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By Spencer Myers

It has always been Pennsylvania Business Central’s pleasure to welcome the new year by honoring 100 organizations in our readership that continue to strengthen our region’s B2B marketplace.

This year, we saw a record amount of nominations come in from every corner of our readership. While this makes it harder for us to decide on the final 100, it lets us rest easy in knowing that the final list better represents the businesses serving our readership.

The companies and organizations were selected based on three core components: consistent growth, commitment to honest business practices and community giving.

Simply put, the company or organization must be an asset to the community. Sometimes that stems from a commitment to charity and volunteering, as you’ll find with companies that require volunteer hours or organize charitable events. Sometimes its from creating a strong base of employment for a region, as you’ll find with the large manufacturers, healthcare networks and financial centers featured. Or sometimes it’s from attracting other businesses to the area by maintaining, as you’ll find with chambers of commerce and other area associations.

When put together, all three kinds of organizations are responsible for and proud of growing the economy of the Commonwealth, and that is what makes them a Top 100 Organization.

When crafting the profiles for this edition, we asked each company or organization what they felt their responsibility to their community was and what they consider to be their proudest moment. Interestingly enough, the answers to both questions often aligned. The old adage goes, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I think this year’s Top 100 Organizations proves that being proud of fulfilling your responsibility to the community is an important component of that love.

Although, as in years previous, we feature a few promising, emerging start- ups, I view this edition as a chance to honor the established institutions in our readership that provide that bedrock for the entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow up out of. The manufacturers that prove, “yes we do still make things in America” and the community banks that prove the financial sector can care about the people it does business with.

We hope that the final list represents the wide array of businesses and organizations that keep our state moving forward.

Looking forward, the editorial team at the Pennsylvania Business Central, along with the Marcellus Business Central and Women in Business, is excited to continue to be at the center of it all. 

2017-02-24 / Top 100 Organizations

The Learning Lamp and Ignite Education Solutions

Est. 2003

The Learning Lamp is one of the region’s leading providers of children’s services. Founded in 2003, it gives children of all abilities and income levels equal access to high quality academic support so that they may reach their full potential. The organization has since grown to include Ignite Education Solutions, which partners with schools to meet staffing needs and provide assistance to students with disabilities. The Learning Lamp served 30,711 children from 57 school districts and 53 non-public and private schools, along with other organizations in 17 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland in 2015.

The children’s services provider is proud of moments big and small and is proud to be one of only 51 nonprofits in the commonwealth certified through the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organization’s Standards for Excellence Program.

The Learning Lamp offers programs including: one-to-one tutoring; after school programs; portable classrooms aimed at building math and science skills; alternative education programs for at-risk students; evidence-based prevention programs; online learning and credit recovery; SAT preparation; educationally-focused child care; literacy-based preschool programs; and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

The Learning Lamp also organizes the annual Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown, which was selected as a ‘Best of the Best’ arts project by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The organization hopes to launch a children’s makerspace in 2017 to inspire creativity, build interest in math and science, and foster problem-solving skills for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

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