Homeland Security Offers Workplace Safety Resources

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has online resources to help businesses and organizations avoid and plan for violent attacks. Know the warning signs of a possible attack through a vehicle ramming, crowded place, or active shooter situation. Informational resources, including action plan templates, are available at DHS’ website.

Thanks to the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency for providing the information.

Grants Available to Organizations From Pennsylvania’s Volkswagen Settlement Funds

As many are aware, Volkswagen was required to donate funds to the government as a result of its diesel emissions violations in 2015. In Pennsylvania, those funds were designated to reducing emissions from diesel engines throughout the state and there are multiple funds/grants that are scheduled to open soon that may be available and of interest to some member organizations. There will be grant money for items such as electric vehicle chargers for multifamily residences, public places and employers. There are also rebates for buses to transition to alternative fuels. 

Some programs are currently closed, but will be opening soon. The PA Department of Environmental Protection is administering these programs, and has set up a website with all of the pertinent information about the various programs and grants available. Any interested organizations or individuals can also sign up to be added to an email list to stay informed about grant application openings and deadlines. 

Northeast Environmental Partners Seeks Nominations For Environmental Partnership Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners announce the “28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment” and are seeking a Call For Nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

The Northeast Environmental Partners (Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University) are proud to announce that the 28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment will be held at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.  Additionally, nominations are being sought for the Twenty Eighth Annual Environmental Partnership Awards, the Twenty-fourth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award. These awards will all be presented at the dinner on Oct. 25. 

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards are presented annually to recognize the achievements of individuals or organizations that, through partnerships, have achieved excellence in environmental protection or conservation. The Evening showcases the Recipient of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award, which was established to recognize an individual who stands out for his or her long-term commitment to environmental quality through inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment to partnering.  The 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award will also be awarded to a youth who demonstrates young environmental leadership, creativity and dedication to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment.

“Northeastern Pennsylvanians have greatly benefited from the fruits of collaboration, which can be seen every day in our communities,” said Meg Welker, Sr. Environmental Professional at PPL and dinner planning committee chairperson. “Please help us identify those leading the charge so we can thank them for diligently working to improve our quality of life through environmental partnerships in our region.” 

The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.   

During the past 27 years, over 180 individuals and groups involved in agriculture, forestry, business, industry, education, science, environmental awareness, community service, and government have been honored. Nominations may be made by a person or persons involved in the activity, or by a third party. 

Nominations must be postmarked no later than July 18, 2018. 

Nomination form

Montour County Nonprofits Need Your Help to Participate in Leadership Central Penn Program

Montour County Nonprofits need your help!  Leadership Central Penn is a wonderful opportunity for professionals in our area.  However, the cost to participate in this program is an issue for area nonprofits as they execute their missions on tight budgets.  They need your help.  There are a variety of nonprofits in Montour County that have requested applications for LCP, but have also requested scholarships. Historically, scholarship dollars are provided through a partner organization, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. However, due to the restrictions in the fund that is used to fund these scholarships, they are limited to Columbia County nonprofit participants.

Leadership Central PennWith your help, the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber hopes to be able to offer scholarships annually to one or more individuals from nonprofits in Montour County. Nonprofit leadership participation has really helped to connect the community engagement and leadership component of the course on a personal level. It is our sincere hope that you can help the Chamber Foundation raise $1700 to begin to more easily include Montour County nonprofits in this outstanding program. 

If you or your organization is interested in helping send individuals from nonprofits in Montour County through the LCP program, please contact Jeff Emanuel, Foundation director, at 570-784-2522 or email

Read more about the LCP program, including its latest class graduation and summaries of all class dates from the 2017-18 class below. 

September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018

Happy Retirement to Economic Development Colleagues Jim Wilson & Steve Phillips

Bob Dressler (left), immediate past chair of the DBA, offered thanks and well wishes to retiring Executive Director Jim Wilson (center) at the organization’s recent quarterly gathering. In addition to other board members and Danville businesspeople, Wilson was joined by his wife, Dr. Gerda Breitwieser (right).

Two individuals involved in efforts to strengthen our area’s economy and communities are retiring this week. After 10 years as Executive Director and Main Street Manager with the Danville Business Alliance (DBA), Jim Wilson is retiring. Steve Phillips, Executive Director of the Berwick Industrial Development Association (BIDA), is also retiring after 29 years with the organization. Board members, area businesspeople, and colleagues recently gathered at separate events to congratulate the two and thank them for their efforts.

In partnership with Danville Borough, DBA has spearheaded many efforts to enhance Danville’s central business district during Wilson’s tenure. The organization coordinated a feasibility study for high-end apartments on second and third floors of downtown buildings. Parks, greenspaces, and murals beautify the downtown, and the redevelopment of Canal Park will soon be getting underway. Events including Spring Fling, holiday festivities, and the first Taste of the Nations Food Festival coming up this Saturday, June 30 draw people to the downtown throughout the year. All of these efforts make downtown Danville an attractive place to operate a business.

Wilson has been a member of the Chamber’s Montour County Task Force and the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau, as well as a former member of the Visitors Bureau and Partnership boards.  “Jim understands the importance of regional collaboration and has been a valued partner in our collective efforts to enhance our communities,” said Fred Gaffney, Chamber President. “As a colleague, he is trustworthy, reliable, and adept at consensus building.”

Steve Phillips

It is expected that Wilson’s successor at the DBA will be selected in July.

The BIDA complex in Berwick houses a number of companies providing a combined 1,000+ jobs. Supported by Steve’s network of relationships, the organization has helped to market and reuse other available industrial and commercial properties in the area and provide assistance to existing employers to retain jobs. BIDA also supports efforts to strengthen the community including the downtown Berwick enhancement plan and community festivals and events.

“Steve’s success is a testament to the importance of relationship building,“ said Gaffney. “In his desire to retain good job creators and bring new jobs to the area, he always knows who to reach out to.” “I add my thanks to Steve and Jim for their efforts over the years and wish them both many enjoyable years of retirement.”