Send Us Your Job Opportunities

The Chamber now has another tool to help members get the word out about the many job opportunities available in our area. Our online Jobs page is now live. Members are invited to email job postings to the Chamber. People can subscribe to this page to get updates when new postings are added, and we will also promote them through social media..

Also, with the school year wrapping up, the Chamber and local CareerLink office are getting calls about businesses in need of seasonal employees. We also get calls from people looking for work from home opportunities. Send us information on these openings as well.

Chamber Announces Additional Membership Category

The Columbia Montour Chamber’s board of directors recently approved the addition of a new Chamber membership category for individuals. This individual membership category will cost $130 for a year (half of the base rate of $260 for a business or other organization) and has the following restrictions:

– Elected officials, business owners or employees of businesses or other organizations are not eligible – those businesses, organizations, or municipalities must join instead at the base rate of $260 at a minimum
– This membership level will give those in it access to all Chamber events at member pricing (for those events that have a registration fee)
– They will not be listed in the Chamber Directory and are also not eligible to serve on the board

This new membership category will apply mainly to retirees that are looking to stay involved in the local community and with the Chamber, students and political candidates. 

For any questions about membership and if this new category may apply to you, please contact Matt Beltz at 570-784-2522 or email

Leadership Central Penn Celebrates Largest Graduating Class in Program History

When the journey began, there were 21 strangers wondering what to expect. On May 17, 2018, this group of colleagues and friends gathered for last time as the Leadership Central Penn Class of 2018. The Pine Barn Inn was the location of the festivities of the final class day and graduation. The morning began much like the rest, greetings and a light breakfast. But soon, there were four presentations on the community impact a group of strangers can have, when motivated by a single goal of service.  The four Leadership teams tackled projects for five worthy community organizations and made a real impact on those these nonprofits serve. 

The community projects included backpack stuffing at AGAPE, organization of the donation warehouse, and hospital bed assembly at the Hope Center (Nescopeck), cleaning of the camp and stocking the med shed at Camp Victory, exterior clean up and maintenance at the Teen Center (Berwick), and painting, new light fixtures, bedding and all the comforts needed at The Women’s Center. Hundreds of lives were impacted by these efforts, including those of the LCP class. These projects inspired the class members so much that they went above and beyond the requirements of the class. Some got corporate sponsors and partners to assist, others organized teams of additional volunteers, and more went back for additional hours of community service, joined local nonprofits’ boards and kept giving.

After an emotional morning it was time for lunch with the graduates’ guests.  The keynote speaker was Ed Edwards, former president and CEO of the Columbia Montour Chamber, and one of the founders of the LCP Program. Edwards spoke about his experiences with LCP and what it means to be a leader in today’s community. He also shared that community leadership does not need to be done in grand gestures, but large impact can be made by small efforts that inspire others to act, which is what LCP works to instill in its graduates.

Following Edwards’ keynote, the 2018 class nominated speaker, Eric McCabe, assistant to the athletic director at Bloomsburg University, gave a witty and thoughtful speech about his experiences with LCP. He shared insights from his classmates and stated, “each class taught us something new, gave us something different to take away. I must admit I was a skeptic before I participated in this program, but I now know I am much better for it. Leadership Central Penn has made more knowledge on topics that don’t just affect my place of business but affect our local communities as a whole. This program has made me more confident to communicate and work with what was a once a group of strangers.”

Following McCabe’s speech, Jeff Emanuel, Chamber Foundation director, and Fred Gaffney, Chamber president, presented the LCP certificates of completion to the class of 2018, which are:

Matt Beltz
Columbia Montour Chamber

Tamara Collae
PPL Electric Utilities

Stephanie Gryboski
Geisinger

Vanessa Hales
Geisinger

Sharon Haverlak
SEKISUI SPI

Brandi Hoffman
Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Jordan Ikeler
First Keystone Community Bank

Amanda Jarski
First Keystone Community Bank

Michael Maylath
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Eric McCabe
Bloomsburg University

Scott Near
Kawneer

Jalon Orzolek
Kawneer

Brandon Stauffer
Autoneum North America, Inc.

Teresa Peters
For the Cause

Brian Rakauskas
Girton Manufacturing

Adam Robinson
Geisinger

Candy Ryan
Bloomsburg University

Carol Walters
Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital

Rhonda Wieners
The Hope Center

McKayla Zimmerman
First Columbia Bank & Trust

Congratulations to the Leadership Central Penn Class of 2018.  A special thank you goes out to 2017-18 program sponsors: SEKISUI SPI, Kawneer, USG and Bloomsburg University. Thanks to the nonprofits scholarship sponsor Central Susquehanna Community Foundation for sponsoring Teresa Peters and Rhonda Wieners’ participation in the program. Finally, a special thank you to Welch Performance Consulting for sponsoring breakfast and assisting Emanuel in his first year as the director of the LCP program. 

 

Leadership Central Penn Goes For a Check-Up

Leadership Central Penn is sponsored by USG, Bloomsburg University, Kawneer and SEKISUI SPI.

Leadership Central Penn reached its last class of the year, and it found itself visiting Geisinger and the Ronald McDonald House of Danville.  The topics for the day included current healthcare issues facing Geisinger and patients in the region, the history of Geisinger and what the healthcare market looks like with the changes in government regulation. 

The day kicked off with an introduction and welcome by Deb Templeton and Bob Davies at the Foss Home.  The class learned a little about the history of Geisinger, and how this renowned healthcare organization ended up in Danville. There is a lot of folklore about this story, but the facts are as advertised: Abigail Geisinger wanted the best for the area in healthcare. Being one of the only people in the area with a car at the time, she got to see the needs and suffering of people around the region, as the car was used as an ambulance. This ignited the passion that propelled her to “make it the best” hospital possible. 

Of course, many know that Geisinger is an integrated system with 13 hospitals, a drug and alcohol treatment center, 200 clinics and 33,000 employees. All of these facilities increase demand for electricity, which is being met by coal, natural gas and nuclear power. However, Mike Gerrity told the group about another way to meet this demand — innovation.  Geisinger has substantially lowered its energy demand over the years through green and LEED certified buildings, solar power, lighting retrofits, a cogeneration plant, and the steam turbine chiller project. Geisinger’s energy costs through these efforts have resulted in a drop from $4-$6 per square foot, for the average hospital, to $1.19 per square foot. It has saved 33,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually due to cogeneration, two million kilowatts of energy are saved with the chiller project and more energy is saved everyday with the previous stated efforts. All of this makes the air we breathe healthier, our water cleaner and our health better. 

The next presenters, Rachel Manotti and Sam Balukoff, provided data and the opportunity to discuss the healthcare market and the current issues in our area. The data helped frame the needs in our area related to healthcare, so that we had a local understanding of why decisions on the provider and insurer side are made. The class also got to question some of the care decisions as community members. The hot topic was the opiod epidemic and how Geisinger is dealing with this. What was shared is that the patient’s needs and the standard of care are always the focus for the system. However, there is also government regulation that can cause slowdowns in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. One error or change can easily require pages and pages of process implementation, which even the electronic health record can’t correct from an efficiency point of view.

After a lunch break, the class boarded the tour bus with Bob Davies for some more history and a Danville driving tour of Geisinger’s facilities. The tour showcased the growth over time of the fields that are now pediatric clinics and outpatient facilities at Woodbine Lane, the vast fleet of helicopters that transfer critical patients in and out of Geisinger, and even the old limestone pillars, long thought lost, from the original hospital entrance. Many take for granted the opportunities offered by Geisinger as an employer, health care innovator and leader, and local provider of care. After experiencing the intimate experience, this class won’t soon forget the value that Geisinger offers to our region.

Once the class wrapped up at Geisinger, it was off to the Ronald McDonald House for a discussion on pediatric advocacy with Dr. Amanda Beach, pediatric resident. Dr. Beach made an impassioned presentation on the needs of children. The most impactful on the group was the need for better mental health screening and access. The class learned of the changes from the American Academy of Pediatrics to assist pediatricians in doing mental health assessments and short term interventions to assist the children in their care. However, even in our area, sometime kids that need mental health services are delayed due to a lack of access from limited providers locally and nationally. 

The final opportunity for the day was a discussion about the families served by the Ronald McDonald House and the new Ronald McDonald Family room located within the Janet Weis Children’s hospital. These facilities allow families to be close to their children when they travel here for their care. The house has a slogan, “we keep families with sick children together.” The tour allowed the class to see the facilities of the house that allow families to have some “home” comforts while helping their children deal with their health concerns. The home has served 380,000 guests from 65 of 67 counties in PA, 34 states and 27 countries since 1981.

Promote Your Business to New Bloomsburg University Students

Local businesses are being invited to sponsor prizes for the Husky Prize Patrol during the summer orientation experiences for new Bloomsburg University freshmen, new transfer students, and their families. The Husky Prize Patrol is a spirit-based set of contests designed to generate enthusiasm around the new students’ life as a Husky.  The University is interested in partnering with local businesses as a means of introducing the new students and families to not only the campus community, but also the local Bloomsburg community.

For every prize donated, the business name, services, and location will be introduced to 600-800 new students and families daily. With six orientation dates, the University is asking for a minimum donation of six prizes, or multiples of six, to have consistency with the spirit competitions day-to-day. Anyone with questions can contact Kayla May, assistant director of New Student Orientation, at 570-389-4659 or email. If you do wish to participate, prizes are needed in hand by Friday, June 8, and can be picked up or mailed to Bloomsburg University, 400 East Second Street, 112 Elwell Hall, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301.