HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has proclaimed March as Women’s History Month in Pennsylvania to celebrate the many contributions of women in the state and promote continued gains in women’s leadership and entrepreneurship.
“Every day, women business owners embrace the entrepreneurial spirit by taking risks to achieve success,” said Corbett. “They strengthen the fabric of our commonwealth, and I champion the Pennsylvania Commission for Women’s goals of supporting our state’s women entrepreneurs as an integral part of Pennsylvania’s continued economic success.”
“Advocating and supporting women’s entrepreneurship will be a cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women,” said Maria Montero, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, or PCW.
“I have run a business and know the unique challenges that face many women in the workforce. I am passionate about helping develop and grow women-owned businesses and provide increased business opportunities.”
According to recent Census data, 27 percent of businesses statewide are owned by women.
“Considering women make up 51 percent of the state’s population, I hope PCW can make a major impact in educating, advocating and networking women to make their business ideas and plans a reality.”
Starting a successful business in Pennsylvania is about identifying a need and then meeting it, Montero said, pointing to the success of Amy Hancock. The Washington County resident did exactly that when she started AdvantageCare Rehabilitation.
“I saw an opportunity to provide long-term care facilities with a different option,” said Hancock. “Rather than the facility choosing between hiring and managing a team of therapists, at significant expense, or the facility contracting with a large national therapy company with decreased services and outcomes, I set out to offer long-term care facilities with improved contact therapy services that delivered improved patient outcomes.”
Hancock was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award because of the success and growth of AdvantageCare Rehabilitation.
Linda Stevenson, a bank senior vice president and a National Small Business Association Award winner, understands that starting a business just doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Stevenson is an advocate in providing the information and financial resources that women-owned businesses need to succeed.
“The resources we provide businesswomen will not only make a difference in their ability to profitably grow, but to the economy as a whole,” Stevenson said. “I’ve had the opportunity to see the transformation in the past few decades and the impact women are making in corporate America and I’m proud to be a small part of this transformation.”
Montero hopes partnering with the private sector and promoting key programs offered by Department of Community and Economic Development will help foster opportunities for businesses to grow, for communities to succeed and thrive and improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvania residents.
In honor of Women’s History Month, the PCW will host events and panel presentations in the Capitol focusing on building entrepreneurship and increasing civic engagement among women in Pennsylvania.
Editor’s Note: The text of Corbett’s proclamation follows:
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – March 2012
WHEREAS, The Women’s Rights Movement in the United States dates to the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848; and
WHEREAS, in honor of this movement, Pennsylvania seeks to extol the distinguished accomplishments of women in the commonwealth, both past and present, who have worked with vision and determination toward the progression of our citizens and communities; and
WHEREAS, women of every age, race, ethnicity and economic background have made historic and significant contributions to the growth and strength of our commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, every generation has women who have touched our commonwealth’s and nation’s history. Such women as Dorothea Dix, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, Betsy Ross, Louisa May Alcott and Violet Oakley paved the way for the new aspirations and dreams of all women; and
WHEREAS, all citizens owe an inexpressible debt of gratitude to the dedicated women of our nation for their invaluable contributions to their families, their communities, their country and our business and professional venues.
THEREFORE, In special recognition of the vision, action and determination that women from all walks of life have contributed to the advancement and development of our commonwealth and our nation, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth ofPennsylvania, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH in Pennsylvania. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to recognize the women who have left their imprint on the pages of history, as well as those whose leadership and vision will guide us into a future filled with hope, endless possibility and progress.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this first day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
TOM CORBETT, Governor