Chamber Foundation Participates in Senior Exit Interviews at Central Columbia

Members of the business community gather at Central Columbia High School last month for senior exit interviews.

What do you get when you put a class of nervous graduating high school seniors in a room with community and business leaders? An amazing experience for seniors to see what real world interviews will be like in their careers. As Jeff Emanuel, director of The Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber realized, you also get a great opportunity to see the hope for the future of our region. Emanuel was one of over 100 business and community leaders from throughout the region that participated in senior exit interviews at Central Columbia High School in late May. 

The senior exit interview at Central Columbia is a culminating activity of a high school student’s career. In this joint effort between the school and local community leaders, students are interviewed and expected to engage in a conversation about their career action plan. Every year, more than 100 community leaders participate in this activity. In the minds of the students, the senior exit interview is arguably one of the most significant and worthwhile experiences in their high school career.

If you are interested in participating in this event in future years as a local business leader, contact Central Columbia High School principal Jeff Groshek at 784-2850 ex. 3444 or via email

Discount Card Pilot to Welcome New Bloomsburg University Students Underway

This fall, Bloomsburg University will welcome over 300 new-to-Bloomsburg transfer students. A team at BU is working to welcome those students and help them become part of the Bloomsburg Town community with a convenient card listing discounts offered by area restaurants and other businesses. BU Student Life will handle design and printing of the cards. There is no fee for participating businesses or students. If the pilot is successful, the program could be expanded to include all incoming BU students in the future.

If your business offers a discount to BU students, or is willing to create one, send the information to Toni Bell, BU professor and Town Council member via email as soon as possible.

Member News – June 13, 2018

Member News

  • The Wilkes Small Business Development Center will also hold a First Step workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs that might be interested in starting their own business tonight, June 13 at 6 p.m. at its location on 85 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre. Registration is $20 for this event, and can be made online or by calling 570-408-3336. 


  • For the fifth straight year, Knoebels Amusement Resort has been named the favorite traditional amusement park in the country by the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA), which announced the results of its 32nd annual amusement park and attractions survey earlier this month. This survey is the oldest of its type and is done annually by NAPHA members, which are typically experienced riders who have visited countless amusement parks and have ridden a diverse assortment of roller coasters and other rides. The average NAPHA member has been to more than 113 different amusement parks and has ridden about 290 roller coasters. Also, for the seventh straight year, Knoebels’ Phoenix was named as the survey’s favorite wooden roller coaster. 


  • Autoneum’s Bloomsburg plant, which is its largest in the United Stateswas recently honored with the 2018 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. As one of only 23 facilities in Pennsylvania to receive the honor, Autoneum Bloomsburg was recognized for best environmental innovation and expertise for the implementation of waste recycling and water reuse initiatives. Thanks to these projects, the plant is now recycling 45 tons of scrap materials from carpet manufacturing per day. Additionally, water consumption has been significantly reduced. Last year, 63.9 million liters of cooling water were reused – the equivalent of 25 full Olympic swimming pools. 


  • Community Options, Inc., a provider of residential and employment support to people with disabilities, is seeking individuals interested in serving on a new business advisory committee for Community Options’ Bloomsburg office. Community Options’ mission is to promote the integration of persons with disabilities within the communities in which they reside, enabling them to become viable and contributing neighbors, employees and citizens of the community. The purpose of this committee is to discuss and implement ways to help the organization better integrate into the community and bridge the gap between the community and the individuals it serves. If you may be interested in serving on this committee, or for questions, contact associate executive director David McConaghy at 570-638-6007 or email


  • CSS Industries (Berwick Offray) will host another job fair at the Chamber office at 238 Market St., Bloomsburg, on Thursday, June 21 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. CSS has multiple openings, including for full-time, part-time or summer only positions. Visit CSS’ careers site for a list of openings, and for any questions in advance, contact Melissa Burt via email.  


  • The Bloomsburg Public Library will be holding a “Country Fair” on Saturday, July 14, to help kick off Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s production of Charlotte’s Web, and is looking for a large popcorn machine to use for this event. If you or your organization has one available and would be willing to loan it to the Bloomsburg Public Library to use on this date, please contact Lydia Kegler, library director, at 570-784-0883 or email. The library is also looking for carnival type games that could be set up inside the children’s library or possibly outside in the parking lot. 


  • The Bucknell SBDC will host its annual Celebration of Small Business breakfast, which will also mark a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Bucknell SBDC, on Monday, July 16, from 8-10 a.m. at the Elaine Langone Center’s Terrace Room on the 2nd floor on the Bucknell campus. Business owners, legislators, economic development partners and startup enthusiasts are invited to join the SBDC for breakfast to recognize the entrepreneurs and leaders of the region. Special presentations will include the U.S. Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Eastern PA, the Product Innovator of the Year and the Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, named for the Bucknell SBDC’s founding director. Register online or call 570-577-1249.


  • Looking to showcase your business to students at Bucknell while also getting some free consulting work? Bucknell is launching a new pre-orientation program, Design-Thinking Leadership (DTL), providing an opportunity for your business to connect with Bucknell’s newest students. Student teams in the DTL program will formulate actionable solutions to real-world problems posed by local business owners. The program, which runs Aug. 10-14, is seeking 4 -5 business owners to speak with students and present a problem or opportunity in their business. During the next two days student teams will conceptualize, research, and refine a solution; and then pitch to the business owner at the end of the program. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your business, make lasting connections with students, and benefit from fresh perspectives and ideas. If interested in participating in this program as a business owner, submit this Google form, and for questions, contact Bucknell SBDC director Steve Stumbris at 570-577-1249 or email

Chambers Gather in Harrisburg to Discuss Business Issues

With the state budget deadline quickly approaching and the General Election right around the corner, more than 100 state and local chamber representatives from across the Commonwealth gathered in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 5 for Chamber Day at the State Capitol. The annual event, which is co-hosted by the PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals, provides a forum for constructive dialogue between representatives of local chambers and key policymakers on issues important to the state’s business community and the best ways to improve the Commonwealth’s business climate. Columbia Montour Chamber Board Vice Chair Dan Knorr (Bloomsburg University) and President Fred Gaffney were among the attendees.

“We are fortunate to have a strong network of chambers across Pennsylvania,” said Gaffney. “While the PA Chamber serves as our “boots on the ground” in Harrisburg, several of the legislators noted the importance of us coming together in Harrisburg to amplify our message. Being accompanied by members further strengthens the effort.”

Participants met with several elected officials throughout the day; including: Senate Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson; Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny; House Appropriations Majority Chairman Stan Saylor, R-York; and Democratic Chairman Joseph Markosek, D-Allegheny.  Policy discussions throughout the day were on a variety of topics, including: the 2018-19 state budget, the state’s opioid epidemic, workforce development, federal issues that impact employers, as well as the upcoming 2018 General Election. The luncheon speaker was Republican Gubernatorial candidate and former state Senator Scott Wagner. 

As echoed at the Chamber’s recent legislative breakfast, it is expected that this year’s budget process will be less contentious than in recent years. Revenues are trending slightly higher than projected, making a balanced budget easier to achieve without borrowing from special funds and issuing bonds. Governor Wolf’s budget proposes an increase of 3.1 percent. Republican leaders stated that if the increase can be negotiated to around 2 percent, a budget could be finalized by June 30. There are no broad-based tax increases included in the Governor’s budget and Republican leaders do not expect some harmful business proposals to be in the final plan.

Welcome Justice Grown and Seven Point

More than 400 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, Justice Grown and Seven Point, to help us fulfill our mission.

Justice Grown is a professional organization with roots in social justice that cultivates ways to improve the lives of patients, their communities and beyond by setting high expectations for standards, practices, and procedures. With growing support in Northeast Pennsylvania, it plans to open additional state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries in addition to the dispensary is already operates in Edwardsville, which it offers qualifying patients medical cannabis treatment. Justice Grown has now partnered with Seven Point, one of 54 state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois, to apply for a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in Columbia County. Seven Point also provides high-quality medical marijuana education through collaborating with nationally-leading medical marijuana experts. If awarded the license to operate the dispensary in Columbia County, Justice Grown and Seven Point is committed to creating well-paying jobs and contributing to other related economic development. For more information, visit Justice Grown’s website or Seven Point’s website, and they can be reached at 312-593-8448.