Member News – April 4, 2018

Member News

  • North Branch Group/Thrivent Financial is seeking an office assistant to support the team at its Bloomsburg office located at 417 West Main St. Responsibilities includes handling incoming telephone calls,, routine administrative duties, and more. For more information, see the job description, or contact Kerry Maurer at 570-317-2111 or email

 

  • The Borough of Danville’s spring newsletter is now available. In it, you’ll find the President’s report that details some of the Borough’s efforts at flood insurance cost mitigation through the creation of a Flood Resiliency Task Force in conjunction with SEDA-COG, as well as additional information on flood awareness. Also, find information on upcoming events in the Borough throughout the spring and summer, such as the annual Spring Fling on Saturday, May 5. 

 

  • Overall construction is more than 50% complete on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project, a nearly $3 billion investment by Williams in Pennsylvania. The project is currently on schedule to be completed and have affordable, reliable and locally-produced natural gas flowing through by the end of this summer. The latest edition of the Atlantic Sunrise Construction Newsletter for our region (Schuylkill, Northumberland and Columbia counties) is now available, which contain more detailed construction updates and much more. 

 

  • Bloomsburg University will holds its third annual Advocacy, Connections and Empowerment for Older Adults Career and Community Expo tomorrow, April 5, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the lobby area of the 2303 auditorium in the McCormick building. The purpose of this expo is to connect undergraduate students from a variety of majors to professionals who work to meet the needs of and provide services to older adults. Following the expo, there will be a presentation by Amanda Cavaleri at 6 p.m. in the 2303 auditorium. Cavaleri is a entrepreneur from Colorado that is changing the landscape of careers in aging. Her current project is called “Connect The Ages,” whose mission is to “build multimedia awareness tools and grassroots campaigns to help younger generations see and experience the value in older generations and to bridge the gap between educators and students and the demands of an aging America.” Light refreshments will be provided. There is no cost to attend, however registration is required by contacting Mary Jo Larcom by email or phone at 570-389-4479. 

 

  • Geisinger Health Plan and the Columbia-Montour Aging Office, Inc. will team up to bring “A Matter of Balance,” an award-winning program, to the area for a series of presentations in April and May. This program for older adults and is designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. It is available to the public at no cost and will be held each Monday, beginning next Monday April 9 and running through May 21, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community, located at 1707 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11), Danville. The program will also be held on Tuesday, May 29 due to Memorial Day, and this will be the last class. Attendees will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercise to increase strength and balance. Registration is required, and to do so, call the GHP wellness team at 866-415-7138. 

 

  • Montour County, the Borough of Danville, and Child Care Information Services of Columbia, Montour & Northumberland Counties will celebrate the Week of the Young Child on Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Montour County Courthouse on Mill St. in Danville. The commissioners and mayor of Danville will read a proclamation of WOYC, there will be a reading of the children’s book My Cousin Momo by Zach O’Hara, and musical entertainment by “The Singing Mailman.” WOYC is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to raise awareness and advocacy surrounding the importance of early childhood programs and services.

 

  • The Bucknell Small Business Development Center will offer a First Step Workshop on Wednesday, April 11, from 1-3 p.m. at Service 1st Federal Credit Union, located at 1985 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11), Danville. This “pre-business” workshop is intended to assist potential entrepreneurs that are considering starting a business but might not know where to start. Attendees will learn about legal structure, selection a location, licenses and forms, insurance needs, business planning, small business taxes, hiring employees and more. Cost is $25 for each workshop, and those interested can register online or by calling 570-577-1249. 

 

Saxophonist Melissa Aldana.

  • Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana will perform on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby at the Weis Center For the Performing Arts. This performance is free and tickets are not required. Aldana is an acclaimed tenor saxophonist and native of Chile that NPR referred to as “one of the most compelling and prodigious saxophonists of her time. In 2013 she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize.

 

  • North Branch Group/Thrivent Financial will host a tax reform workshop on Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m. at the Bloomsburg Public Library. Find out how you and your family will fare under the new changes to the U.S. federal tax code, which was changed due to the new law passed in December. Learn about those tax law changes that could impact you, and get positive, professional guidance from the professionals from Thrivent. No products or services will be sold at this event. Light refreshments will be served and there is no cost to attend, however and RSVP is requested by calling Richard Keller at 570-317-2111 or email

 

  • First Columbia Bank & Trust will holds its 8th annual Teen Star musical competition on Sunday, May 20 as Haas Auditorium on the campus of Bloomsburg University. Audition registration is now open through Friday, April 20. Auditions will be held at Millville Area High School on Wednesday, April 25 and Saturday, April 28. This annual competition is open to any freshman, sophomore, junior or senior that attends high school in Columbia County or the Danville School District, or that permanently resides in Columbia County or within the Danville Area School District but attends a school outside the county or district. For more information and to register, visit the Teen Star website

 

  • The Bloomsburg Area YMCA will hold Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. There will be games, activities and more to get kids thinking about healthy lifestyles. Snacks will be available, along with information about youth development programs at the Y, such as its upcoming summer camp. To give children an adventurous, active and healthy summer, the Y will be waiving its $35 camp registration fee on this day. For more information, visit the Facebook event page

 

  • State Rep. David Millard will host a drug forum on Tuesday, April 24 at Benton High School, from 6-8 p.m. Adults and children are invited to attend these events, which are designed to share information about drug abuse, the opioid crisis and how to avoid drug addiction. Speakers include Jeremy Reese, Columbia County coroner, representatives from Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, and representatives from a local rehabilitation facility. These forums are free and open to the public, and registration is not required. Visit Rep. Millard’s website or call 570-759-8734 or 570-387-0246 for more information. 

 

  • The local PA CareerLink centers have scheduled their 2018 job fairs. The local one in our area will be held on Wednesday, May 9, from 4-7 p.m. at Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School, located at 5050 Sweppenheiser Dr., Bloomsburg. There will also be job fairs during May just outside of the area at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury on May 2 and at the Selinsgrove VFW in May 30. Later in the year, there will be one at the Best Western in Lewisburg on Sept. 6. The registration links for employers are now open for the three May events. See the flyer for more information as well as registration links. 

 

  • The Weis Center for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and the Susquehanna River Arts initiative, is hosting a free art exhibit and installation featuring the work of 10 local artists from now through Friday, May 25 in the Weis Center’s upper Atrium Lobby. The exhibit is free and takes place on the upper level of the Atrium Lobby, which is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Participating artists will include: Annie Barnhart, Robert Brown, Pete Grimord, Joan Grimord, Gail Fox, Glen Klein, Abigail Kurecian, Sara Mika, Pam Thomas and William Whitmoyer. Each artist will have several samples of artwork on display. 

Calling All Skilled Trade Students: Apply Now For a Scholarship Toward a Rewarding Career

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Starting this week, individuals with a goal of pursuing a career in the skilled trades can apply online for the 2018 Work Ethic Scholarship that will help to make this goal a reality. In 2017, through donations from Pennsylvania’s business community, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, $135,000 in scholarship dollars was provided to 47 deserving students across Pennsylvania. Some of those students were highlighted in the fall 2017 edition of Catalystthe PA Chamber’s quarterly magazine, and were also spotlighted on the PA Chamber’s new workforce-focused website.

Given the success of last year’s program and with a goal to expand the program’s reach, the PA Chamber is working to educate students, their families, educators and businesses throughout Pennsylvania about various good-paying skilled trade jobs that are waiting to be filled and the requirements necessary to enter into those occupations. We’re also telling business leaders that by contributing toward the scholarship, they aren’t just helping advance the lives of people in their communities – they’re helping to build tomorrow’s skilled workforce, which will better position Pennsylvania for a vibrant economic future.

Students with an interest in learning more about the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, applying for the scholarship and signing Mike Rowe’s famed S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (essentially, a promise that they will exhibit a hard work ethic if chosen for a scholarship) can visit the website, profoundlydisconnected.com

This scholarship program, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and the PA Chamber’s workforce-focused website all have the same goals as the Columbia Montour Chamber with regards to workforce development, which is educating young people about the various types of good-paying jobs available in our area in skilled trades, in which there is a shortage of qualified people, not just in our area but statewide and nationally. Later this year, the Chamber, in conjunction with several other partner organizations, will be launching a similar website as the PA Chamber’s workforce development website, but with a more local focus. 

Welcome Rock God Brewing Co.

More than 400 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, Rock God Brewing Co., to help us fulfill our mission.

Opened in April 2017 by co-owners and Danville residents Ben Yagle and Gary Ernest, Rock God is a brewery/brew pub that brews its own hand crafted beers and serves them up in its music-themed pub. It will be celebrating its one-year anniversary next weekend on April 14, during which time it will also unveil its first limited-release bottled beer. It has various special events each month, including live musical acts and different musical genre-themed nights, trivia night, educational seminars and more. It also partners with different food trucks each month that come to its parking lot to serve food to its patrons to go along with the beers poured inside. Located at 459 Rooney Ave. in Danville, behind the Danville Borough building, it is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-9 p.m., Fridays from 3:30-11 p.m. and Saturdays from 1-11 p.m. For more information and for a schedule of its various special events, check out its website or Facebook page

Fighting For Fairness in the Commonwealth’s Labor Laws

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

We hear a lot of the word ‘fairness’ in Pennsylvania policy debates. But what does it mean? For business leaders, fairness means having a sense of what to expect so they can plan for the future; being able to operate without a constant, looming threat of frivolous litigation; competing on an equal playing field and having the time and financial freedom to hire and grow. The PA Chamber is working on all fronts to ensure that employers can proceed with confidence, and a big part of this means ensuring that the state’s labor laws are fair to both employers and their workers.

One recent example of how we’re working to accomplish this is through our advocacy on a bill to ban project labor agreements in the Commonwealth. A project labor agreement requires companies to commit to use unionized labor as a prerequisite to be considered for work on a public construction project. These types of policies tilt the playing field in favor of union workers, as they force non-union companies to either forgo bidding on the project altogether or hire workers from a union hall rather than allow their own employees to do work on the job. They are a prime example of the unfairness in Pennsylvania labor laws that we are targeting to change.

In addition to working on reforms to the labor laws that are already in place, we’re also fighting back against new proposals that would hurt Pennsylvania’s employers, its workers and its overall economic competitiveness. Earlier this year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced plans to change the Commonwealth’s overtime eligibility rules for employees, by requiring a wage threshold that is more than double the federal government’s current rate. Much like other government mandates on the private sector, this would only have a negative impact on employment and ultimately hurt many of the workers it’s intended to help – particularly among small businesses – by forcing companies to shift their employees from earning a salary to being paid by the hour, which gives them less flexibility and fewer training opportunities and benefits.

The PA Chamber is also urging lawmakers to enact updates to Pennsylvania’s incredibly outdated prevailing wage laws, which increase the cost of projects so sharply that many of them end up being shelved or not completed at all.

As Pennsylvania’s business community grapples with so many long-term efforts to move the needle toward fairness in labor laws, other states – more than half, in fact– have meanwhile made the transition to become Right to Work states. This means that they are states that give workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union by making employment no longer conditional upon union membership or paying union dues. Taking this one step has made Right to Work states incredibly competitive for a simple reason—employers feel that they have the flexibility and freedom to negotiate terms of employment. As more and more states adopt these policies for the economic benefits they provide, the PA Chamber is determined to continue our wide-ranging efforts to raise the confidence among Pennsylvania employers and would-be investors, which will in turn yield a brighter economic future for all.

Tips for Finding the Right Insurance

From Keystone Insurance Associates

When shopping for insurance, there are a few pointers to take into consideration to help make sure you get the right coverage for your needs. Those not terribly familiar with insurance or with little time to research may not be aware of how to secure the best options for themselves or their families. These brief few tips are designed to help you successfully shop for insurance.

Tip 1: Shop Smart -> When you’re shopping for your insurance, finding the right coverage for yourself and your family is top priority. Yes, budget is important, but you need to make sure you have the right coverage. This should be prioritized over price. Once, you have found the right insurance you can begin to think about the price.

Tip 2: Look for Discounts -> After you decide on what your coverage needs are, factor in your budget and look for ways to save. Carriers often offer discounts for various reasons such as; paying your policy in full, being accident-free, or getting good grades in school. Another simple way to save, is by bundling multiple policies.

Tip 3: Fill in the Gaps -> An average policy only covers the basics. If you have unique insurance needs, you may need special coverage. For example, maybe you have an expensive piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace. In this case, you may need additional coverage.

Tip 4: Talk to Multiple Agents -> When purchasing insurance, getting as many options as possible is essential to you, the buyer. One way to do this is by talking to multiple agents from different carriers, as well as independent agents, which work with multiple carriers (the Columbia Montour Chamber has several members in both categories). This can help to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage for the best price, as well as make sure all your assets are covered, all pertinent discounts are found, and any life changes are also factored in, because as your life changes, your insurance needs also can change.

Implementing these tips while shopping insurance is sure to help you find the right coverage. See a complete list of the Chamber’s members in the insurance category.