Hazleton-area businessman among those headed this week to South America.

Last updated: April 05. 2013 1:57PM - 3553 Views

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HAZLETON — Gov. Tom Corbett leaves this weekend for South America, where he will lead a delegation of state business, tourism and university leaders on a business development mission that will focus on creating new economic opportunities for job growth.

The head of global development for a Hazleton business will be among those accompanying him.

Tom Clark, of DBi Services, represents one of the 19 businesses from across the state that has paid a fee to make the trek. The $5,000 cost does does not include the commercial airline trip, food or lodging, Kelli Roberts, a spokeswoman for the governor, said. It pays for scheduling, receptions and for arranging meetings with potential companies in Brazil and Chile with which Pennsylvania businesses might be able to form relationships.

Companies joining the mission will receive personalized market intelligence and industry information, a customized schedule of pre-arranged, one-on-one appointments with business partners, in-country logistics assistance and consultations with trade experts before, during and after the mission to assist with all aspects of its business development strategy, the governor’s office said.

The three-city, two-country mission, privately funded by Team Pennsylvania Foundation, is scheduled for Saturday through April 16 and will include stops in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, along with Santiago, Chile. Pennsylvania first lady Susan Corbett, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker, Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway and Public Utilities Commission Chairman Rob Powelson also will be going.

Companies that will attend do not follow the same itinerary as the governor and will not have open access to the governor, Roberts said. But there will be times when their schedules will overlap and they will be at receptions he will attend.

For Corbett, Roberts said, the trip is a chance to have one-on-one meetings with companies that have a presence in the state and companies that are considering investing in the state. Corbett also will participate in events to promote tourism and will host alumni of Pennsylvania colleges and universities who now live in Brazil and Chile.

In addition to the 19 businesses, nine economic development and tourism groups and chambers of commerce will be a part of the delegation. None is from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“I am leading this delegation to Brazil and Chile to open new doors for economic growth and job creation and to keep Pennsylvania at the forefront of international business development,” Corbett said in a release.

Clark was out of the office Thursday and did not return a message seeking comment.

DBi Services provides infrastructure maintenance, operations and management solutions in North America, Europe and the Middle East for government agencies, utilities, private industries, railways, retailers and other infrastructure owners. It was formed in 1978 and employs 1,500 worldwide.

The company has been in the news lately related to a project in downtown Hazleton. A partnership between Neal and Paul DeAngelo of DBi Services and George F. Hayden of Hayden Electric purchased the Traders and Hazleton National Bank buildings on Broad Street last year and announced details for the $20 million project that would become the new world headquarters for DBi. The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently awarded $1 million for the project from the Local Share Account, which receives gaming money generated by casinos, including Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Paul DeAngelo, co-founder and president of DBi Services, is on the state’s casino exclusion list because he accompanied his underage son, Paul DeAngelo Jr., to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains Township on Jan. 2, 2011, and the two men entered the gaming floor and played blackjack and slot machines. The junior DeAngelo was only 20 at the time. State law state gamblers must be 21 or older.

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