Why Johnstown?

Johnstown, PA lies at the confluence of the Conemaugh River and Stony Creek, 76 miles (122 km) east of Pittsburgh. Johnstown is the center of a dynamic area in southwestern Pennsylvania comprised of more than 60 townships and boroughs. Johnstown offers exciting performance spaces, new breweries, and a wide variety of outdoor activities to suit the needs of just about anybody. Creative entrepreneurs are making art in collective spaces like Bottle Works, learning and teaching skills at the Center for Metal Arts, and exhibiting their work at places like ArtHouse6.

This is the next chapter of Johnstown’s story. All that’s missing is you.


Click the button to apply for ACRE in Johnstown, PA.


Reasons To Be Here

Named one of Forbes
Magazine’s Best Small Places
for Business & Careers


Cost of living:

16% lower than

the national average


Avg. Housing Cost


A Low Cost of Living


32.8% less than

Pittsburgh, PA


34.1% less than

Philadelphia, PA


54.1% less than

Washington, DC


59% less than

New York, NY



Within 500 miles of 50% of the
US population and 60% of
Canada’s population


Pittsburgh, PA – 1h 27m

Philadelphia, PA – 4h 10m

Washington, DC – 3h 59m

New York, NY – 5h 10m

Cleveland, OH – 3h 23m

Columbus, OH – 4h 09m

Niagara Falls, ON, Canada – 4h 55m

Toronto, ON, Canada – 6h 07m

ACRE Johnstown Partners


JARI is a non-profit economic development organization that has been a devoted partner of the regional business community since 1974. Their experienced team works to assist companies of all sizes, from start-ups to mature businesses by providing loans, services, and connections to the right people in government, commercial lending, equity investing, real estate, and other regional, state, and federal economic development groups.


The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center for Arts is a dynamic organization operating two cultural centers on 3rd Avenue in the historic district of Cambria City in Johnstown, PA. With two amazing facilities that now include Jackie’s Garden Works Green Roof and the FNB Pop Plaza, Bottle Works is proud to be Johnstown’s art mecca where artists can exhibit, create, teach, and sell; musicians can perform; and visitors can explore, learn, and experience the arts.



Based in Johnstown and serving Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset Counties, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies envisions an inclusive and engaged culture of philanthropy that grows an abundance of resources with a perpetual impact in a thriving region. The CFA empowers everyone in our community to understand how their philanthropy can leave a lasting legacy in our region.


The City of Johnstown Entrepreneurship Center (COJEC) provides the resources needed to start, run, and grow a business in the City of Johnstown, PA. Services include co-working spaces for individuals and groups, small business training and coaching, and networking opportunities.


Startup Alleghenies helps aspiring entrepreneurs and emerging small businesses succeed by providing free coaching and a network of powerful resources in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset counties.


ACRE Johnstown Creatives

Past & Future

Johnstown was the site of a Shawnee and Delaware Indian village before Joseph Johns founded the town in 1800. Johnstown became the western terminus of the Allegheny Portage Railroad, a series of inclined planes whereby Pennsylvania Canal barges were transported on railway cars for 36 miles over the Allegheny Mountains (some of these inclines are still in operation).  In 1861, Johnstown’s steel industry developed the nation’s first blooming mill (used to reduce the size of steel ingots) and produced the first American-made steel rails. By 1873, Johnstown became a leading American steelmaking center. Today, Johnstown continues its legacy of entrepreneurial innovation and creation. Along with new businesses opening and a re-investment in the downtown area, the Center for Metal Arts has preserved the historic Cambria Iron & Steel forge shop where they offer world-class educational programs and residencies deeply rooted in the traditions and history of forging.