Welcome Mayberry Hospitality, LLC

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, Mayberry Hospitality, LLC, to help us fulfill our mission.

Mayberry Hospitality is a locally-owned, “one-stop shop” for off-premise catered events. A custom catering company with over 25 years of experience, Mayberry serves both social and corporate events and can tailor a menu to any venue, preference and budget. It supports sustainability locally by sourcing the freshest ingredients available locally while also teaming with some of the leading food service providers to give its customers a global reach. In addition to food, it also offers bar service, tent measurement, table and chair, linen and other equipment rentals. It also sponsors the Mayberry Supper Club, a quarterly pop-up dining experience in “secret” locations. Mayberry Hospitality is located at 115 Liberty Valley Rd. in Danville, and can be reached at 570-275-9292, by email, or visit its website or Facebook page

Free Toolkit to Help Hire Veterans, Guard and Reserve

Chamber members are welcome to utilize a new free Veteran Hiring Resources Toolkit to help find and hire veterans, National Guard members and Reservists. The free Toolkit helps employers in four ways: 

  • 3-minute video briefing on the latest Federal Tax Credits for hiring veterans;
  • Recorded webinar providing many helpful recruiting insights that can be used immediately;
  • Guide to Organizations Helping Pennsylvania Employers Hire Veterans, Reservists and National Guard Members; and,
  • Submission of your job postings directly to employment transition counselors in all branches of the military.

The free Toolkit is published by Center for America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is in a pro bono alliance with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., and many trade associations across the U.S.  It encourages all employers to take advantage of this free Toolkit to get help hiring veterans, Guard members and Reservists. More than 200,000 active duty military service members leave the military every year and National Guard and Reserve Members are all expected to have full-time civilian employment.  These veterans and service members will bring discipline, leadership and advanced skills to help build organizations.

Get an Update on Downtown Berwick Efforts

A public information session will he held Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Berwick Theatre to provide updates on efforts to enhance downtown Berwick. The updates will be provided by members of the Berwick: The Next Step steering committee, which has been meeting regularly to advance recommendations in the downtown enhancement plan, developed in early 2017. The Chamber supported the development of the plan and is part of the committee. Information will be presented on potential development projects, marketing activities, and other efforts. There will also be opportunities for concerned businesses and residents to get involved in these efforts.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) Hosts 10 Students from Columbia and Montour Counties

Lillian Aronson (2nd row, far right) and Allison Diehl (3rd row, 2nd from the left) were elected CEOs of their student companies during PFEW, Week 4 at Lycoming College. 

The Columbia Montour Chamber and the Chamber Foundation support not only local business, but also educating our youth about business and future employment opportunities right here in Columbia and Montour counties. That’s why for years, both organizations have supported Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). This award-winning program teaches students to understand and celebrate the American private enterprise system and provides a unique, hands-on learning experience that helps students develop the vital skills businesses need to succeed. This summer, 10 students from Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, and Millville School Districts, as well as Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School, joined over 2,000 students from across the state to participate in the 40th annual PFEW summer program recently concluded in Williamsport.

At PFEW, students form management teams of approximately eighteen students and run their own manufacturing company, competing against other student companies. Throughout the week, world class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics germane to the business world and their personal and professional development. It is not only a powerful educational experience, it can be positively life-changing. Here are a few quotes from local students who attended this year’s program:

“Even though I am not currently looking into a career in business, the information that I learned here will help me to have success in whatever my future holds… The changes and experiences I have gone through this week will stay with me forever and mold who I am in the future” Owen Flaugh, Central Columbia High School

“I’ve had amazing opportunities to participate in programs that allowed me to travel the world and make a difference. I didn’t think PFEW could beat that, yet it did.” Lillian Aronson, Millville Area JSHS

The program is taught entirely by volunteer practitioners from the PA business community, and each year, over 200 volunteers are needed to put on this world-class program. Students attend via a $625 scholarship donated by a local business, foundation, civic organization or individual. This year, the Chamber Foundation provided scholarships through a donation from First Keystone Community Bank, which was one of six organizations from Columbia and Montour Counties that provided scholarship support. The Foundation will also be able to fund scholarship next year through grants from First Keystone. To get involved as a donor or volunteer, or to discover more about PFEW or learn more about how to apply to participate in this program, visit PFEW’s website, or call Scott Lee at 814-833-9576.

As Public Comment Period Closes, Republicans Urge Wolf Administration to Ax Proposed Overtime Regulations

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

As the public comment period on the Wolf administration’s proposed overtime rules drew to a close last week, a group of 15 Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission that called the changes an “administrative nightmare” for employers.

“Employers of all types will have to engage in additional timekeeping and other record keeping to comply,” the letter states.  “Also, employers will have to reclassify many employees and reorganize their operations upon implementation.”  These facts are in line with the concerns that the PA Chamber and employers statewide expressed during the public comment period that ended on Aug. 22.  These concerns mirror the swift, negative reaction that employers had a few years ago when the Obama administration issued proposed changes to overtime rules that were very similar to – but did not even go as far as – the Wolf administration’s proposal.    

First announced by the Wolf administration in January, the proposal – which was unveiled by the state Department of Labor and Industry in June – would raise the wage threshold for “exempt status” to more than double what is currently set by the federal government; along with changes to “duties tests” that determine eligibility; and an automatic update to the salary threshold every three years.  This would have an especially harsh impact among small businesses, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and the health service industry, among others. 

The PA Chamber continues to speak out against this flawed proposal, which would harm Pennsylvania’s competitiveness and negatively impact workplace culture and morale, as employees would need to be shifted from earning a salary to being paid by the hour.  This transition typically requires employees to start clocking in and out, along with more burdensome record-keeping, less flexibility, a rigid work schedule and fewer training opportunities and benefits.  These impacts were noted in a letter the PA Chamber coordinated with various industry groups, which had urged the commission to extend the public comment deadline in order to give employers and the public more time to analyze the effect of the overtime changes and weigh in.  

The proposal is currently pending with the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.  Over the next several weeks, IRRC will review the feedback garnered from the public comment period before issuing a final ruling.