Thursday, May 25, 2017

Initative underway to address truck traffic in Upper Macungie Township

Ron Eichenberg, Hanna Frederick Commercial, Western Lehigh Chamber Chair

Truck traffic appears to be a topic on the agendas of many municipalities throughout the Lehigh Valley. Our own Kathy Radar with her fellow Supervisors and the management of Upper Macungie Township are taking a proactive approach to the issue. In a continuing effort to address concerns about traffic problems in Upper Macungie Township, an initiative is underway to enjoin the trucking industry, local businesses and citizens with law enforcement in a strategic plan to affect positive changes through collaborative action.

Called the Good Neighbor Coalition (GNC), the initiative was developed over a two-year span. According to Chief Edgardo A. Colón, it is being “aggressively embedded” at all levels of the UMT community through a series of meeting exchanges with citizen groups, trucking firms, elected legislators, government officials and local leaders of business and industry.

The Mission of the Good Neighbor Coalition (GNC) is to enhance safety and improve community relations between law enforcement and the commercial and residential entities within UMT and beyond. This endeavor will be accomplished through education, awareness and mutual cooperation. This will be in keeping with the Department’s mission of being “Committed to Service.”

For more information on the GNC or if you’d like to participate in the establish Work-Groups, please e-mail either Chief Edgardo A. Colón at ecolon@uppermac-pd.org or Sergeant Cory S. Reader at creader@uppermac-pd.org. They can also be contacted via phone at 484-661-5911. Make sure to “Like” our Western Lehigh Chamber Facebook page to stay up to date on things happening in our area.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

EPCC hosts inside look into Uline Shipping Supplies

Thomas Capehart, Gross McGinley, East Penn Chamber Chair

The EPCC, in partnership with the Western Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, organized a wonderful breakfast and awe-inspiring tour of Uline Shipping Supplies, a leading distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials to businesses throughout North America. The 100 attendees enjoyed a morning filled with food, fun and inspiration from within Uline’s 1.6 million square foot warehouse and shipping facility located in Upper Macungie Township. We thank Uline for providing a wonderful program and for its contributions to our business community.


On May 17, the EPCC hosted a successful event on driverless vehicles. Attendees joined us at Brookside Country Club for breakfast and to learn how industries, drivers and residents are working together to improve traffic safety and how the future autonomous vehicles will impact our roadways. O
rganized in conjunction with the WLCC, the event featured George Kinney, Director of Transportation for the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, and Chief Ed Colon, Upper Macungie Chief of Police.

Keep an eye out for an EPCC joint HALO event with the East Penn Foundation to raise funds for the both organizations’ scholarship initiatives for East Penn students. We hope to see you at an upcoming EPCC event soon!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Phillipsburg Mayor Steve Ellis brings attendees "back to school" for this year’s State of the Town Address

Jim Swick, St. Luke’s Hospital - Warren Campus, Phillipsburg Area Chamber Chair

Attendees headed back to school for this year’s “State of the Town” Address with Phillipsburg Mayor Steve Ellis. The annual Breakfast with the Mayor was held at the newly constructed Phillipsburg High School on Thursday, March 30. As the exclusive presenting sponsor, St. Luke’s Warren Campus, provided everyone with official Hall Passes, which guests collected and donned as they made their way to the delicious breakfast being served in the Cafeteria.

Once the bells rang to signal the start of a new class period, guests finished networking and were ushered into the high school auditorium for the start of Mayor Ellis’ presentation. They listened attentively as Mayor Ellis outlined his plan for the revitalization of Phillipsburg, revealed exciting updates about the town, and shared personal stories. Finally, at the conclusion of the mayor’s address, the student council provided guided tours of the new high school facilities. Thank you to all who came out for this successful event.

The month of May is another busy one for the Phillipsburg Area Chamber. We look forward to our many upcoming events, including our Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 6th at Marianna’s Restaurant & Banquet Hall. We hope to see you there!

Coming Soon....Employer Engagement Center


Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board (LVWDB)

I recently held a media roundtable to discuss what is new here at LVWDB and the PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley.  We are excited to announce the Employer Engagement Center and other innovative programs that align with our vision, mission, and goals.

May 22, 2017
Of The Morning Call

To Nancy Dischinat, that's easy: finding workers in an era of falling unemployment.
But what isn't always easy is making connections between employers and job-seekers, said Dischinat, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board.
To help bridge that gap, the organization will open an "Employer Engagement Center" around July 1 at the Workforce Development headquarters on East Union Boulevard in Allentown, Dischinat said Monday.
"It's a simple solution," she said of the center. "Tell us the jobs, skills and education you need, and we'll help you find the workers for you and get the engagement party started.
"It's going to be a stop-in center for employers that are looking for workers, looking for training, looking for training dollars, looking for data, looking for wage information, looking for a trained workforce," Dischinat said.
Dischinat organized a roundtable event Monday with her top administrators to give the public insight into that project and others. The board recently hired John Lamirand as director of data science and analytics to help bulk up its data.
William Bartle, strategic initiatives director, gave an update on a job-training program for inmates at Northampton County Prison, known as the LEAP Project. It has been used by the county for years, but officials bolstered it with a $500,000 federal grant that allowed the board to hire four employees to lead classes and guide nonviolent convicts toward jobs or training.
"Data kind of drove our decision," said Bartle. "Every year we saw more people coming to CareerLink with criminal backgrounds." Last year, he said more than 1,200 people with criminal records visited CareerLink facilities.
Since January 2016, Bartle said, 147 released inmates had enrolled in the program. Of those, 81 either found jobs or studied in vocational-training programs. He said 36 of the released inmates — about 24 percent — have been returned to jail, a recidivism rate that's about half of the jail's normal return rate.
"It's been a great program," said Dan Keen, the county's director of corrections. "The more that we can do to get these individuals prepared on the inside, the more likely they are not going to come back to jail," he said.
A 2014 federal law, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, provided governors with latitude on programs in their states based on industry needs and in-demand occupations. For the Lehigh Valley, it means such things as improving career services for those between the ages of 18 and 24, said Cindy Evans, director of youth initiatives.
"We need to get those youth working," she said, "and a lot of our youth don't have good role models to push them along and ... put them into a good path."
Expect to see more promotion of services available at Workforce Development. Dischinat was taping a video about the board's work after the roundtable, and plans are in place to upgrade its website.
"There is so gosh-darn much service available to individuals," she said. "I want to make sure they know it."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Forks Business Association kicks off new website with Website Launch Party

Lori Metz, YMCA, Easton Area Chamber Chair

On Thursday, April 27, the Forks Business Association hosted their official Website Launch Party outside the beautiful Park Plaza on Sullivan Trail. Forks community members and business owners came out to celebrate both the launching of the website and Forks Township itself. The highly-anticipated site was showcased onscreen to an eager audience.

The new FBA website offers an inside look into everything Forks Township has to offer its visitors. The site includes a directory of Forks businesses, special offers and events, and the latest township news. With Forks at their fingertips, users can easily access a breadth of information on dining, shopping, playing, and more. Be sure to check it out at www.ForksBusiness.org!

Even after the new website was unveiled, guests at the Launch Party lingered to peruse displays by Park Plaza businesses and enjoy an evening of free food and activities. Children were entertained by the Lafayette Leopard and Bethlehem Steel FC’s Soccer inflatable, while parents enjoyed beer and wine tasting courtesy of Weyerbacher and Blue Mounain Vineyards. Delicious food was provided by the Culinary Institute of Technology.

The Easton Area Chamber looks forward to our Annual Awards Reception on Thursday, June 15 at the newly renovated View at Morgan Hill. Please contact Lauren Spence at laurens@lehighvalleychamber.org if you would like more information on these upcoming Easton Chamber events!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Allentown Chamber - And the winner is...

Charles Thiel, Thiel Strategic Communications LLC, Allentown Chamber Chair

The City of Allentown has certainly seen its fair share of economic growth over the years and one thing the Allentown Chamber is really good at is recognizing our members. This year at our annual meeting on May 24, we honor four great businesses that have created jobs and vibrancy for our city.

NEW COMMITMENT – Union & Finch
is an American style bistro located at 1528 West Union Street in the former JP O’Malley’s location in the West End of Allentown. They offer quality food and drinks on a daily basis with a mature sense of hospitality and playful vibe. They combine the nostalgia of a long-lost neighborhood joint with a modern bistro setting to create the area’s newest destination for relaxed, casual dining.

DOWNTOWN COMMITMENT – Digital Feast, Inc.
is a digital marketing and branding agency located in the heart of Allentown. They are a full service agency with a talented team of creatives who produce websites, videos, digital ads, photography, logos and designs.
Digital Feast also creates and manages social media accounts and HTML e-mail campaigns.

GOOD NEIGHBOR – Joe Schaeffer of Allentown Appliance
is the recipient of this year’s Good Neighbor Award. Joe has served on the board of the Allentown Chamber, was the past president of the West End Alliance, and has been a good neighbor to the Allentown community for many years. Allentown Appliance is a family-owned discount appliances store based in Allentown since 1987. They serve customers throughout the entire Lehigh Valley.

DEDICATION – Jack’s Glass.
With over 100 years of experience in the Greater Lehigh Valley, Jack’s Glass has the reputation for being the best in the business. From custom shower doors and enclosures to storefronts and windows, Jack’s Glass is constantly being recognized by its customers and partners for doing each job flawlessly.

I hope you will join us on May 24 and help celebrate this year’s Joseph Daddona awardees.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trailblazing Women of the Lehigh Valley

Laura Azzalina, Firstrust Bank, Women’s Business Council Chair

“Our History is our Strength, Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” was the theme for National Women’s History Month. The 2017 theme honored women who have successfully challenged the role of women both personally and in the work force. In the Lehigh Valley, we are incredibly blessed to have many women who have made their mark in their work and in the community. They have served selflessly as community leaders and volunteers, connectors, sponsors and mentors. They have shared their experiences with the next generation of leaders and have offered guidance and advice when needed.

In October, the Women’s Business Council is proud to honor two deserving Women with the ATHENA Leadership Award and the Young Professional Leadership Award. These women demonstrate the attributes listed, serve as role models and actively assist other women in the attainments of professional excellence and leadership.

The ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award recognizes businesses and organizations that support develop and honor women leaders. These companies create a culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential.

Consider nominating a women leaders that has made a difference in your life. Nominations are now being accepted for our 2017 ATHENA Award Program, for additional information, please contact Danielle Joseph.