Oil Region Alliance

History of the Oil Region

National Heritage
Area Designation

National Heritage Area
Management Plan

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The Oil Region Alliance
Board of Directors
Link to Oil Region Alliance Website

The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. While this name became effective in January, 2005, the roots of this organization began with its incorporation in 1957. Today, the territory served by the Oil Region Alliance includes all of Venango County, borough of Hydetown plus Oil Creek Township and the City of Titusville in eastern Crawford County in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.

The mission statement reads: “Our mission is to increase the prosperity and population of the Oil Region through the preservation, promotion, development and support of destinations within the Oil Region. Whether they are historical, educational, natural, recreational, residential, commercial or industrial destinations, we must entice people to live, work, learn and play in ‘the valley that changed the world.’” This ambitious and unusually broad mission statement reflects the history and wide-ranging methods of this recently restructured member-driven corporation.

Within Venango County, discussion of economic development consolidation was sparked by the release of a consultant study in early 2003. The study’s conclusion was dire -- our rapidly aging and declining population could not continue to carry our ever-increasing tax burden. Our disparate and duplicative development and promotion efforts were not yielding the growth we needed. Also, the study concluded that all of northwestern Pennsylvania was invisible in the highly competitive business of attracting new industry and opportunity to our area.

Only by working together within the county and the region can we change our future. Four well-established non-profits merged early in 2005 to comprise the new Oil Region Alliance: Venango Economic Development Corporation; Oil Heritage Region, Inc.; Oil Heritage Region Tourist Promotion Agency; and Oil City Community Development Corporation.

ORA has been designated by federal legislation as the administrator of the Oil Region National Heritage Area. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has further designated ORA as the lead economic development agency serving Venango County, the official tourist promotion agency serving Venango County, and the administrator of the Pennsylvania Oil Region Heritage Park. These dual designations enable ORA to tap multiple public and private resources to package assistance to achieve the corporate mission.

Today the functions provided by the Oil Region Alliance through its Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, members, and contractors are quite diverse. The activities and programs are intended to offer flexible solutions while helping the area’s businesses, municipalities, and residents experience sustainable development and enhancement, without losing sight of the unusual legacy of being the birthplace of the world’s petroleum industry. Please refer to www.oilregion.org for a more complete description of current functions and opportunities available under the auspices of the Oil Region Alliance.



Note: The ORA Heritage Advisory Council meets on a regular basis at rotating locations. Please contact the ORA office for specific information on meeting times and locations.