Wilkes-Barre’s Sherman Hills Complex Now Prefers Locals

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The welcome mat is still out for out-of-state residents at Sherman Hills, but under a program instituted by the new owner, locals are given preference to move into the federally-subsidized apartment complex.

The preference also applies if a member of the household waiting to get one of the 344-units has a job.

John VanMetre, director of property management for The Aspen Companies, an affiliate of Teaneck, New Jersey-based Treetop Development, owner of the complex, explained the change in light of a recent report that Sherman Hills had advertised for tenants in the New York City area.

VanMetre said that with the change in ownership, any ads are done locally.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/50555847/Sherman-Hills-puts-focus-on-locals

MCCC Holds Open Houses For High-Demand JobTrakPA Career Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will hold open houses in Blue Bell and Pottstown for individuals interested in learning more about its high-demand JobTrakPA career programs. Fall programs include Wastewater Technician; Health Information Technology; Medical Billing and Coding; and Warehouse and Logistics.

The open houses will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at MCCC’s Central Campus, Parkhouse Hall room 112, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the College’s West Campus, South Hall room 221, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

JobTrakPA programs are funded in whole or in part by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor—Employment and Training Administration. The programs are designed to educate and train displaced workers in high-demand occupations. Deferred payment plans are available.

According to the U.S Department of Labor, 57 percent of workers in trade-related fields hold only a high school diploma or its equivalent, and close to 60 percent of Pennsylvania’s trade workers are between 40 and 60 years of age. Employers cite a critical shortage of qualified workers to fill jobs in the growing industries of advanced manufacturing, energy and health care technology.

For more information about JobTrakPA programs at Montgomery County Community College, visit http://www.mc3.edu/workforcedevelopment/jobtrak, call the JobTrakPA hotline at 215-461-1468 or email jobtrakpa@mc3.edu.

New Certificate Launched To Fill Pharmacy Technician Demand

Blue Bell, Pa.—Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022—nine percent higher than the average growth rate for all occupations nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The demand holds true in Pennsylvania as well; the Commonwealth is ranked fourth among states in the number of pharmacy technicians currently employed.

To help fill the demand in this growing field, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is introducing a Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program this fall. Classes are held Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting Oct. 4 and ending Dec. 20 at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Program tuition is $1,638. To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics, select areas of study, health sciences, and career training programs or call 215-641-6374.

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program is comprised of 55 hours of classroom instruction along with Health 21, a 21-hour online component that provides an overview of the health care industry. Students are required to complete homework assignments, as well as mid-term and final exams. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health care professionals. Fifty-three percent of technicians are employed in pharmacies and drug stores, with others employed in hospitals, general merchandise and grocery stores, and ambulatory health care services. Positions may be full or part time and often include evenings and weekends.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports that candidates with formal training or prior experience have the best opportunity for employment as pharmacy technicians. In 2012, the median salary for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 nationally.

LEHIGH VALLEY IS HOME TO 1,405 ARTS BUSINESSES THAT EMPLOY 7,714 PEOPLE, ACCORDING TO A NEW ANALYSIS OF DUN & BRADSTREET DATA BY AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS

Arts Industry Comprises 3.8% of All Businesses and 2.3% Percent of the Employment in the Lehigh Valley region

Lehigh Valley, PA – A new research study published by Americans for the Arts uses statistical data to quantify the scope and economic importance of the arts in the Lehigh Valley region, or Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. The Creative Industries are defined as arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.

The Creative Industries in the Lehigh Valley include 1,405 nonprofit and for-profit businesses, employing 7,714 employees—comprising 3.8% of all businesses and 2.3% of the people they employ, according to the Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts in the Lehigh Valley report. The findings are based on an analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data, the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the United States. The study was conducted by Americans for the Arts—the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education—and includes analyses of 11,000 unique political and geographic regions in the U.S. The data are current as of January 2014.

The analysis demonstrates a larger-than-expected prevalence of arts business establishments, while the mapping analysis shows that these businesses are broadly distributed and thriving throughout the Lehigh Valley and not, as is sometimes believed, strictly in the downtown areas.

“The scope and numbers of the arts businesses represented in the Creative Industries Study reinforce the importance of the arts to our local economy and quality of life.” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “The arts are about jobs, jobs, and more jobs and deserve a seat at the economic development table.”

Arts Industry Resilient

Nationwide, the Creative Industries reports reveal that arts businesses are formidable: 750,453 businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts employ 3.1 million people. This represents 4.2% of all U.S. businesses and 2.1% of all U.S. employees, respectively. One of the remarkable national findings from the research, which dates back to 2004, is that arts businesses and employment have maintained this share of businesses and employment during the nation’s up and down economic cycles—demonstrating that the Creative Industries are as resilient and durable as other sectors of the economy.

“The Creative Industries reports are powerful tools for understanding what a major force arts and culture businesses are for the economy—not only nationally, but also locally, in every community across our country,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These reports should be in every legislator’s office and every city hall, reminding community leaders that the arts are key drivers of the local economy, new employers, jobs, and improvement of the quality of life through their work. The Creative Industries say one thing loud and clear: the arts mean business!”

ABOUT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES REPORTS

The Creative Industries reports are created by Americans for the Arts using Dun & Bradstreet business data. Downloadable reports for the nation’s 435 federal legislative districts, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 3,144 counties, and 7,400 state legislative districts, along with national comparative reports, can be freely downloaded at http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org/CreativeIndustries.

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations and the community. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.

Pittsburgh’s Commuters Are Walking The Walk

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suzy Waldo can never call off work with the excuse that her car won’t start. And she can’t really justify showing up late for her shifts, either.

Ms. Waldo lives five blocks from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh South Side where she is the branch manager, and is among the relatively small but growing number of Pittsburghers who make their daily commutes by foot.

A new Census report looking at data from the past five years ranks Pittsburgh third among large cities with commuters who walk to work.

Five years of data from the American Community Survey show 11.3 percent of Pittsburghers commute by walking — ahead of New York City’s 10.3 percent, and just behind Boston, at 15.1 percent, and Washington, D.C., at 12.1 percent.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/05/15/Pittsburgh-s-commuters-are-walking-the-walk/stories/201405150327#ixzz31nn7F8Bt

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U.S. Small Business Confidence Back At Pre-Recession Levels

WASHINGTON – U.S. small business sentiment jumped to its highest level in 6-1/2 years in April, which should bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second quarter.

The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to 95.2 last month, the highest reading since October 2007, when the economy was on the cusp of its worst recession since the 1930s.

“April’s reading took the index to a post-recession high and a recovery high level,” the NFIB said in a statement.

It adds to data such as employment and surveys on the manufacturing and services industries that have shown the economy regaining steam early in the second quarter after growth braked abruptly in the first three months of the year.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/US_small_business_confidence_back_at_pre-recession_levels.html#pVIe8UF3EDjeX4HO.99

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7th Annual Montgomery County CareerLink Job Fair

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:30 am – 2 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton
Philadelphia – Valley Forge
301 West DeKalb Pike • King of Prussia, PA 19406

CONTACT
Melinda Onchitta
610.270.3429 x 234
MOnchitt@montcopa.org
http://www.Montcoworks.org

Participating Companies
CSL Behring • Albert Einstein Medical Center • Cobham
Clinical Financial Services • University of the Sciences
Globus Medical, Inc • Robert Half • HCR Manorcare
Acme Corrugated Box, Co., Inc
Manpower International Inc • JRF America, Inc
Tri County Transit Service, Inc
Securitas Security Services USA, Inc
The Carney Group • Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania
Kencrest Services • ECRI Institute

Click here for registration forms, directions, parking…http://montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1786

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Tastykake Looking Fresh At 100

As an independent company, Tasty Baking Co. didn’t quite make it to Tuesday’s 100th anniversary, selling out to Flowers Foods Inc. in 2011 for $141 million to avoid bankruptcy.

But nearly three years after the rescue, the Tastykake brand – which drips nostalgia in the Philadelphia region, but had failed to break through nationally – has renewed strength.

The Flowers bailout has given workers at Tasty’s bakery in South Philadelphia and delivery-route owners throughout the Mid-Atlantic the chance to celebrate the brand’s centennial.

“Couldn’t be better,” is how Dom Rosa, who has owned a Tastykake delivery route in South Jersey since 2000, described life under Flowers Foods.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140225_Taskykake_looking_fresh_at_100.html#qDDZokmzwt3ebC40.99

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TriCounty Community Network Job Announcement

Training & Support Services Coordinator

The Coordinator will be responsible for organizing training and support services for TCN.  The Coordinator will work with the executive director, staff, trainers, consultants, and partners to provide workshops and services to TCN members.  Examples of specific responsibilities will include providing exceptional customer service to members, volunteers and partners; scheduling and supporting trainers and consultants; processing registrations; facilitating the collection and management of data; organizing resources and services; developing and maintaining the virtual support center; assisting with the coordination of a nonprofit conference and other events; maintaining evaluation systems; and other duties as they relate to networking, collaborating, and community outreach.  Qualified candidates must have a Bachelors degree, a minimum of 2 years administrative/office experience, strong computer skills including database management and experience using cloud and file sharing services, excellent verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and function as part of a team, strong organizational skills, and an attention to detail.  Hours: 35 hours per week.  This is a full-time position.  Location: 260 High Street, Pottstown, PA.  

Please submit your cover letter, resume and salary requirements to:

Email: work@tcnetwork.org

No phone calls please.

TriCounty Community Network (TCN) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, or veteran status.  We value and respect the diverse viewpoints and individual differences of all people and encourage diverse candidates to apply.

US Employers Add 169K Jobs; Rate Falls To 7.3 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers have yet to start hiring aggressively — a trend the Federal Reserve will weigh in deciding this month whether to slow its bond buying and, if so, by how much.

Employers added 169,000 jobs in August but many fewer in June and July than previously thought, the Labor Department said Friday. Combined, June, July and August amounted to the weakest three-month stretch of job growth in a year.

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest in nearly five years. But it fell because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work reached its lowest point in 35 years.

All told, the report adds up to a mixed picture of the U.S. job market: Hiring is steady but subpar. Much of the hiring is in lower-paying occupations. And many people are giving up on the job market in frustration.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-employers-add-169k-jobs-rate-falls-73-pct

Help For Job Seekers At The Pottstown Regional Public Library

jobnowlogoIndividual Help Available at the Library

The reference desk in the library has two PCs dedicated to job seekers.  The Reference Librarian is available for consultation.  Other services include printing, scanning, and faxing.  A small cost-recovery fee applies to printing and faxing.

JobNow provides on-demand access to live, expert coaches for every stage of a paton’s job search.  JobNow includes Live Career Coaching,Career ResourcesExpert Resume Assistance, and the Adult Learning Center.

The Pottstown Regional Public Library is located at 500 East High Street in Pottstown.  

Click here to be taken to their website: http://ppl.mclinc.org/

Fees Nibble At Income Of Those Paid With Plastic

An HSBC Solo debit card issued in the UK in 2007

An HSBC Solo debit card issued in the UK in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  It’s generally people with lower incomes that get paid this way :(

On paper, it couldn’t be more convenient: Instead of a check every two weeks, your employer hands you a debit card, depositing your pay automatically and freeing you to spend it immediately.

But then there are the fees: $1.50 to withdraw cash, another $2.50 if you do it from a non-company ATM, the $2 monthly account fee.  For workers making low wages, those fees can eat up a sizable portion of their income, a fact that has sparked lawsuits in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

With one of the nation’s largest banks headquartered here and a slew of local public employers already signed up for similar programs, what role will Pittsburgh play in the payroll debate?

“It really is consistent with best business practices of going as paperless as possible,” said Brad Korinski, chief counsel at the Allegheny County controller’s office.  “On the consumer end of things, the debit cards provide immediate and guaranteed access to funds.  You’re not waiting for the post office to get it to you.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/fees-nibble-at-income-of-those-paid-with-plastic-694438/#ixzz2YHeekGb0

Pennsylvania Economy Added More Jobs In May Than In Any Month Since 1983

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.5 percent in May, the state announced this afternoon.

The state’s economy added 24,000 new jobs compared to April — the highest one-month gain since 1983.  The number of people filing for unemployment claims also fell in May by 9,000 to 488,000.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pennsylvania-economy-added-more-jobs-in-may-than-in-any-month-since-1983-692575/#ixzz2WxdKpdHe

Mohegan Job Fair Draws Thousands Seeking Casino Posts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We got quite a few hits after posting an article about this job fair.  We are not surprised by the large turnout.  It’s certainly an employers market.

PLAINS TWP. — Students, working parents, the unemployed.

About 2,000 people from across Northeastern Pennsylvania filed through the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs ballroom during a job fair Tuesday, having come to try their luck at an estimated 250 openings expected to be created by the opening of a $50 million hotel and convention center this fall.

If there was a common denominator throughout the crowd — whose attire ranged from business suits to shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops — it was the oft-spoken view that a job at Mohegan Sun, which already employs more than 1,700 people, means good, steady work.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/610204/Mohegan-job-fair-draws-thousands-seeking-casino-posts

Stripped-Down Harley Rebounds From Recession

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some motorcycle enthusiasts feared Keith Wandell might be the outsider who drove Harley-Davidson into the ground.  Instead, he may be remembered as the guy who kept the motorcycle maker on the road.

Wandell grabbed the handlebars at the motorcycle maker in the heart of the economic crisis in 2009.  Harley lost $55 million that year, as buying a motorcycle stopped being an option for many consumers.

“We had to make, quickly, some big, bold, decisions,” he said in a recent interview.

Wandell was the first CEO from outside Harley, so those decisions were watched closely.  Not all were well-received.  He got the union’s approval to use temporary workers, which enabled Harley to time its production closer to the peak bike-buying season, saving time and money.  He relied less on middle-aged men in the U.S. to buy the bikes.  And he focused the company on doing what many say it does best: making big, powerful, premium-priced Harleys.  But that meant getting rid of some popular secondary brands.

The company made $624 million last year, the best annual profit since 2008.  It also boosted profit by 30 percent in this year’s first quarter, compared to the same period in 2012.  With lower costs and more efficient production, analysts say Harley is in a good position to grow as the global economy improves and in better shape to weather any future downturn.

Read more:  http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_23421255/stripped-down-harley-rebounds-from-recession

US employers Add 175K Jobs, Rate Up To 7.6 Percent

(AP) The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, a gain that shows employers are hiring at a still-modest but steady pace despite government spending cuts and higher taxes.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday.  The rate rose because more people began looking for work, a healthy sign.  About three-quarters found jobs.

The government revised the job figures for the previous two months.  April’s gain was lowered to 149,000 from 165,000.  March’s was increased slightly to 142,000 from 138,000.  The net loss was 12,000 jobs.

Stocks jumped when the market opened at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, an hour after the report was released.  The Dow Jones industrial average surged 150 points in the first hour of trading.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/apnews/951674514947994523/US-employers-add-175K-jobs-rate-up-to-7.6-pct.

Third Annual TriCounty Community Career Fair

Wednesday, May 22nd, 10am-2pm

Sunnybrook Ballroom, 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown

 

Over 80 employers!

 

Special thanks to event sponsors: ExelonEDSIJ.P. Mascaro & SonsLifeSpan,Pottstown Memorial Medical CenterThe Mercury, and the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce.

This event is brought to you by the 

TCN Exelon Nuclear Workforce Development Program

For more information, please call TCN at 610-705-3301, Ext.2.

U.S. Employers Add 165,000 Jobs; Rate Falls To 7.5 Percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated.  The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

The report today from the Labor Department was a reassuring sign that the U.S. job market is improving despite higher taxes and government spending cuts that took effect this year.

The government revised up its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000.  It now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March.  The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.

The number of unemployed fell 83,000 to 11.7 million.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=474934

PhillyInc: Philadelphia Has Gained Much, But Not Jobs

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several macrotrends have broken Philadelphia’s way:  The city’s population is growing again.  Residential building is up, and the city has seen an influx of college-educated young adults over the last decade.

But one trend remains stubbornly negative, as three recent research reports make clear: The city continues to lose jobs. The latest such evidence was included in the Center City District’s “State of Center City, 2013″ report, released Monday.

The special-services district can rightly brag about the increased vibrancy in the area wedged between the rivers and Vine and Pine Streets.  The city is cleaner since 1990, serious crime is down, and the churn in retail stores and restaurants is source of small-business strength.

Employment, though, remains a weakness, and if the long-term trend of job destruction does not change, it’s hard to imagine that the city could continue to maintain momentum in other areas.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/business/columnists/20130423_PhillyInc__Philadelphia_has_gained_much__but_not_jobs.html