Chamber and Business Leaders Gather for 2022 Chamber Day

More than 80 chamber of chamber professionals and business leaders from across the Commonwealth gathered in Harrisburg on Tuesday for the 2022 Chamber Day at the State Capitol. The annual event, co-hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals, included policy discussions with key public officials and provided an opportunity for chambers to advocate on behalf of the employer community to improve the Commonwealth’s business climate.

“Chamber Day provides an invaluable opportunity for our chamber community partners and local business leaders to come together and collectively advocate for a pro-growth agenda to improve Pennsylvania’s economic climate,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “Chambers of commerce play a critical role representing employers in their respective regions and advocating for policies that will help businesses and communities across the Commonwealth thrive.”

The day opened with welcoming remarks from Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, and proceeded with a series of panel discussions focusing on a range of topics including transportation and infrastructure; workforce development and the 2022 elections. Attendees were also briefed on the status of state budget negotiations from House Appropriations Committee Democratic Chair Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery; and Republican Vice Chair Jesse Topper, R-Bedford; and were provided a state economic overview from PA Independent Fiscal Office Director Matthew Knittel.

“We value the opportunity to come together as a chamber community each year during the budget process to discuss issues of importance to employers,” said Fred Gaffney, President of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce and PACP Board Chair. “Thank you to the PA Chamber for their tremendous support and assistance with this annual event.”

Member News – June 8, 2022

Berwick Area YMCA Announces Community Phase of Capital Campaign

At a groundbreaking ceremony for a new gymnasium, The Berwick Area YMCA announced the start of the community phase of fundraising for their planned capital project. The new gymnasium is Phase 1 of the $5.5 million expansion. Phases 2 and 3 include new wellness facilities to better meet the needs of community health, expanded parking and a new STEM activity lab to better prepare youth with 21st century job skills. “We began planning for this moment almost immediately after our last capital expansion in 2010” said Berwick Y CEO Nick Pajovich. “We knew that to truly meet the needs in our community, we needed to continue to grow and develop more programs. To date we have raised $5.1 million dollars which equals 94% of our $5.5 million dollar project cost. This project is all about uniting our community and inviting the residents to join us in this exciting campaign that will ensure we can help even more people on their journey for a better life and give children the best start possible. .We need our community’s help to reach our goal so we can complete all three phases of the project. The opening of the new facilities will be a transformative moment for the community.”

Since the last capital expansion, YMCA membership has grown and the Y no longer has the space to accommodate the need for services and can no longer expand any new programs. The Berwick Y is now the largest provider of childcare services in the county, as well as one of the largest providers of anti-hunger programs. “We identify community needs and develop programs and solutions that meet those needs,” said Pajovich.  “These new facilities will allow us to expand programs that prevent chronic disease, develop other healthy lifestyle initiatives that will impact the health of our community, ensure that kids and teens have a safe place with positive role models, expand our anti-hunger programs to reduce food insecurity among kids and families in the community and create opportunities for seniors to stay active and social. The improved parking will eliminate barriers to seniors and the disabled and allow more people access to our programs, and the new STEM lab will give youth and teens the opportunity to discover skills and talents that will serve them for a lifetime. The possibilities of what we can accomplish with these new facilities are truly endless.”

To help the cause, the Community Giving Foundation has provided a challenge grant to the project. In addition to the $250,000.00 they have already committed, the Foundation will match, dollar for dollar, the next $50,000.00 pledged to the campaign. To support the campaign, contact the YMCA. Donations are also being accepted through the Berwick Area YMCA webpage, www.berwicky.org.

Member News – June 1, 2022

United In Recovery: Summer Recovery Picnic Scheduled 

This picnic brings the the community together to uplift and support those in recovery and celebrate the dedication of service providers and community members who make recovery in all its forms possible. There will be free food, live music, stories of recovery, and community organizations providing recovery resource material. 

The event, which will be held rain or shine, will be held at Briar Creek Lake in Berwick on Thursday, June 16th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Click here to register and to learn more about the event. 

Chamber Hosts Annual Golf Tournament

The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce held its annual Golf Tournament on Thursday May 26th at the Rolling Pines Golf Course. Thirty foursomes participated in the event, sponsored by Williams. The comfortable, 70-degree day started with lunch sponsored by Heritage Financial Services. Beverages throughout the day were sponsored by Wagner’s Trophies and Engraveables. Dinner, provided by Craft Catering, was sponsored by First Keystone Community Bank.

The overall winning team was 3B Consultant Services Inc., with a prize of 4-$50 gift cards to the Inn, Farmhouse & Brewery at Turkey Hill. The foursome from Williams finished second in the first flight and received 4-$25 gift cards to the Pine Barn Inn. Both teams shot 59 and the winner determined by a match of cards.

The foursome from Towne Camera was the top team in the second flight and received 4-$25 gift cards to Marley’s Brewery and Grille and Knoebels. The group from Commercial Stainless finished second and was awarded 4-$25 gift cards to Quaker Steak & Lube. Those two teams also shot the same score of 66.

Jonathan Else from the McKonly & Asbury’s foursome hit the longest drive for the men, while Jodi Alley from First Keystone Community Bank was the lady’s big hitter. Both were awarded watches from J. Lylo Jewelers. From the Trivium Packaging foursome, Mike Dixon claimed closest to the pin, winning tickets to any upcoming show at the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.

In two big raffles at the event,  Mike Upton won the 58” TV, which was donated by Walmart. Commercial Stainless’ Brian Wawroski won the Pit Boss Table Top Griddle, which was provided by Cole’s Hardware.

The Chamber wishes to thank all of the participants, sponsors, volunteers, and staffs of Rolling Pines and Craft Catering for helping to make the 2022 Golf Tournament a success.

Member News – May 25, 2022

Bloomsburg Children’s Museum Announces Pennsylvania’s State Junior Academy of Science State Winners

The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum hosts a science fair for local students every January. This past January, 35 students from 8 schools competed in the fair which was held at the Bloomsburg Fire Company. From that, 17 students were sent to the regional Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PJAS) fair at Susquehanna University on February 26. At the regional fair, students from 10 counties compete for a chance to move on to states. Seven of the 17 students the Museum sponsored at this fair moved on to the PJAS state science fair.  

This past Monday, May 16th, these 7 students joined over 1200 other students from across the state at Penn State University to showcase their work and compete for prizes.  

Philip Polstra Jr. (Bloomsburg Christian School) captured a First Award in Junior High School Chemistry for his project “Acid Erosion.” Kathryn Polstra (Bloomsburg Christian School) was awarded a Second Award in Highschool Biochemistry for her project “The Digestibility of Gum.” Brooke Rhoads (Bloomsburg Christian School) was awarded a Second Award in Highschool Chemistry for “Freezing Point Depression.” Josiah Stoffer (Bloomsburg Christian School) won a Second Award in Highschool Biology for his project “How Well Brine Shrimp Hatch in Different Salinities.” Kaitlyn Westover (Benton Area High School) was awarded a Second Award in Biology for her presentation on “What Fruit Produces More DNA?” Brooke Woll (Danville High School) took home a Second Award in Highschool Behavioral Science for her project “Does highlighting text help or hinder memorability.” Gwendolyn Greene won a Third Award in Highschool Biology for her project “Beet This.”

“We want to congratulate each of these amazing students. They worked for months on their projects and rose to the top level of competition,” Dr. Ginny Weibel, the Director of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum said. “I also want to recognize the contributions of the students’ parents and teachers who worked with the students and supported them through this.”  

Sekisui/Kydex, the PPL Foundation, and The Friends of the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum helped to sponsor these students as they advanced through all levels of the science fairs.  

The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit overseen by a board of directors. This organization strives to offer unique, sustainable, and dynamic learning opportunities for youth through year-round interactive exhibits, programming, and community outreach. For more information, please visit https://the-childrens-museum.org/


Bloomsburg YMCA Announces EITC Accreditation

The Bloomsburg Area YMCA (BAY) has announced its approval as an accredited Educational Improvement Tax Credit Organization for its Summer Day Camp and Afterschool programs. The YMCA now is approved as both an Educational Improvement Organization and a Pre-k Scholarship Organization.

The approval will allow BAY to continue its commitment to youth and families throughout Columbia County by partnering with local businesses that can help ensure quality programs while earning valuable tax credits.

“The Bloomsburg Area YMCA offers an array of innovative educational and socialization programs that address the needs of youth of all ages in Columbia County,” said CEO Wayne Stump. “The EITC accreditation will help us grow and enhance our school age childcare program that are vital to so many families in our area.”

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, administered by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, allows the business community to get more involved in children’s education by redirecting their tax dollars to support local non-profit scholarship organizations.

By contributing to an authorized non-profit organization like the Bloomsburg Area YMCA, EITC will provide companies with a 75% tax credit for a one-year commitment, or 90% for a two-year commitment. Credits are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, with the maximum tax credit companies could earn of $750,000.

“EITC scholarships have provided thousands of opportunities to families throughout the state, and we are proud to offer this incentive in our own community,” Stump said. “This funding is a chance to reaffirm BAY’s commitment to young people today and in the years to come. We’re excited to welcome delegates from the community to join us in this journey.”

“This accreditation is just one example of how BAY is deepening its commitment to the development of our youth, and how it enables the business community to help young people achieve their goals every single day,” Stump said. “We have seen first-hand how the local business community has overwhelming supported our programs, and we are hopeful this new funding opportunity will continue that support.”