service providers, including chiropractic care, physical therapy and others.
Somerset County also offers several hospice and senior-living facilities.
Shopping in Somerset County is like taking a tour back in time when shopping was still about the quality of the products and personal, friendly service. The area features a vast array of specialty shops offering unique, one-of-a-kind merchandise or that perfect treasure alongside traditional items. Locally handcrafted goods and products are flourishing and are available at locations throughout the county. Antiques shopping lures visitors to the region, including for the Somerset Antique & Vintage Show, held annually the second Saturday of August on the streets of uptown Somerset.
The “growing” market in the county is the ever-increasing number of farmers and growers who are offering an array of fresh produce and other agricultural products. Many are expanding to a year-round approach, now creating canned and jarred products and selling them at various locations around the region.
Somerset County offers a wide variety of dining options ranging from traditional fast food chains to locally owned restaurants and elegant fine dining establishments. The options and quality of food have continued to grow at a rapid pace in the county to complement the increasing number of visitors coming to the region. Locally grown products are often utilized by many area establishments and can be purchased at one of the region’s many farmers’ markets.
A growing list of wineries, breweries, distilleries as well as bakeries and other confectioners complete the Somerset County culinary experience.