Pennsylvania Ranks Fourth in Largest Increase in Clean Energy Jobs in 2018

Growth in clean energy jobs from 2017 to 2018.

From Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy

Nearly every U.S. state saw an increase in clean energy jobs in 2018, with an anticipated 6% job growth in 2019. Read here about the latest impressive growth of clean energy jobs in America, including the top 10 states in the county. Pennsylvania ranked fourth for growth in clean energy jobs by percentage from 2017 to 2018.

Good for the economy. Good for the environment. Every day, Chambers of Commerce are discovering the positive opportunities for economic growth associated with affordable clean energy. If you are interested in discovering more about these opportunities, please contact Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy via email.


Member News – April 17, 2019

  • Commonwealth Health – Berwick Hospital Center‘s free six-week educational series, “Six Weeks to Better Health,” wraps up this evening, April 17, from 5-6 p.m. at the Hospital’s Conference Room 1 and 2, located at 701 East 16th St., Berwick. Tonight’s session is on Advanced Directives and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). For more information, see the flyer, and to RSVP, call 570-759-5337.

 

 

  • There will be a free showing of the 2018 documentary about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, titled Won’t you be my Neighbor, next Tuesday, April 23, from 7-9 p.m., at the Berwick Theatre and Center for Community Arts, located at 110 Front St., Berwick. This event is being presented by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County. For more information, see the Facebook event page

 

 

  • Representatives from the Berwick Area High School and girls’ basketball team presented the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation with a check for $1,687 to support the Steven Mark Nastelli Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to Berwick Area High School graduating scholar athletes attending post-secondary education. 

    (L-R): Pamela Hegland, Berwick Area High School assistant principal; M. Holly Morrison, D.Ed., CSCF president and CEO; Megan Dalo, Berwick girls’ basketball captain; Sierra Miedaner, Berwick girls’ basketball captain; Kara G. Seesholtz, CSCF chief advancement officer; and Bill Phillips, Berwick girls’ basketball coach.

    The donation was raised during the Lady Bulldogs Steve Nastelli Alumni Basketball Game. More than 200 people attended to cheer on the former players and coaches. The game was established by Coach Bill Phillips and his staff and is held each year.

Chamber Calls for Fairness in Craft Brewery Sales Tax Assessment

Rock God Brewing in Danville, pictured during the Chamber’s Member Orientation held there last September, is one of several craft brewery members that would be adversely affected if a recent ruling by the PA Dept. of Revenue goes into effect July 1.

Pennsylvania’s craft breweries would have to pay six percent sales tax on every beer served at a tasting room or brew pub starting July 1 following a 2018 ruling by the PA Department of Revenue. This change comes after a 2012 interpretation that on-site beer sales were tax exempt. After hearing concerns from area craft breweries, the Chamber is calling for legislators to provide fairness with other bars and restaurants regarding the assessment of the tax (see the letter sent to local state legislators).

Most beer is currently taxed at the wholesale level. For example, if a craft brewery sells a keg or case to a local restaurant, the sales tax is assessed on the keg or case. However, under the 2018 Dept. of Revenue ruling, the brewery would have to collect the sales tax on every pint or bottle sold to a customer at its own tasting room or brew pub, resulting in significantly more tax being collected. This would put the brewer at a significant disadvantage in which a pint, bottle or growler of beer would potentially cost more at the place it was brewed than at a bar, restaurant or retail establishment down the street.

Therefore, the Chamber is supporting proposals that would also assess the sales tax for craft breweries at the wholesale level rather than the serving level.

Chamber Opposes $12 Minimum Wage

The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently voted to oppose a plan by Governor Tom Wolf that would more than double the state’s minimum wage by 2025. As part of his 2019-2020 budget proposal, Wolf is calling for an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019, with annual increases of $.50 per hour to get to $15. The tipped wage would also be eliminated. Board members expressed concerns about the impact on non-profit organizations and service businesses, as well as the potential ripple effect to consumers.

A report by the Independent Fiscal Office estimates that a mandated increase to $12 would lead to minimum wage employees seeing a reduction in hours and the loss of 33,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth.  The report also concludes that this proposal will result in a ‘more difficult entry into the labor market for inexperienced workers, especially part-time high school and college students.’  The PA Chamber of Business and Industry has long advocated for policies to help low-income families without risking jobs.

The letter sent to Senator Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and David Millard notes that, with low unemployment rates, there are many unfilled job openings in our area with starting wages well above the minimum wage. Also, such a dramatic increase could put Pennsylvania at a disadvantage in retaining and attracting employers.

Alumna feels ’empowered, independent and limitless’ with Penn State grad degree

Anisa Sadat, who is from Afghanistan, is the first woman in her family to go to college. She’s inspired the girls and women in her family to follow in her footsteps (Photo courtesy of Penn State World Campus and Anisa Sadat).

From Penn State World Campus

Note: Employees of all Columbia Montour Chamber members, their spouses and dependents are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition through the PSU World Campus.  

When Anisa Sadat received her master’s degree from Penn State in 2018, it marked the conclusion of an odds-defying, educational journey that began decades ago in Afghanistan.

Sadat had finished the degree online, through Penn State World Campus, while working full-time. She traveled with her husband and two children to attend Penn State’s commencement last May, and her family watched as the wife and mother crossed the stage wearing her graduation robe.

None of it would have been possible in her home country of Afghanistan, where women do not have the same opportunities as men.

“It’s a great sense of honor to be able to inspire so many other girls and women in the country where I was born,” said Sadat, 34, the first woman in her family to go to college. “Besides the professional and career advancements this degree has helped me achieve, as a woman, I feel empowered, independent and limitless.

“Now every girl and every woman in my family wants to go to college, work and be independent in a country where culturally the existence and survival of a woman is directly linked to a man.”

Growing up in Afghanistan, Sadat’s educational opportunities were limited: Under the Taliban, girls’ schools were closed, women were no longer able to work, and her future looked bleak. But in order to allow Sadat to go to school, her father defied social stigma and moved the family to Pakistan.

“I felt like I was always very lucky to have a dad who always wanted me to go to school and continue my education,” Sadat said. “He used to say that in any male-dominated society, a man will always survive, but a woman with no education and no independence will never survive.”

The move cemented a lifelong love for learning in Sadat. After later moving to the United States and getting her undergraduate degree, Sadat still found herself wanting more.

“I was looking for a program that would help me as a woman,” Sadat said. “Women are not equally treated as men in the workplace, and as a woman, you have to study something that not only helps you but also helps other women.”

Sadat decided the organizational development and change master’s degree would be the best fit for her. With her husband in Afghanistan while she was in New Jersey with the kids and working, Sadat didn’t have the time to add driving to and from a campus for classes.

But World Campus allowed her to study at home and use what she learned in her coursework in her day-to-day life.

“What I learned not only helped me in my professional life, but it really helped me even in my personal life,” Sadat said. “How to manage my relationship, how to use my emotional intelligence talking to my husband and talking to my kids. You are becoming a better person and you learn something every day.”

Today, Sadat works for the U.S. Department of Defense in a role that encourages veterans to utilize the GI Bill.

“I think everyone’s job should be to motivate and empower people to seek knowledge, seek education, and go back to school, because education is the only way out of a lot of trouble,” she said. “The key to solving every problem is education. It helps you get to a better place.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about learning online.