The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is in the process of planning its programming for the upcoming months and requests the assistance of Chamber members and the local business community to help identify the cybersecurity needs and interests of small businesses by completing this survey. It should take only about three (3) minutes to complete and it will be open until Sept. 10. The Bucknell SBDC thanks all respondents for their feedback.
Quality employees are important to any size and type of employer. The most successful businesses in our area, particularly those in manufacturing, often cite a skilled and dedicated workforce a key component of that success. The Chamber and its Foundation work to strengthen the area’s current and future workforce in supporting members. The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently approved a policy statement in support of workforce development efforts.
These efforts include:
- Increasing the emphasis on and funding for internships, apprenticeships, and mentoring programs
- Collaboration among high schools, technical schools, universities, and educators to meet the needs and concerns of the Commonwealth’s employers
- Promoting vocational career pathways and earning potential to students at a young age
- Training employers on workforce development best practices
While some of these efforts focus on skilled trades, others attempt to address issues cited by all types of employers, such as work ethic, lack of interpersonal skills, and an inability to communicate confidently and maturely. The Chamber and its Foundation are finalizing a workforce development plan in line with this policy.
Chamber members enjoyed a full early-evening meal hot off the grill thanks to host Ken Pollock Ford Lincoln and also had a chance to check out the dealership’s wide selection of new and preowned vehicles in between networking at the first Business After Hours of the month on Wednesday, Aug. 16. A proud member of the local community, Ken Pollock Ford Lincoln will be renovating its showroom at its Berwick dealership in the coming months, and hopes to host another Chamber event in the future to show off the newly remodeled showroom when it is complete. For more information about Ken Pollock Ford Lincoln, visit its website, Ken Pollock’s overall auto group website, or call 888-527-0304.
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 on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, 549 Fair St., Bloomsburg, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Representatives from local human service agencies, law enforcement, the medical community, and The Chamber are meeting regularly to reduce opioid abuse and related deaths in the area. Attention is being paid to multiple areas including education, enforcement, and treatment. The Chamber is involved due to the growing issue of substance abuse within the workforce.
On Wednesday, Aug. 16, Dr. Muhamad Aly Rifai, Medical Director for the Lehigh County Center for Recovery, provided an overview to coalition members of the physiology of substance abuse, and current treatment practices. Research shows that certain people are more susceptible to substance addiction. As this research progresses, he believes widespread testing could be available in about five years.
Treating substance abuse is not a “one-size fits all” approach, according to Rifai. Studies indicate that a longer-term treatment plan that includes medicine significantly reduces the likelihood of relapse. The specific medicines used in treatment as well as the length of time of treatment vary. He does not believe that someone in recovery needs to stay on medication for the rest of their life.
The Columbia Montour Opioid Coalition is being coordinated by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County. For more information or to get involved with the Coalition, contact Adrienne Mael at the United Way at 570-784-3134 or email.
- The Bucknell Small Business Development Center will host its next First Step Workshop tomorrow, Aug. 17, from 1-3 p.m. at its office inside the DeWitt Building (3rd floor), located at 416 Market St., Lewisburg. This workshop is intended for people that have considered and would like to start their own business but may have numerous questions, such as what types of forms and licenses that are needed, where to find financing, how to prepare a business plan and where to open. The first step to starting a successful new venture is to attend an SBDC First Step Workshop. Cost is $25. Register online or by calling Shelley Gadoury at 570-577-1249.
- Montour County Children and Youth Services will host a free training for individuals who are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse tomorrow, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The training program is put together by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Though this training is free, pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, fill out this form on the PFSA website. Those registering will receive an email once their registration has been processed, which will include the address for the training location.
- Help the crew at Wild For Salmon celebrate the return of its fishing team from its record-breaking season in Bristol Bay, Alaska as it hosts its annual Fishtival on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. outside its Bloomsburg store at 521 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11). Owner Steve Kurian and his crew caught over 100,000 pounds of wild salmon during this year’s fishing season, and with harvest numbers so high, they want to share some with the public. There will be free samples of salmon cooked by Chef Josh and the Wild For Salmon crew, and several other visitors will be on hand to free tastings, including beer and wine samples from fellow Chamber members Turkey Hill Brewing and Freas Farm Winery. There will also be an educational booth this year discussing the importance of preserving the lifeblood of the business, Bristol Bay.
- The Columbia County Traveling Library will host a New Bookmobile Celebration Picnic & Summer Reading Wrap Party this Saturday, Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot and lawn outside its offices at 702 Sawmill Rd., Bloomsburg. In case of rain, it will be moved indoors to the conference room by the library. The event will feature free hot dogs, hamburgers and other picnic food courtesy of the Friends of the Library, a petting zoo with animals, a bouncy slide, a performance by Beatrix Potter, police officer storytime, the Art Cart from The Exchange, and much more. There is no cost to attend, and all kids who participated in summer reading will be able to select their prize books. Every child that attends will receive a prize.
- Zydeco music innovator Corey Ledet and his band will kick off the Weis Center for the Performing Arts’ 30th anniversary season on Friday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. on the Weis Center Plaza.
This family-friendly performance is free and tickets are not required. The rain location is the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. Patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, blanket and picnic. A free pre-performance lecture and demonstration with the artist will take place the same day at noon in the Atrium Lobby.
- Co., a social and professional networking group that is run by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County, will hold its fall kickoff event on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Farmhouse at Turkey Hill’s Greenhouse. Co. was founded to give area residents the opportunity to take advantage of all the great things this area has to offer. This group is for everyone, which means any age, ability, or area of residence. It holds multiple events each month. For more information about Co., including future events, visit its Facebook page.
- PA Careerlink will hold a free seminar on unemployment compensation titled Unemployment Compensation 101 on Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties, located at 415 Central Rd., Bloomsburg. To register, call Donna Eyerly at 570-387-6288 or email. The seminar will guide employers through the process of the opening of a UC claim through the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s UC Service Center by an employee who has been separated from employment, permanently or temporarily, or is working less than the employer’s established full-time work week. Important points that will be explained include:
- What forms will the employer receive when a UC claim is open or reopened and how will the information requested be used to determine the claimant’s eligibility and protect the employer’s UC liability?
- What steps are taken by the UC Service Center to determine a claimant’s eligibility for UC benefits?
- What issues does the UC Service Center consider in determining a claimant’s eligibility?
- The employer’s right to appeal a determination issued by the UC Service Center
- Any addition forms that employer may receive related to the unemployment compensation
- Members of the Danville Child Development Center’s Early Intervention team recently presented to Geisinger’s Reichart Road Pediatricians about the services DCDC provides children ages birth to three. DCDC’s EI team discussed the process of referring children to early intervention and how DCDC’s home-visiting model works to provide therapies to children with developmental delays or special needs. DCDC still has room for interested volunteers to get involved. Guest readers are always welcome in its classrooms. Email Michele Jenkins if interested and to set it up. Misc. projects are often facilitated by volunteers and can always use a helping hand. Contact Steve Bevans for such opportunities. There are also some vacancies on the DCDC board. Email Diana Verbeck if interested and for how to apply.
- From the Bucknell Small Business Development Center: Students enrolled in a Markets, Innovation and Design course this fall at Bucknell University are offering to design websites free of charge for local businesses and organizations during the fall semester. The web design project will provide a hands-on learning experience for the students while benefiting local organizations. Recent examples of their work include Amami, West Branch Brewery and Beer Barn. If your business or organization would like to be considered for a free website design or redesign this fall, fill out an application to be considered. The application deadline Thursday, Aug. 31.
- SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) has earned two 2017 Innovation awards from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation. Each year, the Innovation Awards program honors NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional community and economic development and improved quality of life. These projects have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of services and program delivery provided by regional development organizations across the country. The 2017 award recipients consists of 80 projects spanning 21 states.SEDA-COG’s awarded areas are for economic development in a coal-impacted region and flood mitigation and resiliency planning. SEDA-COG coordinated the project that now provides flood protection for Autoneum and the former Windsor Foods facility in Bloomsburg.