Danielle Bodnar believes Upper Bucks has a culture all its own.
Did you know culture derives from cultivation – planting and harvesting, farming, livestock, land stewardship and preservation.
Upper Bucks is peppered with tight-knit, hometown neighborhoods bound together by steadfast devotion to history and tradition making the region a one-of-a-kind place.
That’s why she loves it here.
As the new executive director of the UBCC, Bodnar said the region is known far and wide for its recreational assets: Lake Nockamixon, well maintained borough and township parks and trail systems, and gorgeous rural landscapes.
She wants Upper Bucks to be known for more: As a thriving commerce and business center, a leader in workforce development and attractive to skilled and professional workers alike.
“We have strong commerce already, great infrastructure and logistics, small mom and pop retail shops, and arts and culture, but a lot of people don’t know about it,” Bodnar said.
Her background from working with Senators Robert Mensch and former Senator Rob Wonderling give Bodnar a unique lens in helping shape legislation and public policy.
Public policy is the outcome of laws and regulations as well as administrative interpretations of those tools, to create legislation that impacts business owners and operators. “Public policy really is about relationships,” Bodnar said.
Bodnar left her position as vice president for government affairs with Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce to come to the UBCC.
She understands workforce development and is thrilled to work with educators and business owners to help forge relationships between emerging young talent and careers in industry and manufacturing.
“Skilled qualified employees to fill open positions, not in the future but today is the number one issue facing businesses,” Bodnar said.
Manufacturing and industry centers are located throughout Upper Bucks County.
The region is poised to become a talent funnel powerhouse with top quality programs offered by Upper Bucks County Technical School in Bedminster Township and educators serving Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown.
What’s more recruiting and retaining workers means healthy businesses continue to evolve and grow. “You have to look at all levels: How are you filling open jobs, how are you providing growth for your current employees and how are you positioned for the future,” Bodnar said.
Followed by health care, filling open jobs are the top two challenges businesses face across Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
Bodnar has served on numerous committees to further workforce development in the region, including the Manufacturing Council and One Stop Operator Workforce Board Lehigh Valley.
She understands the importance and values community service. She’s served on the Board of Directors of Quakertown Alive!, and volunteers with Pride of Quakertown, which helps fund access to extracurricular programs for underserved youngsters in athletics, music and arts.
Having lived in Upper Bucks County her entire life – Sellersville, Perkasie and Milford Township – Bodnar has sturdy roots here.
“I knew this was where I wanted to raise my family. The sense of community – safe and nurturing - a reasonable cost of living and hometown feeling a lot of places no longer have appealed to us,” Bodnar said.
She and husband Joe Bodnar settled in Milford Township 15 years ago. The couple has two children, aged 7 and 9.
Bodnar began as executive director on October 8th taking over from Tara King who retired from the UBCC on October 5th.
King served nearly two decades; the past seven as its executive director.
“I want to continue building on the fantastic work Tara has done,” Bodnar said.
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