Partnership With mikeroweWORKS Foundation Helps Students Pursue Skilled Trades

From the PA Chamber of Business & Industry

In May 2016, the Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation teamed up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to increase public awareness around the growing demand for workers in the skilled trades, and to help award scholarships specifically to Pennsylvania students through the Work Ethic Scholarship Program.

In the past three years, thanks to generous donations from the Pennsylvania business community, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation has helped provide nearly $195,000 in work ethic scholarships for approximately 94 Pennsylvania students who are entering into the skilled trades in the Commonwealth. And now the 2020 Scholarship is open and available for students who are pursuing an education in the skilled trades to apply.

The PA Chamber hopes to have a record year in scholarships given to PA students interested in learning a skilled trade. You can learn more about the partnership here

PA Chamber Launches Career Calculator to Help PA Students Maximize Career Options

From the PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation is proud to launch “Your Career Starts HERE” – an online career calculator aimed at helping Pennsylvania students make informed post-secondary education decisions.  As the next phase of the PA Chamber’s wide-ranging workforce initiative aimed at addressing the jobs skills gap, Start the Conversation HERE, the calculator pulls key Pennsylvania specific information – including starting salary, educational costs and potential loan payments upon graduation.  This new website tool is designed to help Pennsylvania students determine the most productive career path.  

“For many people, post-secondary education is the first substantive investment they make as an adult,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr.  “Unfortunately, we’re finding that many students are graduating with degrees that don’t match up with the in-demand careers that are currently available in the state.  This disconnect results in people without jobs, but also jobs without the people to fill them.  We’re excited to launch this innovative, user-friendly tool to help Pennsylvanians make educated decisions regarding the realistic costs and return on investment of their educational choices post-graduation.  This is the next step in our initiative to ensure Pennsylvania’s workforce is trained and prepared to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s evolving jobs market.”  

The career calculator is an interactive tool that allows users to input key information to calculate the ROI on their educational investment and selected career field.  Based on data pulled from the state and federal government, users can determine the job prospects in a particular field, the average starting salary, the training or educational requirements; as well as the educational costs and potential loan payments upon graduation.  Users can also compare the costs of obtaining the degree/training for a specific career at different schools across the Commonwealth.    

“The initial career and educational choices a person makes can either set them on a path toward long-term debt or career readiness,” said PA Chamber Workforce Development Executive Allen Norton.  “There’s a large segment of the population that is not unemployed, but rather underemployed – meaning that they are working in a career that they didn’t need the degree they went to school for.  We’re hoping to stop that cycle and also stop the state’s population decline by showing all the career and educational opportunities that exist in Pennsylvania.”

More information on the PA Chamber’s far-reaching workforce initiative is available online.   

Java Momma Showcases New Facility at First Business After Hours of 2020

Attendees enjoyed an evening at Java Momma while sampling fresh brewed coffee and taking tours of their new facility on Ferry Street in Danville at the Chamber’s first Business After Hours of 2020, held January 29th. 

Java Momma offers wholesale for retail/private label, coffee for breakrooms with subscription and delivery options, bulk coffee, as well as tea and cocoa. Their Coffee Cart will soon be available daily with coffees and baked goods for sale (self-serve). Casual seating will be available.

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours is currently slated for Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Danville Child Development Center, 986 Wall St., Danville. The 2020 Business After Hours schedule for the whole year is available on our website.

Welcome Allison Turayev- Director of Marketing and Communications

The Columbia Montour Chamber welcomes Allison Turayev as Director of Marketing and Communications. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration Degree from Bloomsburg University, and has over 10 years of marketing and business experience. Allison is a native from the Berwick-Bloomsburg area, and has a strong passion for supporting local businesses. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her husband and 2 daughters and is interested in martial arts, traveling, and photography.

Wolf Overtime Eligibility Proposal Scheduled For Vote

From the PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Barring any unforeseen development, the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission is expected to consider and likely approve Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed overtime eligibility expansion measure at a meeting on Friday, Jan. 31.

The PA Chamber has been a leading voice against the governor’s proposal to dramatically expand – both in the near-term and automatically going forward – the scope of employees eligible for overtime pay, or time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 in a week.  This costly move would force many employers to convert their workers from salaried into hourly positions so that hours can be closely monitored and overtime avoided.

Late last year the state Senate voted 42-7 to pass S.B. 79 – compromise legislation that would rescind the overtime rule in exchange for a gradual increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9.50 by 2022.  While the PA Chamber has historically opposed minimum wage increases, the Chamber concluded the compromise has merit and, as the only viable option to stopping the overtime rule, have urged the House to pass it as well.

Governor Wolf had previously said that if S.B. 79 did not reach his desk before Jan. 31, he would allow IRRC to take up the measure at the end of January.  That scenario now appears likely as the House is not scheduled to be back in session until Feb. 3. Should IRRC approve the proposal (which is expected given its 3-2 Democratic majority) the PA Chamber will advocate that House and Senate lawmakers pass a motion to disapprove the measure.  This action is widely considered symbolic, however, as any disapproval legislation would have to overcome a likely veto by Gov. Wolf.