Bloomsburg Town/Gown Relations Committee Announces Block Party Weekend Parking Lot and On-Campus Residence Hall Visitation Restrictions

From Bloomsburg University and Town of Bloomsburg

Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg, Town/Gown Relations Committee, will again implement initiatives to increase security related to the annual spring event known as “Block Party.” Those initiatives are:

– Parking Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will temporarily close the Lightstreet Road Parking Lot and the ATM Parking Lot to all vehicles and temporarily restrict access to the First Street (Green) Parking Lot to permit-holders only from 12:00 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2018, through 12:00 p.m. Sunday, April 22, 2018.

– Residence Hall Visitation Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will temporarily restrict overnight guests in the residence halls to one visitor per student for the evenings of Friday, April 20, Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, 2018. A professional security company firm will assist in managing guest registrations and enhance front door security.

The Town/Gown Relations Committee also asks all participants to keep in mind:

– Neither the Town of Bloomsburg nor Bloomsburg University endorse the Block Party Event, and a large police contingency of both uniformed and plainclothes officers will be present.

– Parking Enforcement officers will be on duty, strictly enforcing all parking regulations.

– Town and University Police both have a “zero tolerance” policy for all violations during Block Party weekend. Parents and Bloomsburg University will be notified of all arrests, and university students will be subject to discipline for violations under BU’s Code of Conduct.

– The Town of Bloomsburg requires permits for “social gatherings” of 150 or more individuals. Students are reminded that they can be held responsible for ordinance and crimes code violations that occur on property they lease or control.

– The Town of Bloomsburg prohibits open containers of alcohol in public rights-of-way.

– Hosts are responsible for what takes place on the property and risk fines and university sanctions for any violations. Control how many individuals are permitted at your housing unit. If a DJ is present, anticipate large numbers of people to be attracted to your location.

– Bloomsburg University students and visitors to town are reminded that your actions and decisions can affect your safety, your future, and the safety of others around you.

The Town/Gown Relations Committee is a joint body comprised of representatives from the Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg share concerns about recent Block Parties including safety, the large number of attendees, the number of out-of-town individuals participating in the event, and the reflection it has on both the university and the community. The Committee will continue to work together to develop new approaches.

Workforce Needs the Leading Issue for Members

From main street retail shops to non-profit organizations to the area’s largest manufacturers, finding skilled employees is a common need among employers. Within the last two weeks, the Chamber had meetings with a group of downtown Berwick businesses as well as one of the area’s largest manufacturing facilities, who all shared this issue. The Chamber and its Foundation are spending more resources than ever helping to build the workforce for the future while meeting the current needs of members so they can be successful and grow.

The Chamber Foundation has traditionally focused the majority of its attention supporting programs which develop good work ethics in K-12 youth. Ongoing programs include The Leader in Me, School Counts, and Student in the Work. For more information about these programs, visit the Foundation website.

The Foundation is also working with regional partners to help young people, and their parents, understand career opportunities that exist in our area. Thanks to support from the Arconic Foundation (Kawneer) and Williams, a website is being developed that will provide information about local career options in a wide variety of fields, to include education requirements and wage levels. Members will be able to post opportunities for job shadowing, facility tours, internships, career day speakers, etc. This website is being developed now to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 school year.

To assist members with their current workforce needs, the Chamber is working to leverage the substantial network of education providers in the region to provide employee testing and training in filling skills gaps, and within the next few weeks, we hope to be able to make an official announcement about a big new member benefit in this area that we’ve been working on for the last several months.

Additionally, a meeting with local employers and education providers is being organized to identify specific educational needs and opportunities. If you are interested in being a part of this conversation, or in learning more, please contact Fred Gaffney at the Chamber at 570-784-2522 or email.

Wolf Administration’s Cabinet in Your Community Event Slated for Williamsport

Last month, five members of Governor Tom Wolf’s cabinet came to Bloomsburg to participate in one of the Governor’s “Cabinet in Your Community” events, a series of meetings with local community members and leaders and various members of Gov. Wolf’s cabinet. 

Another Cabinet in Your Community event is scheduled for later this month nearby, on Monday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mary Welch Theater at Lycoming College in Williamsport. Cabinet members scheduled to appear include Jessica Altman, acting Insurance Commissioner; Dennis Davin, Secretary of Community and Economic Development; Cindy Dunn, Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources; Dr. Rachel Levin, Physician General and Acting Secretary of Health; Russell Redding, Secretary of Agriculture; and Pedro Rivera, Secretary of Education. 

Those interested in attending should RSVP by email or call 570-614-2090 by April 24. Due to limited seating, an RSVP is required to attend. 

Mini Casino Survey Results

Last month, we asked our members to respond to a brief, three-question survey regarding a possible casino in our area, which followed the Bloomsburg Town Council passing a resolution that would allow a “mini casino” to locate within the town. Several other municipalities in Columbia and Montour counties have also indicated they are open to consideration. 

As a part of the 2017-18 state budget law that was signed last fall, Pennsylvania made 10 Category 4 casino licenses available through an auction process, which is currently underway. Under the legislation, local municipalities have the option as to whether or not they would allow such establishments.

Here are the results of the survey:

1. Do you think a mini casino located in our area would benefit your business?
Yes          29      40%
No           32      44%
Unsure   11       15%

2. Would you be in favor of a mini casino locating in our area?
Yes          35       49%
No           23       32%
Unsure   14       19%

3. What type of organization do you represent?
Retail                               8       11%
Restaurant/Food          11       15%
Entertainment/Arts     3        4%
Service                            25      35%
Manufacturing              7        10%
Non-profit                      18      25%

Thanks to all that took the time to respond, and congratulations to the winner of the free month of ads in E-Biz, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling.

Penn College and Focus Central Pennsylvania Representatives to Tout Region For Investment at International Plastics Showcase

From Focus Central Pennsylvania

Focus Central Pennsylvania will be joining several partners, including Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, in the Pennsylvania booth to promote the region for capital investment and company location expansion projects at the NPE Plastics Show, May 7-11. Focus Central PA is excited to be joined by the PIRC at Penn College because it is a powerful, value-add differentiator for making Central Pennsylvania a smart place for a company investment. The Pennsylvania booth will be located in the South Hall Level 1 – Expo Hall – S12037. The NPE Plastics Show brings together more than 65,000 business professionals from more than 20,000 companies in the plastics industry from across the world.

“The NPE show is a significant opportunity to put the Central Pennsylvania region on the radar of companies from across the world that are expanding and searching for locations for their investment and career generating projects” said Lauren Bryson, executive director of Focus Central Pennsylvania “We want quality companies that are expanding to consider this part of Pennsylvania for their investment project and we are looking forward to communicating the benefits our region has to offer those companies, like the PIRC.”

Why invest in attracting plastics companies and manufacturers to the Central Pennsylvania region? Focus Central PA has strategically chosen to target companies expanding in the plastics industry because it is an industry predicted to have strong, sustainable growth and provides high paying career opportunities. Central Pennsylvania is home to several successful, growing plastics companies that have the advantage of being located within 60% of US and Canada’s population and major US markets; extensive network of trade schools, technical colleges and universities; quality workforce; research and development resources; available industrial buildings and sites; world class rail infrastructure and service; low cost of living; high quality of life and much more. Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources are creating opportunities for growth in the plastics industry as well. Ethane and propane, two important feedstocks for plastics processing, are forecasted to grow in production in Pennsylvania. The abundance of natural gas resources in the region, in combination with specialized workforce training and plastics engineering programs, and proximity to key U.S. consumer markets can translate into significant competitive advantages for plastics companies located in Pennsylvania. In short, Central Pennsylvania has what it takes to make and move product and is a smart investment for quality companies looking to grow.

Focus Central Pennsylvania is a non-profit dedicating 100% of its time and resources to attracting corporate investment to the region to create jobs and is supported by partners in seven contiguous counties in the central part of Pennsylvania, USA including Columbia (Bloomsburg, Berwick); Montour (Danville); Union (Lewisburg, Mifflinburg); Snyder (Selinsgrove); Northumberland (Sunbury, Milton); Mifflin (Lewistown); and Centre (State College).