Students Learn About Career Opportunities

Camp STEAM, coordinated by the PA CareerLink, is a two-week program designed to help local high school students explore career choices and prepare them for entering the workforce. The students participate in team-building activities, learn about local businesses, and life skills. Over a two-week period, they tour businesses that utilize science, technology, engineering, arts and math so that they are exposed to opportunities that exist locally and see what skills and attributes employers look for in employees.

On Monday, July 24, Chamber president Fred Gaffney spoke to the students about the importance of developing both hard skills and soft skills to be successful in the workplace.

Get Caught Up on Unemployment Compensation Payments

Employers who owe money to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Fund may be eligible to participate in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s “Make It Right” UC Amnesty Program. Under the program guidelines, eligible employers who have unpaid contributions through the third quarter of 2016 and unpaid reimbursement due on or before Oct. 31, 2016 can satisfy these liabilities and only have to pay half of the interest and penalties owed. The program is effective now through Sept. 30. For more information, visit the UC website

For Fourth Straight Year, Pennsylvania is Second in Nation in Natural Gas Production

According to statistics released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation in natural gas production in 2016, marking the fourth straight year that Pennsylvania has held this spot. Overall, the state is third in energy production and 27th in energy consumption. Pennsylvania was also the third-largest coal producing state and the only state that produced anthracite. 

Locally, both Columbia and Montour Counties contribute to that energy production either directly or indirectly through energy transportation. A big upcoming project intended to increase the ability to transport natural gas is the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project by Williams, which the Columbia Montour Chamber continues to support. This new project 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. Last month, Chamber president Fred Gaffney spoke in support of the project at a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection hearing held at Bloomsburg High School.

This project will allow for more efficient transportation of Marcellus Shale natural gas and should enable even more to be exported. Additionally, the Atlantic Sunrise project, which is scheduled to begin later this year, is expected to generate an economic impact of $85.5 million for Columbia County alone, and a $1.6 billion economic impact in all of the project’s regions. 

Williams is also encouraging all workers that come into the area to work on this project to patronize local businesses. More information about the opportunities for local businesses related to this pipeline project will be available at the Chamber’s next Learn at Lunch, sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at noon at Wesley United Methodist Church. Mike Atchie from Williams will talk about the different types of opportunities for local businesses to cater to the visiting workers and give an overall update on the project at this event. The cost to attend this event is $10 for lunch and those interested can register here.

Members Receive Checks For Dividends From Penn National Business Insurance Program

Earlier this year, it was announced that members enrolled in the ChamberChoice business insurance program through Penn National would receive an 8% dividend this year. Last week, the Chamber went out to visit with some of those members to present a check representative of the cumulative dividends received by all Columbia Montour Chamber members that utilize this benefit – which totaled $38,695.38. 

Since the program’s inception in 2011, Columbia Montour Chamber members have received back more than $173,000 in dividends through the program. 

To see if this program could be a good fit for your business, contact Chamber members Associated Insurance Management at 570-275-0100 or Hutchison Insurance Agency at 570-784-5550, for a no-obligation quote. 

 

Chamber president Fred Gaffney presents a check to Kevin Swank, owner of Swank & Son Well Drilling & Pump Company in Danville.

Chamber president Fred Gaffney presents a check to Tim Wagner, owner of Wagner’s Trophies & Engraveables in Bloomsburg.

 

Chamber Fred Gaffney presents a check to Steve Bevans, business manager at the Danville Child Development Center.

 

Bloomsburg Center for Healthy Aging to Hold Conference For Individuals That Work With Older Adults

The Center for Healthy Aging (CHA) at Bloomsburg University was founded in 2014 and created for the benefit of older adults in Columbia and surrounding counties. It is rooted in an inter-professional approach to address the needs of older adults and the professionals that care for them. The goals of the center include the development of optimal aging programs, health promotion, and chronic disease management in the diverse, older population through interdisciplinary service, education and research. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the CHA will hold its Third Annual Conference for those who work with older adults, both professionals and paraprofessionals. The theme of this year’s conference is “Time for Courageous Conversations,” and it focuses on the challenging conversations that need to occur with older adults when difficult decisions need to be made. These include things such as requiring a cane or walker, to stop driving, moving to assisted living, no longer live alone, requiring assistance caring for a house, moving closer to children or family, and planning for transitions in care. This year’s keynote speaker Dr. Christine Bradway, a Bloomsburg native who is now an associate professor of gerontological nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.

The conference will held at Bloomsburg University at Monty’s on Upper Campus. There is no cost for this conference, however an RSVP is required. To register, contact CHA Director Dr. Lori Metzger by email. The registration deadline is Aug. 21. 

For more information, including a schedule of the day’s program, download the brochure