Chamber Foundation Hosts Future Careers Expo

On March 5, The Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2019 Future Careers Expo.  This year’s expo featured 30 organizations and over 70 representatives from healthcare, manufacturing, law enforcement, education, conservation, amusement and more.  This event was an opportunity for area high school and middle schools students, and their parents, to meet with organizations to hear about opportunities today and for their future.  Over 140 students attended the event, held at Central Columbia High School, to speak to company representatives about the opportunities they offer, and the best educational and skills pathways to those careers.

Students attended from Berwick, Central Columbia, Millville, Warrior Run, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, Southern Columbia School Districts, as well as, Berwick New Story and Home School.  The room was electric with conversation about the endless possibilities offered in our area.  The Foundation is proud to share that we were also able to award five $100 Future Scholarships thanks to the Arconic Foundation to the following students:

  • Michelle B – Central Columbia High School
  • Sabrina D – Millville High School
  • Zachary P – Central Columbia High School
  • Lillian W – Warrior Run Middle School
  • Archer Q – Berwick New Story

This year’s event was great success, thanks to the companies, students, parents and school districts participation.  The plan is to capitalize on the success of having this event at local high schools, and rotate this event to other districts in Columbia and Montour counties.  Look for information about next year’s event for your opportunity to participate. 

The Foundation would like to thank our sponsors for the event: Arconic Foundation, SEKISUI SPI, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, PPL Electric Utilities, Kawneer, USG, Williams, The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, Bloomsburg University, Central Columbia School District, Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, Key Partners, M&T Bank, North Shore Railroad, Service 1st Federal Credit Union and Penn College.

Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation Announces New Grant Opportunities

Recipients of 2018 grants from the Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation gathered last fall for a luncheon. Front Row (seated): Linda Resseguie, Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Inc.; Ruth Joy Capozzi, Your Loving Choices, Inc.; Laurie Swank, AGAPE; Sandie Yule, AGAPE; Second Row (standing): Kara Walsh, Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Inc.; Heather Beagle, The Exchange; Anne Cosper, The Exchange; Jim Mccann, Central Susquehanna Sight Services; Debbie Jones, Columbia County Child Development Program; Ashley Miccio, Bloomsburg Area YMCA; Sue Jackson, Coalition on Social Equity; Lydia Kegler, Bloomsburg Public Library; Oren Helbok, The Exchange

Grant Application (pdf)

The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation (BACF) announces grant opportunities for local nonprofit organizations serving the greater Bloomsburg area. This competitive grant round begins now and will continue into July. Approximately $10,000 is available in this grantround.

Only 501(c)(3) nonprofit and governmental organizations are eligible to apply and 100% of requested funding from the above noted funds must be invested within Bloomsburg and surrounding areas. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

Grant applications must be completed and submitted through a web-based program. Prior to beginning the grant application process, applicants are encouraged to watch a short tutorial. Interested applicants can find the tutorial and instructions for completing grant application online by visiting www.csgiving.org, clicking on “Receive” and then “Apply for a Grant”. Look for information under the heading “Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation”.

Grant requests must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2019.

The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation was created in 1996 from the interest paid back on a loan borrowed by Magee Industrial Enterprises from a Federal Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG). The Town of Bloomsburg invested this interest to create the Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation.

The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation is affiliated with the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation (CSCF) and their grant process is administered by the CSCF. For more information, please contact Christine Orlando, CSCF Senior Program Officer, at 570-752-3930, ext. 2 or by email.

State Transportation Commission, PennDOT Invite Public Comments

From PennDOT

The State Transportation Commission (STC), PennDOT and our planning partners are excited to announce the beginning of the Twelve Year Transportation Program Planning Process. The STC recently released the 2019 Transportation Performance Report. It contains info about how PA’s transportation system performed over the last two years. We encourage you to read and share the report and then – Tell Us What You Think! 

The Open Public Comment Period for the 2021 Twelve Year Program Update is March 11 – April 26, 2019. The comments received during the Open Public Comment Period help guide statewide transportation planning and programming. 

You are an important stakeholder in transportation planning and we welcome your voice in this process.

Take the Transportation Survey: March 11 – April 26
Register for the Online Public Meeting: March 20 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m
.
*Registration is not required to attend the Online Public Meeting. 

For more information, visit www.TalkPATransportation.com 
Phone: (717) 783-2262 
Email: 
RA-PennDOTSTC@pa.gov 

Details Emerge on New Federal Overtime Proposal

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Numerous media outlets last week reported details on a new overtime eligibility rule expected to be proposed in the near future by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

The proposal would update the so-called “white collar exemption” rules, which dictate when an employee is exempt from overtime rules requiring time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week.  Currently, an employee may fall under the white collar exemption if he or she earns less than $455 per week.  The proposed rule reportedly increases the “salary test” threshold to $679 per week.  The rule is also expected to stipulate that nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, including commissions, may satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary test, provided such bonuses are paid annually or more frequently.

This proposal follows a 2016 rule proposed by the Obama Administration to increase the salary threshold to $913 per week and require regular increases thereafter.  This proposal was widely opposed by the employer community, which cited significant costs and the prospect of being forced to shift employees from earning a salary to ‘clock in, clock out’ hourly-based wages which reduce flexibility and may actually lead to less take home pay.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a lawsuit opposing this rule, which was ultimately struck down by a federal court.

Member News – March 13, 2019

  • Currently, and running through April 4, the United Way of Columbia and Montour County is again offering free basic tax help to low and moderate-income residents in the community. This program will be held Tuesdays and Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 130 W. 3rd St., Bloomsburg (use the rear entrance). No appointments are necessary, only drop-offs and walk-ins will be accepted. For questions, call the United Way at 570-784-3134 or email, and see the flyer for additional information.

 

  • Commonwealth Health – Berwick Hospital Center will present a free six-week educational series titled “Six Weeks to Better Health” beginning today, March 13 and running each of the next five Wednesdays after that from 12-1 p.m. at the Hospital’s Conference Room 1 and 2, located at 701 East 16th St., Berwick. The final session in the series will be held from 5-6 p.m. on April 17. Titles of each session are: Living with High Blood Pressure; Why Do I need a Colonoscopy?; Living with Joint Disease; Solutions for Leg Pain and Swelling; Dealing with the Symptoms of Menopause; and Advanced Directives and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). For more information, see the flyer, and to RSVP, call 570-759-5337. 

 

  • The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, through its special FARMERS CARE project, made its annual donation of food, household items and monetary donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Danville recently.

    Students from local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters made the delivery of donated good and funds to the Ronald McDonald House of Danville recently.

    FARMERS CARE demonstrates how Pennsylvania’s farmers care about their communities by collecting donations to support those in need. The total amount of food, households products and monetary contributions that have been donated to RMHD over the past 21 years is in excess of $378,000, including over $21,000 this year alone. Members of the PFB from the following counties conducted the 2019 drive for RMHD: Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder, Columbia, Lycoming, Bradford, Sullivan, Clinton, Tioga, Potter and McKean. 

 

  • For The Cause is inviting area nonprofits, their boards and their prospective donors to a free 90-minutes conversations on smarter giving and fundraising strategies on Wednesday, March 27, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Teen Center, located at 1130 Sixth Ave., Berwick. They’ll discuss how to recognize donors, maximizing gift impact potential, minimizing taxes, and more. Seating is limited, so please RSVP by March 22 by email. For more information, see the flyer.

 

  • Bloomsburg University’s Professional U program will host a Marketing, Management and Communications Career Connections Expo on Thursday, March 28, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Kehr Union Ballroom on the BU campus. Any employer looking to recruit business or communications students would benefit from participating. Employers interested in participating should call 570-389-3791 or email

 

  • Employees of all Chamber members are invited and welcome to attend Bloomsburg University Professional U’s Don’t be Fooled by the Fork networking dinner on Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at Monty’s on the BU Upper Campus. This dinner is an opportunity for BU students to practice professional networking and dining etiquette in a social setting among alumni and professional volunteers. Chamber members are welcome to join this event as role models and table hosts, and impart your wisdom to current students as they learn how to conduct themselves in a professional dining situation. There is no charge to attend this event and the meal is complimentary, however donations are appreciated in the form of a plate sponsorship ($40) or table sponsorship ($280). Register and make any voluntary donations online by March 22.