(TNS) -- One of the country’s top tech companies will visit Johnstown in two weeks, offering a workshop for local small businesses looking to boost their online presence.
Representatives from Pittsburgh’s Google offices will conduct the workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Artworks in the Cambria City section of Johnstown, including topics “Grow Your Business Online” and “Make Your Website Work for You.”
The workshop comes after months of collaboration on Cambria County’s Bridge to Pittsburgh initiative, which aims to strengthen the economic ties with Pittsburgh and connect Pittsburgh technology companies with skilled employees in the Johnstown region.
John Dubnansky, grant facilitator for the county, helped launch the initiative with federal grants to help cities such as Johnstown recover from recent defense industry losses.
Although Google typically doesn’t venture outside of its Pittsburgh offices to offer this kind of workshop, Dubnansky said the Oct. 16 event was made possible through those Bridge to Pittsburgh connections, such as the one established with the Pittsburgh Tech Council.
“It’s just another step in the right direction,” Dubnansky said, with potential for more regional workshops with Google if the first one goes well.
“It’s a really cool opportunity for us.”
Google’s Get Your Business Online program manager Emily Harris wrote in a press release issued by the Cambria County commissioners Monday that four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information nearby, but only about 37 percent of businesses have claimed their listing on a search engine.
“Small businesses are the engine of local economies and when they flourish, their communities do as well,” Harris says in the press release.
The workshop, which is free but will have limited space, is also being presented in part by the Greater Johnstown Cambria County Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President and CEO Mike Artim said providing small business owners the tools to reach customers through their websites and online platforms can lead to better sales and future hires.
Because of the reputation of Google and its capability to analyze web traffic and trends, Artim said the information presented during the workshop should be valuable for those who attend.
“They really know what works,” he said.
“People that literally wrote the book are coming in to do this workshop.”
Anyone who owns or works for a business is encouraged to attend, along with those interested in creating an online business.
Registration can be completed at the Cambria County Chamber of Commerce website – www.johnstownchamber.com – under the events section.
Registrations will be accepted until capacity is reached.
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