Member News – June 21, 2017

Member News

 

Children’s Museum Hosts Special Needs Night

The Children’s Museum, 2 W. 7th St., Bloomsburg, will host Special Needs Night this Friday, June 23, from 6-8 p.m. Come to a fun night out for families with special needs. Enjoy a reduced number of visitors, space and freedome to explore at your own pace, adapted exhibits, a quiet area, fun craft and sensory activities and an opportunity to network with other families. Special Needs Night is a free event held quarterly. 

 

Three Members Honored on Forbes’ America’s Best Employers List

Three Columbia Montour Chamber members were recently recognized on Forbes‘ 2017 list of America’s Best Employers. This annual list is broken down by size into categories — mid-sized (1,000-5,000 employees) and large ( > 5,000 employees). Williams, U.S. Gypsum and PPL Electric Utilities were all ranked on the large list. Williams came in at #22, USG at #114 and PPL Electric Utilities at #172. 

 

U.S. Gypsum Wins Two Manufacturing Leadership Awards for Operational Excellence and Supply Chain Leadership

U.S. Gypsum, which is headquartered in Chicago and operates a manufacturing plant in Washingtonville, was recently recognized by the Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council with two prestigious awards. USG earned an award in the “Improving Operational Excellence” category for its Lean Six Sigma program achievements, and USG Mexico earned an awards in the “Supply Chain Leadership” category for optimizing its import logistics and distribution programs. 

 

MePush President Earns New Certification

Art Ocain, President and COO of MePush, recently earned a certification from Microsoft for “Implementing Microsoft Acure Infrastructure Solutions.” This certification is given to anyone who passes an exam, which validates a candidate’s ability to implement web apps, virtual machines, cloud services, storage, Azure Active Directory and virtual networks. 

 

Recent BTE Production Recognized and Profiled in Industry Magazine

The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s recent production of Gunpowder Joe was featured in last month’s issue of American Theatre, an industry publication. The play was about Joseph Priestley, who was recognized as being the person that discovered oxygen and who settled in nearby Northumberland after emigrating from England in the late 18th century. The play was written by Anthony Clarvoe, who also penned this piece, and who was the first outside writer to be commissioned a piece for BTE. 

 

Hamilton Dental Care to Host Open House at New Office Location

Hamilton Dental Care will celebrate the recent opening of its new location at 2 Audubon Court, Bloomsburg, with an Open House on Thursday, July 13 from 4:30-8 p.m. The public is invited to bring the family for a fun night of food and prizes. Attendees can tour the new office and meet the friendly staff. Kids will enjoy face painting and balloons by The Balloon Man, Lanny Lee.  Adults can register to win a variety of prizes and baskets.  All new patients that schedule during this event will receive a 50% savings off their new patient exam.  A door prize of free whitening will also be given away to one lucky winner. 

Welcome Just a Drop Essential Oil

More than 500 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, Just a Drop Essential Oil, to help us fulfill our mission.

Just a Drop is the business name for the local independent wellness advocate, Bloomsburg native Diana Leighow, that is affiliated with dōTERRA, a company founded in 2008 that produces and distributes, either directly or through its more than three million wellness advocates, Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils. CPTG essential oils are naturally occurring compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. Diana can be reached through email or phone at 570-849-0019. Also, check out Just a Drop’s Facebook page

State House Bill Seeks to Reduce Opioid Abuse

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry is urging employers to contact House members in their area early this week to urge support for H.B. 18, important legislation related to prescription drug and opioid overuse and abuse among injured workers in Pennsylvania, which the House is scheduled to consider Tuesday, June 20.

House Bill 18 would implement a prescription drug formulary – which are standard in hospitals, regular healthcare, Medicare and other public insurance programs – to help ensure appropriate patient care and address over-use of prescription drugs. The bill is necessary because Pennsylvania is facing a prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic, and seems to struggle particularly with respect to injured workers. As we reported last week in Sentinel, in a recent study of opioid prescriptions among injured workers in 25 states, Pennsylvania ranked third, with opioid use in the Commonwealth measuring 78 percent higher than the median study state. The flexible approach offered through H.B. 18 facilitates more efficient care for typical patients, allows exceptions for unique cases and addresses the outlier cases of over-prescribing.

Prior to a vote by the House Labor and Industry Committee last week, the PA Chamber and a coalition of business, medical, construction, energy and local government groups sent a memo to the committee urging support for the measure because it will help injured workers in Pennsylvania avoid problems too often associated with prescription drug use and get healthy and back to full function and employment as soon as possible.

Chamber Calls for Increased Child Care Funding

Following a $20 million cut to child care line items in the 2016-17 state budget, the spending plan passed earlier this spring in the House would reduce funding another $28 million. The proposed cuts would dramatically increase the waiting list for services and force families to make tough decisions on child care and possibly staying at home to take care of children. As proper child care and early childhood development have been shown to provide a solid foundation for developing social skills and life-long learning, the Chamber is asking Senate and House members to not only sustain, but consider increasing funding for child care.

Funding for child care is important for many reasons, including:

  • The proposed cuts to the Child Care Services and Child Care Assistance appropriations would eliminate services for more than 10,000 children and increase the waiting list for these services to 19,000 – the highest level in the state’s history. 
     
  • This funding supports child care subsidies for low-income working families, which allow parents to work while their children are in safe and stable child care. These cuts include:
    • a $10 million reduction that would negate the proposed expanded enrollment of 1,800 children on the child care waiting list;
    • the further reduction of $40.2 million in state funds that would mean the elimination of 6,885 children from the current program; and
    • a $12.7 million cut to the Child Care Assistance line item that provides for child care subsidies for families receiving TANF and SNAP and will potentially impact 2,018 low-income children receiving subsidies through this line item. 

The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $35 million increase for child care to begin to reverse this trend. Budget negotiations continue through June and both House and Senate leaders have said they will have a budget to the Governor by June 30.

Chamber Offers Support for Pipeline Project at DEP Hearing

On Tuesday, June 13, Chamber President Fred Gaffney issued comments in support of the Atlantic Sunrise Gas Pipeline Project at a hearing of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The hearing, held at the Bloomsburg High School, was specific to permits related to water obstruction and encroachment and erosion and sediment control. Pending approval of the permits, the project is expected to begin construction later this summer.

The Atlantic Sunrise Project, coordinated by Williams, will expand the Transco gas pipeline system with a new pipe approximately 185 miles long connecting the existing pipeline just north of Columbia County to southeast Pennsylvania. The project will allow more efficient transmission of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus natural gas. Construction will be divided into seven sections, and is expected to take one year. The economic impact for just Columbia County is estimated at $85.5 million.

The Chamber’s research indicates that modern pipeline technology provides among the safest methods of transporting natural gas. The Chamber Board previously passed a resolution supporting the expansion of Pennsylvania’s natural gas transportation and distribution pipeline infrastructure. Specific to this project, Williams has demonstrated its concern for property owners and the environment with the adoption of more than 400 route modifications affecting more than 60 percent of its original route.

More information on the DEP permit process is available on the agency’s website.

More information about the Atlantic Sunrise project is available here.