Friday, April 30, 2010

Guest Blog Post: No, I am not a terrorist and a lesson in crisis management

Now updated to include website and ticket information.  For tickets, please visit

This is definitely one of the more interesting guest blog posts we've had.
Imagine you’re about to launch a new women’s magazine that you have been working on for nearly two years, and two months before your big launch your sister calls and jokingly asks if you're leading a double life. She explains that someone with your same name is all over the news that night…on every channel, on the national news! They call her "jihad jane" and she is a suspected terrorist!

UGH! Bad timing at best. And there are not that many Colleen LaRose’s in the world.
Curious, about this other Colleen LaRose, I did a google search…and learned that she is about my age, has blond hair and blue eyes like me…and lived only 30 miles from my house! WOW! This is weird….
BUT THEN….searching a few more articles on google…I found a link about the suspected terrorist….with a picture of ME posted by a young Australian journalist on two news blogs! He had taken the picture from my facebook account and was claiming that I was the American terrorist! GASP!
This is when my education really paid off….. As a graduate of the Masters in Public Relations program from Rowan University, I had the skills to turn, what could have been a PR nightmare, into positive publicity for the magazine and upcoming launch party. I reached out to news organizations with a press release, asking for their help.
Here is the news release I sent out and the story as covered by NBC10 news in Philadelphia.

The result:

Local and National news outlets started interviewing me within an hour of sending out the news release….(the story was on NBC10 tv in Philadelphia and NBC in New York City, and even went national on MSNBC! Sirius radio covered the story and it was on the front page of most newspapers throughout New Jersey and Eastern PA!)

This exemplifies crisis management skills. As frightening as the moment felt, I set aside the feelings and dealt with the situation at hand. What could have done irreparable damage to my career became a wonderful opportunity to tell people about my new magazine. I took charge of my reputation and created a better situation for myself by telling my side of the story before it became a problem.
Because of this exposure, NBC10 from Philadelphia is coming to our launch party and bringing their cameras!
The motto of FemmeSpeak! magazine is “Live to Inspire.” This gave me the chance to inspire others to make lemon meringue pie out of lemons. When bad things happen, don’t freeze or fret….sieze the moment…. In every challenge lies an opportunity…you just have to be able to recognize how to take advantage of that opportunity!

FemmeSpeak! is the “Voice of women in Bucks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties” providing a creative outlet (women from the region contribute their literary and artwork and write the articles) resources and support to women. FemmeSpeak! optimizes women’s inherent capabilities to network. Through the print magazine, interactive communication technology, and events, women form supportive inspirational coalitions

FemmeSpeak! Launch Party
Pearl S. Buck Homestead
520 Dublin Road
Perkasie, PA
May 14, 2010
6-10 pm
Bring your dancing shoes and your appetite....

There will be a live band (Brooke Shive and the 45's) and a chef challenge with some of the best chefs in the region who will compete that night for the votes of the attendees. Readers told us that they want to know how to cook fast, healthy meals at home that will not break the budget. Chefs will hand out recipe cards (to include cost) so that attendees can make the dish at home! Attendees will vote for their favorite recipe that night based on taste, nutrition and value.
ALSO...Bring your resume ….and your bucket list….

There will be local employers on hand to talk with attendees about opportunities with their companies! It will be a "relaxed" job fair of sorts with higher education orgazinations represented as well to talk about the new skills needed in the marketplace! And, Anne Baum, VP of Capital Blue Cross of the Lehigh Valley and founder of Vision Accomplished, will be conducting a goal setting session to get everyone thinking about what they want to do with the rest of their life….
And, of course, we will talk about how FemmeSpeak! (the magazine, the website and the planned events) is helping to give women the tools they need to realize their dreams.

Daily Briefing, 4/30/2010

Good morning everyone, and happy Friday to you!  Here is what we have for you today.

According to a new survey, the city of Allentown and the surrounding area is the 54th most "fun" city in America.  In Easton, City Council passed a measure requesting Sodexo to follow labor laws after complaints from Sodexo workers.  In Bethlehem, City Council's public safety committee voted to give the Bethlehem Parking Authority the power to tow abandoned cars and boot cars with five or more tickets.  Good news for the Lehigh Valley International Airport, as traffic rose 4.3% compared to traffic at the same time last year. 

Tax credits for home buyers expire at midnight tonight, causing a last-second rush of contract signing.  President Obama met with Montana Judge Sidney Thomas yesterday; Thomas is on the short-list of candidates to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.  First-quarter GDP numbers will be released later today; the GDP is estimated to have increased by 3.4%, driven largely by consumer spending.  As expected, Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced yesterday that he will run as an Independent for the Florida Senate.  In the Gulf of Mexico, it is becoming increasingly clear that a recent oil spill may be one of the worst environmental disasters off all time, and is almost certainly worse than the Exxon Valdez spill.

And that's it for now!  We'll be back later today with a guest post and maybe more.  See you then!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Job openings

Hi everyone -

Here are this week's job openings.  As always, if you have any job openings that you'd like to share with us, please E-mail me at  Thanks!
Allstate Insurance Company
Allentown, PA

Allstate Insurance Company is seeking a Staff Counsel Administrative Assistant for our Allentown, PA office.
• Provide administration support to one or more attorneys, and provide assistance, as required, to others in the Staff counsel office, clients and customers.
• Available to handle unusual situations and confidential information
• Knowledge of immediate work group functions and processes
• Ability to train others on immediate work group functions
• Makes decisions within established procedures with supervision
• Work under general supervision
• Monitors and maintains compliance with Team Connect (our Litigation Management System)
• 1-5 years experience in a litigation setting or prior insurance defense experience
• Intermediate knowledge of software applications including Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel, Internet, and other web-based applications
• Basic communications skills including the ability to maintain a courteous and professional demeanor with clients, customers and with fellow employees, handle calls and inquiries in a timely manner
• Ability to prioritize work and organize own time
• Ability to complete professional documents utilizing basic grammar, spelling and format skills, including accurate preparation of legal pleadings, agreement letters, memoranda reports, outlines, schedules and client communications
• High School education or GED equivalent required; Associates Degree of Bachelor's Degree preferred
TO APPLY and/or learn more about this opportunity, please CLICK HERE or visit

Program Manager, Materials and Weld Training - Northampton Community College

FT- Manage NCC’s Materials Testing and Weld Training program. Responsible to oversee and participate in: 1) curriculum development, instructional delivery, student advising; 2) management and training of instructors, equipment repairs and material acquisition ; 3) assisting Center for Business and Industry in the marketing and delivery of customized services to industry. Candidates should posses a valid Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) credential with no less than 15 years of industrial experience in code welding and metal fabrication. Must have a working knowledge of the following manual and semiautomatic processes and equipment: SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, FCAW, SAW, TB and S along with CAC-A, PAC and OFC thermal processes on steel, stainless steel and aluminum as applied to sheet, plate, pipe and tubing. Also must have a working knowledge of NDT Level I & II (VT, MT, PT, UT and RT) along with applied metallurgy, mechanical testing and metallographic procedures along with the ability to interpret welding codes. Send letter, resume, and names, addresses and phone numbers of 3 professional references to Human Resources, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020, or email to by 5/7/10. NCC is EEO/AA.
Instructor - Table Games Dealer - Northampton Community College

Summer 2010, starting 6/14. Must have previous table games teaching experience in the following subjects: Blackjack, Poker, Craps, Roulette and Baccarat. Must be able to train in AT LEAST TWO of the previous games. Please send cover letter and resume to David Schweiger. Director, Hospitality Career Institute, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020, or via email to NCC is EEO/AA.
Instructional Designer - Northampton Community College

Full-time, 1 year, temporary grant funded position, (2nd year part-time) to create a web-based math refresher module for the SMAR3T Path Math Project. Ability to design course pages, build web content, develop multimedia learning projects is essential. Strong knowledge of web technologies such as XHTML, CCS, Adobe Flash and Captivate required. Ability to work collaboratively with other members of the project team is critical. Experience working with instructional technology in higher education preferred. Must have a portfolio of successful projects at previous institutions transforming traditional instructional materials to effective distance learning delivery format. Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred in Instructional Design, Instructional Technology or Educational Technology. Position starts immediately. This position requires working on both the Bethlehem and Monroe Campus of NCC, in Tannersville, PA. Send letter, resume, unofficial transcripts, and professional letters of references to Human Resources, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020, or email to Closing date May 7, 2010, or until suitable candidate identified. NCC is EEO/AA.

Daily Briefing, 4/29/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

A new poll from the Morning Call and Muhlenberg College shows that Congressman Charlie Dent (R-15) has a 43-31% lead over his challenger, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan (D).  In Lehigh County, officials announced yesterday that they spent $6 million less than they budgeted, good news for all.  More good news in terms of government finances, as the city of Easton is seeing its finances holding steady so far this year.  Also in Easton, firefighters were awarded raises through arbitration; however, they must start paying for health care co-pays for the first time.  In Lower Macungie, a deal has been struck with David Jaindl that will stop the development of a 700-acre quarry and instead create new homes and open space.  Also, congrats to Chamber member PPL, which has bought the parent company of Kentucky's two major utilities.  A new program is available through the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley whereby working families can qualify for up to $50,000 in free life insurance.

In Pennsylvania political news, a third Democrat will now be on the air with TV ads, as Attorney General joins Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Philadelphia State Senator Anthony Williams and Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett in launching TV advertisements

In national news, Republican Senators have stopped their filibuster and allowed for debate to begin on Wall Street reform legislation.  And, in Florida, Governor Charlie Crist, facing polling numbers that show him with virtually no chance of winning the Republican Senate nomination, is expected to announce today that he is leaving the Republican party and running as an Independent. 

We have one Chamber event today: a free mixer at Luther Crest.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chamber Foundation releases Community Improvement Grant funding availability notice!

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation is the charitable arm of The Chamber.  It's goal, plain and simple, is to support the revitalization of the urban cores of the Lehigh Valley.

To that end, we are very pleased to announce that The Chamber Foundation has unveiled another round of grant funding. Additional information is below, but if you are interested, make sure that you check out the funding announcement.  To download the application, click here.

The following groups are eligible:

  • Local government; including, but not limited to, counties, cities, boroughs, townships, and home rule municipalities.
  • Municipal and redevelopment authorities and agencies.
  • Industrial development authorities and agencies.
  • on-profit organizations incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth.
  • Community organizations engaged in activities consistent with program guidelines, as determined by the Foundation 

Projects must fulfill at least one of the following criteria:
  1. Improve the stability of the community;
  2. Promote economic and/or community development;
  3. Improve existing and/or develop new civic, cultural, recreational, industrial and other facilities or activities.
  4. Assist in business retention, expansion, creation or attraction;
  5. Promote the creation of jobs and employment opportunities;
  6. Enhance the health, welfare and quality of life of citizens of this Commonwealth. 

Projects can be any of the following:

  • Streetscape Amenities
    • Banners, Benches, Planters, Street Trees, Decorative Lighting, Gateway Signage, Landscape Plantings, Bicycle Racks, Directional Signage, Informational Kiosks
  • Planning
    • Downtown Master Plans, Market studies, Parking Studies, Site/Project specific Feasibility studies
  • Promotional
    • Informational Brochures, Advertising Campaigns i.e. Billboards, Restaurant Guides

Daily Briefing, 4/28/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Bangor Area School District agreed yesterday to a 2% tax hike.  The Bethlehem Area School District released their school district budget proposal.  The budget raises taxes and cuts 41 positions, the 2nd year in a row that their budget has taken such steps.  Also in Bethlehem, Bethlehem City Council's Public Safety Committee passed a hand-held cell phone ban by a vote of 3-0.  The legislation will now go in front of a full council meeting.  In Easton, City Council and officials attacked the rail study has slanted and not accurately reflecting demographic trends.  And, congrats to the agency formerly known as the Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, which yesterday unveiled a new logo and a new name: Discover Lehigh Valley.  The saga involving Northampton County Councilman Ron Angle's father's estate has taken another turn, with Angle now suing his father's estate for a fall he took on the property in 2008, resulting in a broken ankle.

A new national poll shows troubling signs for all incumbents, with less than 1/3 of respondents saying that they are willing to support incumbents this year.  This is the worst numbers for incumbents since 1994.  For a second time, Republicans rejected a motion to begin debate on financial reform in the Senate yesterday.  Senate Republicans have begun to release an alternative proposal.

We have two events today at The Chamber: a Northampton Area Chamber Business Spotlight at Ace Hardware and National Walk at Lunch day.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Put down shiny screens before you go to bed

Alright, so "shiny" was just a way of getting your attention.  "Bright" screens would be a better way of putting it, but none the less, the point is the same: before you go to bed, put down your iPhone or blackberry!

I'm offender #1 of this rule (Monopoly on my iPhone before I go to bed is one of my favorite pastimes), but apparently, it can help you sleep, according to this blog entry from Lifehacker.

According to research conducted, people who use electronic devices (like a laptop, iPhone, etc) before they go to bed feel less rested then people who get the same amount of sleep but don't use electronic devices.  This is because your brain is basically told to stay awake by the light from the screens.  There is more to it than that, but you should check out the story for more info.

So, with this knowledge, who else is going to try and actually put down their iPhone before they go to bed?  I know I...well, I'm gonna try...really....

Daily Briefing, 4/27/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Lehigh Valley's unemployment is 9.8%, the same as the prior month, and comparatively higher against Pennsylvania and national averages.  However, the Valley did add 900 jobs, and the reason for the high rate is largely a result of more people entering the workforce again.  According to a new report, 1998 - 2008 brought the Valley traffic increases that were higher than the state average (try and contain your disbelief).  However, as a result off the downturn in the economic, traffic did drop in 2008 compared to 2007.  The growth off the Valley is largely to blame for this one.  The Morning Call received some good news, as its circulation numbers increased over the past six months, although its paid circulation was down.  New voter registration numbers in Lehigh and Northampton counties show that the Republican party is gaining numbers faster than the Democrats.  Congrats to Easton, as the city was awarded $891,500 by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission for improvements to Third Street and Route 22.

In national news, financial regulation reform failed yesterday by a vote of 57-41, falling three votes shy of overcoming a Republican filibuster.  The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, a deficit commission, will meet at the White House today, starting their work with an address by President Obama.

Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring a debate on pension reform.  The show will be available online later today - you can check out the Business Matters blog for more information.

We have one Chamber event today - a monthly luncheon of the Women's Business Council, featuring a discussion on domestic violence in the workplace.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Monday, April 26, 2010

YouTube Video: Legal issues and Social Media

Report: Only 16 of 384 Metro Areas in U.S. gaining jobs

I caught this report and thought it was worth sharing.  The headline summarizes it nicely: only 4% of metro areas in the U.S. are currently gaining jobs, and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton is not one of them. 

Gains have come that have brought us back from the recession, but those gains are not in employment; instead, they are in housing construction and manufacturing.  In that segment of the economy, the ABE metro area is recovering - housing construction is up over 50% from a year ago and industrial production is up as well, albeit barely (.11% to be exact).  Both of those numbers are better than the Pennsylvania average, and our employment decrease (-2.77%) is barely less than Pennsylvania's as a whole (-2.73%).

Employment is starting to rebound, but still slowly, and this report is yet another indicator that the recovery has been a jobless one so far.

Daily Briefing, 4/26/2010

Good morning everyone!  I hope you had a great (albiet wet) weekend.  Anyway, here is today's Daily Brieffing.

With construction costs rapidly dropping and plans revised to decrease expenses, construction on the Sands Casino Hotel is set to resume in May.  A new study shows that the costs of renting a home have increased twice as much as income, making it harder for individuals to find affordable housing.

In state-wide political news, we are now about four weeks away from primary day; as such, the Call has begun to profile some off the state-wide races, starting with the two Republicans seeking the nomination for Governor

In national news, a key test vote is set for today to determine if Democrats have the sixty votes required to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass financial regulation.  And, here's something interesting - most of the time when I put in a note on gas prices, its because they have increased; but, good news, prices have held steady at $2.85 per gallon for the past two weeks.

Business Matters airs today, featuring a show on one of the largest fiscal crises facing our state and local governments: pension reform.  The show will air tonight at 8:00pm on WFMZ-TV.

That's it for now!  We'll be back later today.  Have a good one!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A healthier workforce

Hi everyone -

Please read the press release below, and prepare to put on your walking shoes!

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber partners with Capital BlueCross, Takes Steps in the Direction of a Healthier Workforce During National Initiative
                LEHIGH VALEY, Pa. (April 21, 2010) – Members and employees of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) are partnering with Capital BlueCross and taking steps in the direction of a healthier lifestyle on April 28.  Participants will embark on a one-mile walk at all three Chamber locations in the Lehigh Valley, during the lunch hour, starting at noon, in recognition of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association National Walk at Lunch Day.
                National Walk at Lunch Day is a workplace walking program which encourages people to take time during their lunch break to start walking toward better health.  Most Americans’ schedules are built around their workdays, so National Walk at Lunch Day is designed to fit into—not compete with—their daily routine. 
                Capital BlueCross, the Chamber’s exclusive health insurer, will support the event by using a body composition analyzer to measure the body mass index, percentage of body fat and hydration level of the walkers. Capital BlueCross representatives will also be at the Chamber’s Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton offices to show support by participating in the walk.
                “It is vitally important that we as a company take the lead and encourage our members and employees to find some time each day to improve their health,” said Frank Facchiano, vice president of Marketing for The Chamber. “Walking is the perfect outlet for busy workers to get short bursts of exercise during the day that has positive results.” We are thankful that Capital BlueCross, the region’s leading health insurer, is here to not only support us, but to take an active role in our event.”
                “It is rewarding for us to see when a community partner like the Chamber takes the initiative to improve the health of its workforce,” said Amy Wixted, health educator at Capital BlueCross. “The small steps the Chamber members and employees will take on April 28 can result in large rewards for those who incorporate walking or some form of exercise into their daily routine.”
                The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, every year.  Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week has significant health benefits such as lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or type 2 diabetes; and improving the health of muscles, bones, and joints.

Daily Briefing, 4/23/2010

Good morning everyone, and a happy Friday to you all!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Easton, a capacity-crowd attended yesterday's school board meeting to protest proposed layoffs and cuts to middle school sports.  Speaking of school boards, the Allentown School District announced and approved the hire of the Secretary of Education, Gerald Zahorchak, to serve as the district's new superintendent.  The National Cancer Institute yesterday awarded $3.8 million in cancer research grants to two Pennyslvania Hospitals; one of them was Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown and Salisbury.  In Macungie, the dispute between the Mayor and Chief of Police is apparently over, with both parties coming to a settlement.  97 laid-off Vitaulic workers were recalled yesterday to Vitaulic's Forks facility.  The move was related to shut-downs to the Lower Macungie plant.

Nationwide, home sales jumped 6.8% and prices rose as well.  There were also fewer first-time jobless claims.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a vote on the financial reform industry package.  Democrats need at least one Republican to vote with them to break a Republican filibuster.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

YouTube Video: Non-Verbal Communication in Your Job

Daily Briefing, 4/22/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Thanks to a 2004 decision Northampton County stands to lose as much as $13.5 million in a "swapiton" investment.  The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation is looking for a new headquarters and will likely move to downtown Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton.  The decision could come as early as May.  Bethlehem is engaging in seven energy efficiency projects totaling about $3 million; $700,000 of these projects will be paid for by stimulus funding.  Paul Vockler, the Chairmen of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, spoke at Kutztown's Decision Maker's forum yesterday.

President Obama continues his fight for Wall Street reform, and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) has emerged as one of the bill's more active proponents

There are a couple of interesting stories as they relate to the auto industry today.  General Motors has repaid $8.1 billion in government loans that it took out from the United States and Canadian governments.  There was mixed news for Chrysler, which has lost $4 billion from a year ago, but also turned a small $143 million profit during the first quarter of 2010.

We have three Chamber events today: the launch party for the new INside Allentown guide, our Commercial Real Estate luncheon and a grand opening of Best Buy on Route 33.

That's it for today!  Unfortunately, we will likely not have an entry later today, as your resident blogger will be spending the day running around at meetings and attending our Commercial Real Estate lunch.  So, see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Solving Pennsylvania Transportation Woes

Governor Rendell has called for a special session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Senate, starting May 4. The purpose of the session will be to address Pennsylvania's transportation woes.

Pennsylvania had budgeted $472 million under the assumption that I-80 would be tolled.  The application to toll I-80, however, was denied by the federal government.  The result is a massive hole in the Pennsylvania budget that now must be filled.

Pennsylvania's transportation infrastructure is in dire straits.  Pennsylvania has more bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obselete than any other state - it also has some of the oldest bridges in the nation. 

How that $472 million will be generated, however, is anybody's guess.  Possible ideas include bonding, borrowing, gas tax increases and other fee increases.  Unfortunately, there seems to be no consensus on the issue at the moment.

Anyone out there have any good ideas?

Daily Briefing, 4/21/2010

Good morning!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Northampton County Council President Ron Angle again lost his bid to have an outside judge rule over whether or not he can hold two offices at the same time.  Angle currently serves as a Northampton County Councilman and in the Bangor Area School District.  The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation was awarded a $1 million grant to go towards the remediation of Lehigh Valley brownfield sites.  The grant will help clean 20-30 sites.  The Lafayette College, students held a "smoke-in" to encourage the school to debate whether or not marijuana should be legalized.  In an attempt to ease budget burdens, some in the Easton Area School District have begun to discuss if it may be worth it to shift to a four-day school week.

In state-wide news, medical malpractice suits across the state have dropped and hospitals are winning more that go to trial.  Statistics show that the amount of suits have dropped 43.9% since 2003, when Pennsylvania revamped its medical malpractice rules.  In the race for Pennsylvania Senate, Senator Arlen Specter has struck first when it comes to negative ads, releasing an ad that attacks Congressman Sestak.

Today is a very busy day at The Chamber, with four events: an East Penn and Western Lehigh joint luncheon on transportation, the Small Business Council's spring golf league, a Northampton County Legislative Mixer and our Administrative Professionals luncheon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, this is depressing: Women still earn less than men

I found this blog entry over at Good.  The summary is pretty simple: on the whole, women are still earning less than men, and in some cases significantly so.

Here is the summary:
  • In total, women earn $160 less per week then men, or $.77 for every dollar.
  • The gap between white men and women is greater than the gap between black men and women.  
  • Not really touched upon in the article's analysis is something else: Asians make the most of any other race surveyed, followed by whites, blacks and Hispanics. 
  • There is good news.  In 1959, the pay-gap between men and women was 59%.  Now, it's 77%.  So at least the gap is decreasing.
  • The survey did control for occupation and other variables, and still, the results were striking: men get paid more than women.

Daily Briefing, 4/20/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Over 100 Lehigh Valley companies have received no-fee Section 7a loans from the Small Business Administration.  The loans were funded from last year's stimulus act.  The study to investigate connecting New Jersey/New York rail to Pennsylvania was released yesterday; the results showed that the extension of the line would cost over $1 billion.  The line would carry an estimated 800 people a day by 2030.  Traffic alert: the Lehigh Street bridge that connects Whitehall and North Catasauqua is out after a traffic accident yesterday.  In Allentown, if you are caught using a hands-held cell phone while driving, police may now fine you.  The city had been handing out verbal warnings only.  Speaking of cell-phone bans, a Bethlehem ordinance introduced yesterday would also ban hand-held cell phone use while driving.  In Lower Macungie, Commissioners temporarily delayed a vote on a 700 acre quarry.  In Catasauqua, the Borough is considering purchasing a brownfield site for redevelopment purposes.

In national news, a Democratic proposal to reform Wall Street is heading to the Senate floor later this week, as Democrats look to pick up Republican votes.

We have one Chamber event today: a Dale Carnegie training class on how to resolve customer disputes and complaints.

Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring a debate on who should pay for suburban police protection.  The show will be available online later today, and you can check out the Business Matters blog for more information.

That's it for now!  We'll be back later today - see you then!

Monday, April 19, 2010

$15,000 Donation to Cops 'N' Kids

Daily Briefing, 4/19/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Pennsylvania Preservation Board has nominated Martin Tower, former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel, to the National Register of Historic Places.

A new Pennsylvania unemployment report had mixed news; on one hand, jobs in the state rose by 22,600, but the unemployment rate rose from 8.9 to 9% - however, that increase was driven by more people returning to the work-froce, so the news isn't all bad.  The New Jersey Education Association has warned that up to 30,000 teachers could retire rather than face changes to their benefits if Governor Christine proceeds with his proposed changes.

In national news, Toyota has agreed to pay a $16.4 million fine.  The fine comes after Toyota allegedly delayed in reporting its gas-pedal issues to the government.  More than 60% of motorists now use the E-ZPass when paying at highway tolls.  A new BBC poll shows that positive world-wide views of the United States have increased over the past year.

Business Matters airs tonight at 8pm on WFMZ-TV.  Tonight's program deals with whether or not state police should have the primary responsibility for protecting suburban or rural townships.

That's it for now!  Have a great day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Guest Blog Post: Change has come. Is your company prepared for it?

Hi everyone--

Today's guest blog entry comes to us from Mike Stoudt of Stoudt Financial Services.  The entry deails the ongoing change to our financial system and the importance of good financial planning.  It is certainly worth the read for any small business!

Change was a key theme underlying the 2008 presidential and congressional elections, and for good reason. A lot has changed in the economy over the last five years! Right now, we seem to be hearing good news because the Dow Jones Index eclipsed 11,000 for the first time in a long time! The typical consumer of financial information is ecstatic when the stock market rebounds, but the economy is far more complex than merely gauging the trajectory of the recovery on one factor. The on-going economic downturn, which brought near devastation to the US Banking system, the lack of available credit in capital markets around the world, a nervous labor force facing continued layoffs, and great uncertainly in the commercial real estate market all add to the challenges of navigating this treacherous economic times.

Next to your company’s Chief Executive Officer, these changing times have placed unprecedented demands and have had far-reaching issues on most company’s Chief Financial Officers and senior financial managers. As a result of the changing times, the skill-set for controllers and CFOs is no longer limited to preparing financial statements by a certain deadline, ensuring that banking relationships are satisfactorily maintained by playing golf regularly with a local bank officer and overseeing the completion of the company’s audit. Just overseeing ”month end close” is not enough! Providing historical information in treacherous waters will only result in second guessing one’s path. It does not lead one into a safe harbor. In today’s business environment, the responsibilities of a CFO, as well as other senior financial managers, requires broad skill-sets and varied experiences instead of the traditional role performed in the not so distant past.
A company’s senior financial strategist should be forward looking, progressive, creative, and flexible. In addition to the routine areas of responsibility, the CFO should be actively:
1. Evaluating various expansions and financing alternatives.
2. Getting a handle on better managing costs or cash flow.
3. Developing budgets and financial projections that align with the company’s strategic vision/plan.
4. Providing an unbiased review of the company’s financial position.
5. Assessing whether current accounting technology is being utilized effectively.
6. Buying or selling assets or other business segments etc.
7. Providing analysis of the company’s financial statements and benchmarking them to industry best practices.

Unfortunately many small businesses (especially family-owned businesses) cannot afford a full-time senior financial manager. Wherever there is a need, a vibrant economy will fill it and there are accountants and consultants who provide senior financial management advice/counsel on an as-needed or less than full-time basis. Whatever the structure, most, if not all, businesses need strategic financial advice from an experienced financial strategist, especially in troubling times.

Daily Briefing, 4/16/2010

Good morning everyone, and a happy Friday to you all!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Vice President Biden visited the area yesterday, touting the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act and citing Bethlehem as an example of an American success story.   He also attended a fundraiser for John Callahan's campaign for Congress.  Tea Party protesters rallied outside of the fundraiser.  The Easton Area School District's budget proposal would remove $8.7 million in spending in an attempt to solve its budget crisis.  Eliminated by the cuts are middle school sports, the technology department and numerous teaching jobs.  The Saucon Valley School District also faces a revenue gap, but one of only $262,925. Leadership Lehigh Valley is seeking candidates for its leadership development program.  In Allentown, members of the Governor's Stimulus Oversight Committee met and heard presentations from local leaders on how the stimulus is being used in their communities.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, Republican Pat Toomey raised $2.3 million - about twice as much as Senator Arlen Specter, who raised $1.16 million. 

A new list of the Top 500 corporations in America is out, and this year's #1 was last year's #2 - Walmart.  Last year's #1, Exxon-Mobil, dropped to #2.

We have one Chamber event today: a Small Business Council event on how to protect your business from your employee's Social Media and E-mail use.

That's it for now!  We'll be back later today, and until then, see you later!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Upcoming Transportation Event from RenewLV

Hi everyone -

The post below is an E-mail for an upcoming Renew Lehigh Valley event.  The event is Renew's Regional Transportation Forum.  Read on for more.

Renew Lehigh Valley is hosting a Regional Transportation Forum on Monday, April 19 at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem (437 Main Street, Bethlehem). The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with an informal reception at 5:30 p.m.

This community forum is an opportunity to discuss how a balanced, multimodal transportation system can help promote economic development, the continued revitalization of the region's core communities, and sustainable growth in the Lehigh Valley.

We are very pleased to announce that David Taylor, Senior Vice-President and National Director for Sustainable Transportation Solutions at HDR, will provide the keynote at the forum and will participate in the panel discussion/Q&A. A member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), Mr. Taylor has worked with communities across the United States, and he has more than 35 years of experience in transit and transportation planning, transit-oriented development, regional planning, and sustainability and economic development.

In addition to Mr. Taylor's keynote address, the forum will include a Presentation of Findings from the New NJT/SYSTRA Regional Transportation Study (commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and Lehigh and Northampton Counties), followed by a Panel Discussion and Q&A on how the Lehigh Valley Moves Forward on Transportation and Transit-Oriented Development. Moderated by RenewLV Co-Chair Deana Zosky, the panel will include:

 *   David Taylor - Senior Vice-President, National Director for Sustainable Transportation Solutions, HDR
 *   Bob McNamara - Senior Policy Representative for Smart Growth, National Association of REALTORS
 *   Armand Greco - Executive Director, LANTA
 *   Joe Gurinko - Chief Transportation Planner, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
 *   Adam Krom - Philadelphia-based Transportation Planner

This event is presented by the National Association of REALTORS and the Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS (LVAR). Event sponsors also include the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Lehigh Valley Partnership.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP is suggested, but not required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Beata Bujalska at or 484.893.1062.

Also, please take a moment to forward this announcement to anyone you think would be interested in this forum.

Daily Briefing, 4/15/2010

Good morning everyone, and happy tax day!  Wait...that's not happy at all...oh well.  But anyway, here is today's Daily Briefing.

Vice President Joe Biden is in the Valley today, attending an event at the Ben Franklin TechVenures and then going to a Callahan for Congress fundraiser. A 28 truck convoy containing steel from the former World Trade Center site passed through the Valley yesterday.  The convoy was on its way to Coatesville where it will become part of a new museum.  The Iron Pigs held their home opener yesterday, losing to the Rochester Red Wings 5-2.  In Easton, the Victory Street Brewery will receive $450,000 grant that comes from Monroe County gaming funding.  The $450,000 will make the project happen.  Crayola CEO Mike Perry spoke at a Chamber President's Roundtable yesterday, saying that he thinks the economy is getting better.  He also discussed Crayola's future.

Candidates for Pennsylvania Governor spoke yesterday on economic development at a forum held by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Berks Economic Partnership.Two days after a poll showed Senator Specter with a surprisingly close 44-42% lead in the primary over Congressman Joe Sestak, a new poll shows Specter with a 42-28% lead over Sestak, a number that tracks better with other recent polls.

State governments remain in trouble - a new survey shows that their combined budget gaps in 2011 will be $89 billion.  However, on the plus side, revenue is starting to rise above estimates - a sign that the worst may be over.  There was more bad economic news though, as foreclosure rates in the 1st quarter of 2010 jumped 35% from a year ago, the biggest spike in five years.

That's it for now!  Have a great day...and remember to file your taxes!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A request for support from Phillipsburg, NJ

Hi everyone -

The letter below comes to us courtesy of Phillipsburg, NJ and their innovative Urban Enterprise Zone.  As you can see from the letter below, the program has been a great boon to local businesses and has helped to revive a struggling downtown - now it needs help in order to survive.  Read on for more.

We are excited to be a new small business owner in the Urban Enterprise Zone in Phillipsburg, NJ. At a time when Main Street, USA is in the news every day, we ARE located on Main Street!

As we all know, Main Street USA has been withering on the vine for years. A vibrant downtown is the key to a vibrant, exciting city.  That is why Main Street is staging a comeback throughout the USA.  And there have been glimmers of hope in downtown Phillipsburg.

This is why Extreme Marketing decided to relocate to the UEZ.  The location, the building and the UEZ incentives all helped us in our decision making process.  Extreme Marketing is a full service marketing firm which offers a diverse range of services to help firms “Stand out from the Crowd”. We are dedicated to training young free-lance entrepreneurs in the community who are hard-working, smart, creative all while helping small businesses in the community grow.

We now understand that the UEZ incentives, which were supposed to be fully funded by the NJ sales tax, have been slashed or wholly eliminated. 

So, we are coming to you asking for help.  We are not asking for a handout or a “bailout”; we are asking for help.  Help in two very different ways. 

First, we are asking that you contact your local Assemblyman and/or Senator in Trenton and urge them to release the UEZ funds. 

Secondly, we are asking you to support in all your business endeavors in the community with the commitment to buy locally. This is a plea to ask all businesses to look at their expenditures and “look & listen” for opportunities to support their neighbors.  Let’s call it a “focus on keeping money in the community!”

We look forward to hearing from you with ideas, support and suggestions on how we can all work together on this very important cause. For Extreme Marketing, as with other small businesses, it will keep our dream alive.

Best Regards,
The Team at Extreme Marketing

Tech Wednesday: Google Reader to track your blogs

If you are anything like me (and for your sake I hope you aren't, but that's a completely different story...), you read multiple different blogs a day.  There is certainly no shortage of interesting and useful blogs that are not only interesting and entertaining, but they can dramatically help with your professional development by keeping you aware of the latest trends and happenings of any particular industry.  However, visiting the website for multiple blogs a day can be inefficient and annoying.  Thankfully, there are many websites out there that serve as blog aggregators.  These websites serve as collection points for blogs that you want to read.  As a Google enthusiast, my aggregator of choice is Google Reader.

Summary:  By inputting a blog/websites address, you can check your reader to keep up to date on blogs you want to follow.  This enables you to monitor many blogs and webpages from one site.

Features and Benefits:
  • Track multiple blogs and E-mail them to others.
  • A "share" and "follow" feature.  You can share blog entries that you like to those who follow you.  You can also follow other users and see what entries they are sharing.  This is a Social Media component of Google Reader.  You can also comment on shared items.
  • Organize and customize the reader to however best suits your needs.
Pricing:  Totally free, although you are required to set up a Google account to access.  Google has many other features, so this is a great opportunity to check out what else it has to offer.

In an area where time is increasingly becoming your most valuable resource, Google Reader is a great way to keep up to date on all of your favorite websites while still saving massive amounts of time.

Study shows conflicting stats on U.S. population and # of households

I came across this article via Planetizen.  The crux of the article: From 2005 - 2008, the U.S. population grew 3.4 million in the largest 80 metropolitian areas of the country.  Yet, during the same time, the amount of U.S. households dropped 1.2 million.  These numers seem to indicate a conflict.  What is causing this shift?

The answer is no surprise: the recession.  Parents are children are staying in the same houses or moving back in together as income drops or homes become foreclosed.  As a result, there is a surplus of apartments and single-family homes on the market, contributing to a lack of demand and lower prices in the housing market.  The article also notes that there is a "strong tie between unemployment and household formation rates" - and since the recession hit younger employees harder, they were less likely to form their own household.  Last, the article noted that national homeownership has fallen to "just about 67%, from above 69%." 

The thing about the article that rang true to me was the real estate market.  We've seen home sales increasing in the Valley, but prices continue to drop - and I'm sure that a lack of demand has something to do with that price drop. 

Does anyone else have thoughts about this issue?

Daily Briefing, 4/14/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is your Daily Briefing for today.

Vice President Joe Biden will be in the Lehigh Valley tomorrow.  The Vice President will speak at Ben Franklin TechVentures to discuss the Recovery Act, then attend a fundraiser for John Callahan, who is challenging Congressman Charlie Dent (R-15).  Steel from the World Trade Center will be traveling through the Lehigh Valley today, part of a 28-truck convoy that is taking the steel back to Coatsville  Coatesville (corrected per an annonymous commenter's catch), where it was originally made.  The steel will become part of a museum.  In Whitehall, Township Commissioners quested expenses incurred by the Coplay-Whitehall Sewer Authority.  In Easton, City Council members agreed to form a council of residents to determine if revisions to Council's compensation are necessary.  Council members, who are part-time, receive $9,371 a year, as well as health benefits.  The Easton Area School District has started using video conferencing to allow students who cannot be in a classroom to still attend class.  Northampton County Council President Ron Angle has again asked Senior Judge Michael Franciosa to recuse himself from a case regarding whether or not Angle can simultaneously serve on Northampton County Council and the Bangor Area School District.  The Borough of Wilson is considering joining 32 other municipalities in passing a law that would require residents to report when their guns are lost or stolen.
And, congrats to the Lehigh Valley Tweetup for celebrating its one year anniversary yesterday at the Allentown Brew Works.  The Tweetup received great coverage in a Morning Call article.

A new Senate poll has a surprising result:  the Rasmussen Report poll has Arlen Specter with a 2% lead over Congressman Joe Sestak in the race for the Democratic nomination for the Senate, 44-42%.  The poll dramatically differs with two other recently released polls, both of which show Specter with at least a 20% lead over Sestak.  Incidentally, Specter is now on the air with TV ads.

Ben Bernanke, Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, said yesterday that though an economic recovery is in progress, the recovery will not reduce unemployment for some time.  When it comes to mortgage assistance for Americans, a new report shows that for every home saved, ten more are foreclosed.

We have two Chamber events today: a President's Roundtable with the CEO of Crayola, Mike Perry, and a Southern Lehigh and Hellertown-Lower Saucon joint breakfast.

That's it for now!  Wow, today was a busy one.  Anyway, we'll see you later today!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daily Briefing, 4/13/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Easton, city officials announced the receipt of a $200,000 state grant.  The grant will complete financing the first phase of the redevelopment of the Pomeroy Department Store.  In Bethlehem, the state has offered to assist the school district in hiring an engineering form to complete an energy audit.  Also in Bethlehem, a Farmers' Market is set to open on June 17.  In New Jersey, a bill by State Assemblyman John DiMaio would eliminate the minimum funding requirement for libraries.  If you suffer from seasonal allergies (and judging from your Facebook and Twitter updates, many of you do!), this will probably ring true: pollen levels in the Valley broke 2,000 last week, a record high for the area.  Three people were hurt, at least one seriously, in an explosion at a Victaulic plant in Lower Macungie.

Here's some good news on the federal side of things: the deficit is down 8% from where it was at this time last year.  In the search for a Supreme Court justice to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens, the White House says it has narrowed the list to about ten candidates.  Here's something you probably knew already: a new survey found that, if you kept your job during the recession, odds are you worked harder to do so, with 40% of employees believing that their workload had increased during the past year.  In an attempt to help build up its profitability, Twitter has announced that the company will soon start making money through "promoted tweets," or ads.

We have one Chamber event today: an Easton Hospital update with the Business and Commerce Association of Forks.

Business Matters aired yesterday, featuring a debate about whether or not the Lehigh Valley should form a regional health bureau.  The show will be available online later today, and you can check out the Business Matters blog to read more about the program.

That's it for now!  Have a great day!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

New member benefit: Today's Chamber Featured Business

We are starting a new Chamber member benefit:  a daily Chamber Featured Business.  

Here is how this works.  If you are a Chamber member, you can E-mail Mike Schlossberg ( your business name, contact information and a featured discount, special, news item or piece of information.  It will be featured in the blog side-bar (right on the top, so everyone can see!), our Twitter feed (space permitting) and Facebook page.

This is a simple and easy way to gain some great exposure to Chamber members and everyone who reads our Social Media.  At The Chamber, we genuinely want to help your business grow as much as possible.  By the way, this service is absolutely free and comes as part of your Chamber membership. 

For more information about this service, or to learn more about The Chamber, E-mail me at

Daily Briefing, 4/12/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The state has a program whereby farms can be preserved from development and have their taxes frozen; however, only Lehigh, Northampton and Berks have taken advantage of the program.

You know that political season is here because the rate that polls are coming is accelerating.  A new Senate poll has Pat Toomey with a 47-40% lead over Senator Arlen Specter.  The poll also showed that Pennsylvanians are feeling more optimistic about the economy, with less worrying about losing their jobs.  Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak debated yesterday at La Salle University in Philadelphia, discussing their divergent views on the economy and health care.

A survey taken of leading economists shows that the economy will recover, but very very slowly, over the next two years.  Both political parties are starting to gear for battle over the retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, with Republicans refusing to rule out the use of the filibuster.  More than 200,000 jobless Americans lost their employment benefits on April 5, when the Senate declined to extend them.  The Senate is expected to take up the issue on Monday.  And bad news for your wallet: gas prices are up $.04 in the past three weeks.

We have one Chamber event today: the annual Spirit Awards from the Greater Northern Chamber of Commerce.

Business Matters airs tonight at 8pm on WFMZ-TV, featuring a debate over whether or not we should have a Lehigh Valley Regional Health Bureau.  You can read more about the show at the Business Matters blog.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Census: Participation Rates

The above map is from this article in The Atlantic and details Census participation rates so far.  More than half of all Americans (56%) have returned their census forms as of April 5.  The range among states is pretty varied though, with a low of 50% (New York) and a high of 69% (Wisconsin).  Pennsylvania is doing better than the national average.

Please remember to fill out your census form! 

Heating Equipment Rebate Program

We received this press release from our friends at Lehigh County and thought it was worth publishing.  The summary:  On April 21, Pennsylvania will open a Home Heating Equipment Rebate program designed to help consumers save money and energy.  The rebates can be between $100 and $500.

Here's the press release:
Governor Rendell New Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program to Open April 21 Details Now Available Online Program Will Offer Rebates of up to $500 for Non-electric Home Heating Upgrades

HARRISBURG -- Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that a new rebate program designed to help consumers save money and energy by making it more affordable to upgrade a home heating system will open April 21.
The Pennsylvania Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program could help as many as 33,000 households to purchase Energy Star-rated, non-electric residential hot water heaters, furnaces and boilers. The $11 million program is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Details are available on the program's new Web site,

“There has been tremendous consumer interest since the U.S. Energy Department announced last fall that federal funds would be available to help homeowners reduce their ever-rising energy costs,” said Governor Rendell. “We designed this program to complement the conservation programs that electric utilities offer for upgrading household appliances.”
Rebates will range from $100 to $500, depending on the equipment’s efficiency rating.

“Heating and water heating account for more than half of a typical household's energy consumption,” noted the Governor. “By offering an incentive to make those two aspects more efficient, we are making the biggest impact possible on reducing energy use, which will translate into a greater financial savings for the consumer.”

Consumers can apply for and receive their rebates by following three simple steps:
1. Reserve a rebate by completing an online application. Residents without Internet access can call 877-592-2061 to make a reservation;
2. Purchase and have a contractor install a qualifying product. Purchases made before April 21 will not be eligible; and
3. Submit the completed rebate application within 30 days of the reservation date.
Resource Solutions Group—the company selected through a competitive bid process to manage the program—will mail rebate checks directly to consumers.

Governor Rendell added that by increasing the demand for heating equipment and related installation work, the rebate program will create jobs.
“A more efficient home reduces energy use, which saves money, helps make our environment cleaner, and helps stimulate the economy by creating work for manufacturers and installers,” said Governor Rendell. “I believe the Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program will encourage many Pennsylvanians to take the step to improve their home’s energy efficiency. That’s a smart investment that could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the life of the system.”

To learn about rebates for appliance upgrades, consumers should contact their electric utility.

To learn more about how the federal economic stimulus program is benefiting Pennsylvanians, visit

Daily Briefing, 4/9/2010

Good morning everyone, and a happy Friday to you!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Lehigh Valley home sales jumped 25% in March, although the average price of sales also dropped 7.6%.  In Bethlehem, disputes between partners resulted in some officials of the Sands actually trying to stop the casinos expansion into table games.  PBS39 received permission yesterday to build a $17 million TV studio.  The studio will be built at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel.  In Macungie, the Borough faces growing legal bills in the face of the dispute between the Mayor and Chief of Police; out of a budgeted $40,000, their bills have grown to $40,000 and may rise as high as $100,000.  Congrats to Chamber member Millennium Strategies, whose grant procurement firm was featured in a Morning Call article.  If you use Route 378 in Bethlehem, look out - construction on the West 3rd Street ramp begins on Monday and will run through 2011.

There was good news when it came to retail sales, as Target, Gap and Macy's all beat retail expectations, a sign that American consumers are starting to spend money once again.  However, state unemployment funds are in trouble: 33 states and the Virgin Islands have depleted their unemployment funds and been forced to borrow from the federal government.

We have one Chamber event today: a Congressional luncheon with Congressmen Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we will be back later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

YouTube Video: Internet marketing techniques to work smarter, not harder

Job Openings

Hi everyone - here are this weeks job openings.  As always, if you are a Chamber Member and would like your job opening to be published, please E-mail the description and contact information to
Full Time Dental Hygenist
Allentown office – M-Th – and one Friday per month (1/2 day only) –GREAT environment – position to replace pregnancy leave. Please call Esther at (610) 435-5707 or e-mail @

Daily Briefing, 4/8/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Bethlehem, the CEO of the Sands Casino, Sheldon Adelson, said that the casino's construction no longer fits into the business model that the company subscribes to.  However, he also noted that construction on the hotel will likely start again in May.  In Northampton County, County Councilman Ron Angle's request to have an outside judge preside over a dispute involving his late father's will was granted, but his request to have an outside judge hear whether or not he can simultaneously serve two elected offices was denied.  In Easton, planners approved the redevelopment of the former Pomeroy department store - the redevelopment includes partial demolition.  Planners also approved the construction of a dog park.  Speaking of Easton, the city is reporting low census return rates - the same problem that it had in 2000.

In state-wide news, the four Democratic candidates for Governor debated yesterday in Harrisburg - and for the first time in a series of these debates, saw direct confrontation among candidates.  A new poll has Pat Toomey with a 46-41% lead on Arlen Specter.  It also shows Attorney General Tom Corbett with a double digit lead on all Democratic contenders - but most of the public doesn't know enough about any of the Democrats

In national news, it appears that historically low mortgage interest rates are coming to an end, with average 30-year interest rates increase from 5%  to 5.3% last week.  A new poll shows that a record number of Americans are very unhappy with Congress and with their own representative.  The largest six banks in America are expected to show a profit this past quarter, however, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, said yesterday in an interview that the United States is still "far from being out of the woods" when it comes to the economy.

We have one Chamber event today: a mixer at the Lehigh County Historical Society.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we will be back later.  See you then!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Study: US has lost at least 2.4 million jobs to China since 2001

That conclusion has been drawn by a study done by the Economic Policy Institute.  According to the study, these manufacturing jobs have disappeared since 2001, when China became a member of the World Trade Organization.  The analysis found that these jobs have dsiappeared as a result of China's emergence as a high-tech powerhouse.  This manufacturing prowess has led to a growing trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.

According to the study, some states have been hit harder than others.  In terms of jobs lost as a percentage of overall employeement, New Hampshire (2.35%), North Carolina (2.3%), Massachusets (2.25%), California (2.23%) and Oregon (2.19%) have been hit the hardest.  Pennsylvania ranks 22nd on the list, having lost a net of 95,700 jobs to China, or 1.64% of its overall employeement.

Of course, these figures do not take into account any of hte benefits of trade with China, but it is still interesting food for thought.

Welcome, New Members!

Welcome to this month's new Chamber members!
John P. Ezaki CMT
1600 Lehigh Parkway East, Apartment 10-L
Allentown, PA 18103
(610) 434-1975
Business Type: THERAPISTS

A Sound Strategy Inc.
748 Main Street
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 422-7741

Azzatori Chiropractic
1770 Stefko Boulevard
Bethlehem, PA 18017
(610) 691-5800

Best Buy- Easton
4413 Birkland Place
Easton, PA 18045
Business Type: RETAIL SALES

Blown Color Studio
597 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 332-1295

Boom-A-Rang Beverage
2604 Dearborn Street
Easton, PA 18045
(610) 252-8241

Brand New Brand You Inc.
283 Alexander Drive
Allentown, PA 18104
(610) 393-5192

Cadence Global LLC
458 Edgemont Avenue
Palmerton, PA 18071
(484) 464-1874

Cash Cow LLC
601 State Road
Emmaus, PA 18049
(954) 614-4357

Cruz Accounting Services Inc.
1433 Stefko Boulevard
Bethlehem, PA 18017
(610) 861-7353

DeMuro Associates
24 West Cliff Street
P.O. Box 150
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 725-1990
Business Type: ENGINEERING

Dent-Tech Paintless Dent Repair
632 State Road
Emmaus, PA 18049
(610) 966-9190

Diehl Paving Inc.
1712 Hoover Avenue
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 264-7311

DR Vitamins LLC
1623 Kramer Road
Kutztown, PA 19530
(610) 285-2888

Dream Builders Construction LLC
6115 Timberknoll Drive
Macungie, PA 18062
(610) 395-3317
Business Type: CONTRACTORS

Fujita & Miura Public Relations
P.O. Box 3996
Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 245-3677

Gap Stamping LLC
181 Mikron Road
Bethlehem, PA 18020
(610) 759-7820

Glacial Energy, Dave Schultz
2051 Lucas Lane
Voorhees, NJ 08043
(609) 706-6870
Business Type: ENERGY

Glacial Energy Inc. - Chris Wyland
1095 Tudor Drive
Breinigsville, PA 18031
(610) 844-3804
Business Type: ENERGY

Avorani Inc. T/A Hellertown Diner
29 Main Street
Hellertown, PA 18055
(610) 762-7203

Hess Energy
Hess Plaza, One Hess Plaza
Attn: Jaime Silverstein, 10th Floor
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
(732) 750-6056
Business Type: ENERGY

J.P. Hamel Photography
288 Susquehanna Trail
Allentown, PA 18104
(610) 530-0968

mEnterprise Solutions LLC
113 Park Avenue
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
(570) 460-9599

N I 4 Design LLC
P.O. Box 4344
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 969-5981

Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.
721 Route 202-206
P.O. Box 5933
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 722-0700

Parkway Barber Shop
1507 Lehigh Street
Allentown, PA 18103
(610) 797-0851

3350 Schoenersville Road
Bethlehem, PA 18017
(610) 865-9958

Perfect Christmas Tree Farm
999 Route 22 West
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
(908) 387-1225

Perla Lopez Baray LLC
1043 Cherokee Street
Fountain Hill, PA 18015
(610) 866-8947
Business Type: RETAIL SALES

Phoenix Pharma Consulting LLC
104 Moor Drive
Easton, PA 18045
(610) 253-6925

ReactGear LLC
3440 Lehigh Street, Suite 210
Allentown, PA 18103
Business Type: RETAIL SALES

Reinhardt Awning Company
550 Dalton Street
Emmaus, PA 18049
(610) 965-2544
Business Type: AWNING & CANOPIES

Santa Fe Taco Co.
2022 Main Street
Northampton, PA 18067
(610) 261-4970

Seitz Brothers Termite & Pest Control
7370 Hamilton Boulevard
P.O. Box 638
Trexlertown, PA 18087
(610) 530-8252

STUDENT MEMBER - Lehigh Carbon Community College Anne-Marie Student Member Sheetz
8999 Steinsville Road
Kempton, PA 19529
(610) 509-4009
Business Type:

Thrive Marketing Concepts
P.O. Box 487
Milford, PA 18337
(570) 213-1233

JM Uliana & Associates LLC
2571 Baglyos Circle, B20
Bethlehem, PA 18020
Business Type: INDIVIDUAL

Wax It / Rock Guard
1327 Tilghman Street
Allentown, PA 18102
Wax-It (610) 435-9004, Rock Guard (610) 428-2969

Windsong Photography - Cheryl Rodger
2467 North Delaware Drive
Mt. Bethel, PA 18343