It was founded in 1956 by a group of community and civic volunteer leaders to promote economic development throughout Greater Hazleton, and today, CAN DO, Inc., is still led by a volunteer board of directors that guides the organization with a mission of improving the quality of life throughout the area.
Each year, new representatives join CAN DO’s board of directors to replace those whose terms have expired. And each year, CAN DO welcomes new representatives with an orientation that takes them behind the scenes and educates them about the many aspects of the organization’s efforts to attract new industries and new jobs to Greater Hazleton.
The CAN DO board is composed of nearly 100 volunteers. The new directors join in helping Greater Hazleton’s economic development organization make decisions that affect the organization and the area’s future.
During the recent orientation, the new directors learned more about CAN DO’s history, purpose and goals from CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell and Chairman Lew Dryfoos.
“CAN DO’s directors are appointed from a variety of community organizations, civic groups, government, schools and the Chamber of Commerce. We appreciate the unique viewpoint each individual director provides to this organization. I encourage all new directors to get involved with one of our committees in the CAN DO organization,” O’Donnell said.
He spoke to the new directors on the full scope of CAN DO, including the organization’s operating strategy, structure and governance, various committees, financial information and the importance of support from allies such as local governments, real estate brokers, site consultants and regional economic development agencies.
Also taking part in orientation were several high school students who serve as part of CAN DO’s Student Action Committee. “CAN DO has asked local high schools to appoint students to the committee for several years now. We know these students will learn a great deal of information about what economic development means to the community, as well as information on career opportunities in Greater Hazleton that they can pursue after graduation from high school or college. It’s our hope that they will share that information with their peers,” O’Donnell said.
At a later date, O’Donnell will lead the new directors on a tour of the industrial parks in Greater Hazleton, particularly Humboldt Industrial Park, which stretches more than 5 miles long and provides jobs for more than 8,000 people. They will learn about the economic development progress that has been made throughout the region and the economic impact of CAN DO’s industrial parks.