Click the link for the April-2013 Chamber News.
General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone Support Letter
Douglas R. Lengenfelder
Cambria County Courthouse
200 S. Center Street
Ebensburg, PA 15931
Dear Commissioner Lengenfelder,
Huntingdon County Business and Industry and the Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce are writing in support of Cambria County’s application for a General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone (GPFTZ). The application process will identify local industries and companies that could benefit from the development of the GPFTZ. The GPFTZ will provide a strategic model for economic development, bring new industry into our state and region and will create permanent well-paying jobs in product manufacturing and distribution. It will also develop multi-national and international business partnership and stimulate the local economies through the formation of a regional marketplace for international products.
Having a General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone in Cambria County will enable Huntingdon County to operate under a Special Purpose Sub-Zone which will enable current, qualifying Huntingdon County businesses to operate with deferred and inverted tariffs. Having a Special Purpose Sub-Zone in the county may also create much needed jobs.
We are pleased to offer our support for this GPFTZ. Cambria County’s approval for a General Purpose Foreign Trade Zone will be a positive economic move for Cambria County, Huntingdon County and the rest of the region.
Amy Wise Yvonne Martin
Huntingdon County Business and Industry Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director President & CEO
CC: Theodore S. J. Davi, Ph.D.
Chamber Members Being Slammed With Calls
With the rate caps expiring in Pennsylvania over the past few years, consumers are in many instances shopping for the very first time. The markets for electricity remain very volatile, and the Chamber energy program endeavors to find the most attractive rates or purchasing options at any given point in time for the Chamber members. When a third party supply contract is signed, the supplier is securing power on the wholesale market at that point in time for the term of the contract (typically between 12 and 48 months in duration).
Recently some suppliers have been aggressively contacting Chamber members with false or misleading information. Companies such as Pennsylvania Gas and Electric (PAG&E) and IDT are contacting businesses in Pennsylvania and offering them a rate that appears superior to their current rate. OnDemand Energy has received numerous calls of confusion and concern from Chamber members about this. PAG&E presented themselves as if they were from the utility company and said that the customer needed to switch and no fee would be incurred. However, supplier contracts do have terms and conditions contingent upon enrollment regardless if another supplier tells you that “there is no fee to switch to them”.
If you are approached with this and/or have inadvertently or unknowingly made a switch, OnDemand can assist you in reverting this to help you avoid any fees. To alleviate any issues please do not provide any personal account information to unknown callers. As the managers of the ChamberChoice Energy program, OnDemand is prepared to assist with any uncertainty or questions regarding your current enrollments and rates.
The Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the awards that will be presented at the October 4, 2012 Annual Awards Gala. Nominees are being accepted in the following categories: Business of the Year (Sponsored by the John B. Brown Funeral Home, Inc.), Community Service Award (Sponsored by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. – Jo Anna Swope), Customer Service Award (Sponsored by the Comfort Inn Huntingdon), Educator of the Year Award (Sponsored by Juniata College), Entrepreneurial Success Award (Sponsored by Kooman & Associates, LLC) and Volunteer of the Year Award (Sponsored by Cisney & O’Donnell, Inc.) The nomination deadline is September 10.
The prestigious ATHENA Award will also be presented to an individual in our community. The Award is presented to a woman or man who is recognized for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. This worldwide Award is being sponsored by ACCO Brands, BottomLine Pros LLC, Bumgardner & Flasher Oil, Inc., DuBois Business College, Grier School, Juniata College, Lincoln Caverns, Inc. And Whisper Rocks, Northwest Savings Bank, Penelec, State College Magazine, and Westminster Woods. The ATHENA Award nomination deadline is August 22.
Please take a few minutes to help us recognize outstanding businesses and individuals. Click here to print a nomination form. Forms are also available at the Chamber office at 500 Allegheny Street, Huntingdon.
ADVANTAGES TO USING THE OJT PROGRAM
GUIDELINES OF THE OJT PROGRAM
Position must be a permanent full-time position that guarantees at least 30 hours per week. The minimum hourly rate must be equal to or exceed the region’s self-sufficiency level, as determined by the Commonwealth. This equates to $12.53 per hour for a 40-hour position. (The NEG OJT program is for individuals 22 weeks or more unemployed. The wage must be at least $9.63 per hour for 40 hours and employer reimbursement could be higher… 50 or less employees = 90%). This program is available until June 2012!
Eligible clients who are hired must be treated in the same manner as all other employees (same wages, opportunity for advancement, company
policies/procedures, etc.) OJT employees can be fired for justifiable reasons just like any other employee with no penalty to the employer. Employers are reimbursed for 50% of the base hourly wage rate for up to 960 hours of training (regular OJT). Training hours are assigned during the contract negotiation based on the complexity of the training required.
HOW IT WORKS
1. An employer meets with the Business Services Representative to develop a job order indicating what type of people the employer desires and the screening method preferred to evaluate potential candidates (resumes, applications, interviews, etc.)
2. Post the job on the CareerLink system
3. A search is then conducted of the eligible applicant pool for people who matches the characteristics set by the employer. The employer is
then provided the information about potential candidates in the manner in which they have requested.
4. The employer decides whom they want to hire and a possible start date. The Business Services staff is notified about the circumstances of
5. The employer and the Business Services Representative negotiate a contract, which includes a training plan, length of training and costs to be
reimbursed to the employer for providing the training. It is important to note that this contract MUST be in place BEFORE an eligible client begins working or the opportunity to secure funding will be lost.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APPLICANT POOL
The employer should have the following information available in preparation for the meeting with the Business Services Representative to
negotiate a contract:
1. Job description for each position
2. How many people will need to be hired in each position
3. The name and qualifications of the trainer
4. Taxpayer Identification number (TIN)/ Federal ID number
5. Valid Workman’s Compensation information, Huntingdon Employment and Training will be need to be listed as a certificate holder for cancellation notification purposes only
6. If the company is incorporated, the contract will require 2 corporate signatures and a corporate seal.
7. If a union represents the company, the contract will require the signature of the union’s designated representative.
For more information contact Helen Pyzowski, Business Services Coordinator at the PA CareerLink Huntingdon County by phone at (814) 641-6408 ext. 107 or by email at Pyzowski@uplink.net.