Member News – November 20, 2019

 

  • Recently, the Danville Primary School in the Danville Area School District joined the Johns Hopkins University’s National Network of Partnership Schools, a nationwide program that helps create excellent schools where families, teachers, staff and community members work together to create successful students. This new designation encompasses many things, one of which is creating home learning areas for children. As part of this initiative, the Primary School is looking to purchase children’s desks for children in the school that may need assistance. If you or your organization is interested in assisting with this goal, please see the flyer, and for additional information or questions, contact June Heeter by email or at 570-394-8413. 

 

  • BNI Central Pennsylvania, the Chamber’s newest member, will host an informational interest meeting for those interested in possibly becoming a part of a new chapter in Bloomsburg. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 7-9 a.m., at the Hampton Inn Bloomsburg. See the Facebook event page for additional information and registration. 

 

  • The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) will hold a free four-hour seminar on leadership development on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, 725 Front St., Berwick. This program helps individuals become stronger, more impactful leaders. While joining other managers and supervisors to discuss workplace challenges, attendees will explore topics that include Self-Awareness, Power & Authority, Risk & Failure, and Leadership Style. Using self-assessment tools and experiential learning, attendees will examine their strengths and weaknesses while exploring best practices of exceptional leaders. To register, and for a list of other locations of similar seminars, visit NEPIRC’s registration page

 

  • Wild For Salmon will host a holiday tasting on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at its retail store located at 521 Montour Blvd. (Rt. 11), Bloomsburg. There will be samples of various holiday-inspired dishes and other festive samples available, as well as a couple of other vendors there as well. Visit the Facebook event for more information. 

Overtime Eligibility Part of State Minimum Wage Negotiations

Governor Tom Wolf is expected to pull his plan to increase the threshold for overtime eligibility if the legislature passes an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. On Monday, Nov. 18, the Senate Labor & Industry unanimously advanced a bill that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by Jan. 1, 2022. This would be a compromise from the $12 rate Wolf has been calling for since he took office.

Senate Bill 79 would increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from the current federal level of $7.25 to $8.00 an hour beginning July 1, 2020, then to $8.50 beginning Jan. 1, 2021, $9.00 beginning July 1, 2021, and $9.50 beginning Jan. 1, 2022, with no escalator beyond that. The legislation does not change the application of the tipped wage.

In exchange for the increase, the Governor is expected to drop his plan to increase the overtime eligibility threshold from the current level of $23,660 to $45,500 in three years. A new federal threshold of $35,568 is already scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to oppose the Governor’s proposal, as additional increases as the state level would create an excessive burden on businesses and inconsistency for employers that operate in multiple states.

While the Senate is expected to approve the minimum wage proposal, House leadership has not indicated support. The PA Chamber of Business and Industry is not supporting the legislation, but president Gene Barr feels that a modest increase in the minimum wage is an appropriate trade to avoid a dramatic increase in the overtime threshold which is expected to have significantly more negative impacts on employers and employees.

Welcome BNI® Central Pennsylvania

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, BNI® Central Pennsylvania, to help us fulfill our mission.

BNI stands for Business Network International, and it is the world’s leading business networking and referral organization. Each week, in thousands of communities around the world, members meet with each other to build and cultivate relationships and pass qualified business referrals. BNI uses a franchise model, and BNI Central Pennsylvania is the local franchise that encompasses both Columbia and Montour Counties and beyond. The nearest BNI chapters to our area are currently in the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre areas, as well as in Lewisburg and Williamsport. BNI is planning to hold an informational event on the possible formation of a new chapter in Bloomsburg on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 7-9 a.m. at the Hampton Inn Bloomsburg. For more information, visit its website or Facebook page, or email

Making Strides in Berwick

A committee working to enhance downtown Berwick is encouraging area residents to get some exercise by exploring the community. The Berwick On the Move wellness initiative is inviting people to participate in an easy activity in honor of the annual Run for the Diamonds. In addition to getting some fresh air, participants have the opportunity to win a $20 gift card.

Starting at the corner of Market and Second streets, heading north toward the Jackson Mansion, count out the number of sidewalk blocks equal to the age of the Run for the Diamonds. Once you reach the correct number of blocks, take a picture of the closest street sign and email the picture to berwickonthemove@gmail.com by midnight, Nov. 30. One $20 gift card will be awarded in a random drawing from all submissions. 

Berwick On the Move is supported by the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation.

Bloomsburg University Students Prepare to Enter Workforce at Conference

Students at Bloomsburg University recently had the opportunity to network with dozens of alumni and other business leaders in learning about topics to prepare them to enter the workforce. The Zeigler Institute for Professional Development (ZIPD) Business Conference was held on campus Nov. 7 and 8 with hundreds of students participating. The Chamber and other local employers participated to help students in their development and make them aware of career opportunities in our area. 

Panel discussions and individual presentations focused on a wide range of topics including soft skills, ethics, personal branding, entrepreneurship, and specific career fields. Fred Gaffney, (’96) Chamber president, participated in several panel discussions and encouraged students to reach out to the Chamber to explore opportunities with local employers. Mary Howe, Director of ZIPD and former Chamber Board chair, regularly brings students to Chamber events to help them make connections and develop networking skills.

“One of our goals at the Chamber is to connect more local employers with Bloomsburg University, with the ultimate outcome that students will identify career opportunities and stay in our area. The ZIPD conference is a tremendous opportunity for students to make connections with potential employers,” said Gaffney “It’s also very gratifying to share experiences and knowledge with the students to assist them in their development.”

The conference was supported in part by SEKISUI SPI, main event sponsor.