The Bedford County Chamber Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. It was organized on August 1, 2000 to establish a scholarship fund for employees of local businesses and community organizations to further their professional development and community leadership, including, but not limited to Leadership Bedford County.

The Foundation was also created to fund community efforts such as planning, development, and educational projects, which will directly stimulate economic development in areas within rural Bedford County.

Although originally formed to support Leadership Bedford County efforts, the educational projects component took on much more significance with the implementation of BASICS (Businesses And Schools Investing in Cooperative Solutions) and Youth Leadership Bedford County.  These efforts brought with them the opportunity to apply to be a Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Organization. That was accomplished in February 2002. Corporations can now make contributions to the Foundation and receive Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC.)

EITC funds must be used for innovative educational programs that are advanced academic or similar program that is not part of the regular academic program of a public school but that enhances the curriculum or academic program of the public school.

Click here to learn more about the state’s EITC Tax Credit Program for businesses.

Chamber Foundation

Bedford County Chamber Foundation programs focus on several important areas of education including leadership, career exploration, workforce development, literacy, and work ethic.

children in a classroom

Leadership Programs

For one day a month over a 10-month “course”, class members join with fellow servant-leaders-in-training to learn and experience vital aspects of the Bedford County Community. Leadership Bedford County members foster relationships with classmates, class participants, and community leaders – all influential in their areas of expertise. They learn more about Bedford County’s historic successes and future challenges. They gain an appreciation for the cultural, business, educational, political and social elements that make Bedford County such a dynamic community.

Click here to learn more about Leadership Bedford County!

Youth Leadership Bedford County is a 10-month journey for no more than 25 tenth grade students from Bedford County school districts. After applying during their freshman year, the selected students gather for a summertime retreat, and then meet one school day per month to explore various aspects of the Bedford County community. Sessions focus on topics such as: History & Heritage, Communications, Education, Economic Development, the Judicial System & Government.

Click here to learn more about Youth Leadership Bedford County!

The traditional Leadership Bedford County program is considered one of the most valuable ongoing programs of the Bedford Country Chamber of Commerce. With more than 300 graduates having experienced the unique educational events, tours and team-building activities of LBC, representing dozens of local companies, the Bedford County Chamber Foundation is pleased and excited to present this next chapter of Leadership experience, XLBC (Extreme Leadership Bedford County.)  Programs are held once or twice each year, providing opportunities for networking, self exploration, community tours and service projects.

Workforce & Literacy Programs

Bedford County BASICS (Businesses And Schools Investing in Cooperative Solutions) spreads information about career opportunities in Bedford County and the surrounding area to students, parents, and teachers. By doing so, the program hopes to provide students with the knowledge they need to make well-informed decisions about their careers.  Events include: Business Community Showcase Jr/Sr High Career Fair, 5th Grade Career Field Day, 7th Grade Agriculture Career Fair, Steps to Success (first job seminars and fair), Touch a Truck (elementary career fair), Educator in the Workplace business tours, virtual business tours and more.

Suggestions Welcome! Every year BASICS works with both the schools and businesses to evaluate the current programs and develop other programs that we feel will most benefit the county students with career development. The BASICS steering committee is always open to feedback and ideas that will either continue or better improve our current programs.

The Bedford County Chamber Foundation is pleased to present Community Reading Day to all elementary schools throughout the county annually in April. Community leaders, representing Bedford County Chamber of Commerce member businesses, volunteer each year to read and present books to more than 2500 students in 100+ classes, Pre-K through third grades.

The literacy program, which has been offered by the Chamber for more than a decade, is designed to help students appreciate the value of reading as well as gain exposure to various businesses as the volunteers visit their classrooms.

The Chamber Foundation is committed to weaving D/E/I messaging throughout all of our educational programs. It is vital to the future success of our students and the efficacy of our future workforce that students (our future leaders, employers and employees) value and celebrate differences in our society; commit to making all feel invited, welcomed and valued; and work together to create opportunities for all.

Chamber Foundation Fundraisers

The John Anderson Distinguished Speaker Series, named in honor of one of Bedford County’s most innovative early community leaders,  is designed to raise much-needed funds for Foundation programs while also offering educational and inspirational events for the business community of the Bedford County region.

Unique and fun small-group dinners, perfect for friends and family, to benefit the Chamber Foundation.  Italian Trattoria family-style meals offer a wonderful culinary experience in an elegant (but casual) environment – four courses.  Click here to learn more about our next event, or call the Chamber for Details: 623-2233.

A drive-thru holiday light display, presented over the holidays (Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas) at the Bedford County Fairgrounds. More than one mile of displays with tens of thousands of lights – the installations are dreamed up and designed by more than 100 businesses, organizations, school groups, churches and families. Donations/admission benefit the programs of the Chamber Foundation.  Call the Chamber to participate by sponsoring the event, reserving a spot to place your display, or to volunteer.