Congratulations to All the Chamber Award Recipients

The 2013 Annual Dinner , sponsored by PPL Corporation, was held at the Rolling Pines Golf Course last Thursday, February 7th. This year’s event was the most highly attended Annual Dinner to date with 250 people in attendance.

The Chamber elected board members and honored the service of Rudy Singh, who has served on the board for 8 years. We also reviewed the activities of the past year and previewed the year ahead.

Each year the Chamber recognizes businesses and an individual that go above and beyond in the community. We presented 5 awards this year to deserving members of the Chamber:

Small Business of the Year, Old Forge Brewing Company

Business Longevity, Al’s Men’s Shop

Large Business of the Year, Berwick Offray LLC

Community Progress, Turkey Hill Brew Pub

Outstanding Citizen, Bette Grey of Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine

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For more pictures of the Annual Dinner and Awards visit the Chamber’s Facebook Page.

Thank you again to all of those that attended this great event and if you weren’t able to make it we hope to see you next year!

A big thank you to the businesses that chose to sponsor the Annual Meeting and Awards.

EVENT SPONSOR:

PPL Corporation

AWARDS:

Outstanding Citizen of the Year- Berwick Industrial Development Association Small Business of the Year- First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Large Business of the Year- Columbia Alliance for Economic Growth Community Progress- Berwick Hospital Center

HOSPITALITY:

United Water Pennsylvania , Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, InnoTek Computer Consulting, MetroCast Business Services, Geisinger Health Plan

JobGateway Website Offers Free Employee Search Tools

The PA Dept. of Labor and Industry has updated its statewide job search website to make it easier for employers to post a job, connect with candidates and manage referral lists. JobGateway now features an employer portal designed to optimize the user experience. Employers can register to use the site free and anyone receiving UC benefits must register with the site to demonstrate active work search.

JobGateway was launched in July, 2012 after it became apparent that the labor-exchange component of the Commonwealth’s system was very limited and had fallen behind in this increasingly mobile and technologically advanced society. JobGateway was developed in order to modernize the way in which job seekers find family-sustaining employment and employers find the skilled candidates that they need to remain competitive in this economy. Utilizing a phased approach, enhancements and improvements to JobGateway will continue to be incorporated. Some of the enhancements for employers launched last week include:

– Manage all of your candidate-search activities in one location through a new dashboard;
– Connect to candidates during the search process;
– More options to search based on a candidate’s location;
– Filter candidate referrals by education, job type, location, occupation and salary;
– Sort candidate referrals based on the number of candidate profile elements that match your job posting.

Visit www.jobgateway.pa.gov to see first-hand how you can find talent utilizing these new features.

Employers with questions can contact the Columbia/Montour CareerLink office for assistance at 387-6288.

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Bloomsburg Town Council Tables Vote on Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance

On Monday, January 7th, Bloomsburg Town Council agreed to table voting on a proposed ordinance which would regulate “obstructions” after the Chamber and Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. expressed concerns. Both organizations and several other businesspeople in attendance felt an ordinance is unnecessary and would deter business growth in the Downtown. DBI with work with the Town to better promote existing guidelines and with businesses to address concerns over the next few months.

The ordinance would increase regulation of “obstructions” in the sidewalk rights-of-way in the “Downtown area”, which the ordinance defines as Main Street from West to East and East from Main to 7th Street. The ordinance would replace current guidelines which are in effect. The Chamber’s Board of Directors sent a letter to Council in late December urging them to table the ordinance and work with Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., the Chamber’s subsidiary, to address this issue in a collaborative and positive way. Chamber President Fred Gaffney expressed to Council that a possible daily fine of $25 to $600 would be perceived as a threat to businesspeople looking to invest in the Downtown.

Following considerable discussion, Council agreed to table discussion until the April meeting of the Town’s Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. In the interim, DBI will obtain the existing guidelines from the Town, distribute them to all businesses in the Downtown and discuss specific areas of concerns with those business owners.