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BASICS Workshop to Focus on Future Workforce
Open House Will Provide Insight on Leadership Blair County
Retiring Superintendent to Speak at Breakfast Club
Only a Few Spots Remaining for Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic
Reservations Being Accepted for the Business Excellence Dinner
Buy Here. Live Here. Website Goes "Live" Today
Chamber Members Encouraged to Complete Drug Testing Survey
Have You Submitted a Business Hall of Fame Nomination Yet?
Chamber Returning to China for 2013 Trip
Chamber Seeks Fall Intern
Register Your Cell Phone for "Alert Blair County" Today
AMBUCS Blood Screening Set for Saturday
Blue Card Discounts 

BASICS Workshop to Focus on Future Workforce
The Chamber’s BASICS (Businesses And Schools Investing in Cooperative Solutions) Committee is holding a half-day workshop with employers, school principals and guidance counselors tomorrow, May 1st at the IU8 Office, located at 4500 Sixth Avenue in Altoona.  The workshop focuses on determining more effective ways to prepare young people for the future workforce.  The event begins with a buffet breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:45 a.m.  There is no cost to attend.  Keynote speaker is Mount Aloysius College President, Dr. Thomas Foley.  Pre-registration is required.  Contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.  

Open House Will Provide Insight on Leadership Blair County
The Chamber’s Leadership Blair County program has helped to educate and develop nearly 400 servant-leaders over the past eighteen years.  As the current LBC Class prepares to graduate, the recruiting process begins for the 2013 Class with an Open House tomorrow, May 1st, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Devorris Center for Business Development.  Anyone who would like to know more about Leadership Blair County is encouraged to attend.  There is no cost or obligation and no need to pre-register.

Retiring Superintendent to Speak at Breakfast Club
Rodney Green, Superintendent of Schools for the Spring Cove School District, will be the featured speaker at the next Chamber Breakfast Club on May 10th beginning at 7:45 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park.  Mr. Green has been employed in Public Education for the past 38-years and will retire at the completion of this school year.  In his Breakfast Club remarks, he will share some observations in regard to the challenge of improving education in the midst of declining financial resources.  Green has been quoted as saying, “It’s getting harder to pull a rabbit out of a hat at a time when it seems like there are many more hats than rabbits.”  The Breakfast Club will also feature the conferring of Attendance Counts Awards to students from nine Blair County Schools and also the presentation of Essay Contest Awards to three Blair County eighth grade students.  The cost to attend Breakfast Club is $16 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members.  To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online. Corporate sponsor for the May Breakfast Club is South Hills School of Business & Technology.

Only A Few More Spots Remain for Highmark/Chamber Golf Classic
The always-popular Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield/Chamber Golf Classic is soon to be the sold-out Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield/Chamber Golf Classic.  Only a few spots remain for the annual event which will be held on May 14th at Iron Masters Country Club.  The day features prizes, give-aways, a great pig roast lunch, a helicopter ball-drop (golf ball chances will not be sold on the day of the Golf Classic – get them at The Chamber Office), a post-event reception, plenty of snacks and beverages and possibly even a little golf.  It’s a day out of the office that is unparalleled for networking and relaxation.  Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the best golf outing of the season.  Call Stacy Hoover at 943-8151 to reserve one of the remaining spots!

Reservations Being Accepted for the Business Excellence Dinner
Reservations are now being taken at the Chamber Office for the 2012 Business Excellence Dinner which will be held on Monday, June 11th at the Jaffa Shrine.  The event honors Fred Imler, Sr. of Imler’s Poultry with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence.  A reception will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6:45 p.m. The keynote speaker for the event will be Imperial Sir Raoul Frevel of Baltimore, Maryland, a member of the Board of Trustees at Shriners Hospital for Children and a former Imperial Potentate of Shriners International.  Dean McKnight, a retired banker with M&T Bank, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.  Providing testimonial comments on the life and career of Fred Imler will be G. William Ward, Chairman of Ward Transport and Logistics Corporation and a former Business Excellence honoree; Allan Hancock, President of the Hancock Group who also serves as President of the Central PA Community Foundation; and Richard Bice, Chairman of the Homewood at Martinsburg Board of Directors.  Al Holsinger of Grace United Church of Christ will provide the invocation.  The cost to attend the Business Excellence Dinner is $65/person.  To attend the dinner and the cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception is $90.  To make reservations, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  Attendance at this event is not limited to Chamber Members only.

Buy Here. Live Here. Website Goes "Live" Today
The official web-location of The Chamber’s “Buy Here. Live Here.” program will debut today at buyherelivehere.com.  It will feature articles on local businesses that are making an effort to buy local products and services, special promotions and discounts, opportunities to win prizes for taking the BHLH Pledge to direct at least 10% more of your spending to local businesses and much, much more.  Visit the site often.  You’ll save dollars and learn which businesses are helping your community to grow. 


Chamber Members Encouraged to Complete Drug Testing Survey
A local strategy group that includes the Blair County Chamber is issuing a survey on drug testing in the workplace that will hopefully help to determine the frequency and effectiveness of the testing process and will assess how many businesses are currently utilizing some form of testing mechanism. The group, known as “The Healthy Blair County Coalition” has partnered with Penn State Altoona in creating the survey. The Chamber Board of Directors has given a thumbs-up to inviting Chamber Members to complete the survey which is being done through Survey Monkey. To participate, please click here.

Have You Submitted a Business Hall of Fame Nomination Yet?
If you know of a business that deserves acclaim for having done something significant in the business community during the past year – even if that business is yours – it’s time to nominate that business for the Blair County Business Hall of Fame or for one of the General Business Awards of Distinction. The nomination process is underway and all nominated businesses must complete an application form and return it to The Chamber by noon on June 11th.  So don’t delay!  Nomination forms can be secured by calling The Chamber Office at 943-8151 or you can obtain a form online at www.blairchamber.com.

Chamber Returning to China for 2013 Trip
The success of last November’s trip to China has led The Chamber to schedule another trip there from April 12-20, 2013. If you’re interested, put those dates on your calendar and email Joe Hurd so that we can contact you when the first informational session is held.

Chamber Seeking Fall Intern

The Blair County Chamber of Commerce is seeking an intern for the Fall Semester. The intern should be majoring in Business Management, Marketing or Communications. The internship can be either for credit or personal enrichment. Interested students should contact Linda Stotler at 943-8151.

Register Your Cell Phone for "Alert Blair County" Today
The Chamber has partnered with the Blair County Local Emergency Planning Committee to alert Blair County residents and their families of important local level emergencies. In all probability, your residential and business telephones are already on the contact list.  But your cellular telephones and smart phones are not. To register them, log on to www.blairco.org and click on the “ALERT BLAIR COUNTY” icon. Persons without Internet access can contact EMA Administrative Assistant Cris Stacey at 940-5901 for assistance.

AMBUCS Blood Screening Set for Saturday
The local chapter of AMBUCS will hold a Blood Screening Program on May 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the First Energy (Penelec) Auditorium on Plank Road in Altoona. The program is designed, in cooperation with Altoona Regional Health System, to include tests which assist in the early detection of the leading health risks in our region including coronary heart disease, glucose intolerance and diabetes, kidney and liver disease and anemia. To register for any of the screenings, call 889-4222.






Blue Card Discounts

Here are a few of the discounts you can receive with your Chamber Blue Card.
Click here to see the full list of Blue Card Discounts. To have an offer listed contact Stacy Hoover at The Chamber at 943-8151.


Franklin Frames


 If you can hold it, we can frame it! Present your Chamber Blue Card to receive 10% off your custom framing order.

Gardner's Candies, Inc.

Present your Blue Card at any Gardners Candies Company Owned Retail Stores and receive 10% off your purchase.

Harry K. Sickler Associates

Receive 10% discount for any first-time tax preparation and a free consultation with an accountant with your Blue Card.

HH Brown Shoe Co., Inc.


 Present your Blue Card to receive 10% off any purchase from the Cove Shoe Outlet Store.

Holiday Bowl, Inc.

Present your Chamber Blue Card to receive Free Shoe Rental for up to 2 people with any paid game purchase.





April 30, 2012

Upcoming Events

Register online

Leadership Blair County Open House

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Devorris Center for Business Development

Register Here 


GRYP Netowrking

Thursday, May 3, 2012
6:00 - 8:00
Holiday Inn Express

Register Here 




Breakfast Club

Thursday, May 10, 2012
7:45 - 9:00 a.m.
Casino at Lakemont Park

Speaker: Rodney Green - Superintendent - Spring Cove School District

Sponsored by:

south hills

Register Here

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield/Chamber Golf Classic

Highmark color vertical

Monday, May 14, 2012
11:00 a.m. - Lunch/registration
Noon - Tournament starts

Register Here



GRYP Child Abuse Training

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center

Register Here

Leading Change Presentation
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
7:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Presented by Dr. Maureen Dodson,
Assistant Professor - Penn State

Register Here

Safety Presentation

Friday, May 18, 2012
7:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Ramada Altoona Conference Center

Topic: Safety & Marcellus Shale

Sponsored by: 

Drill Baby Drill Logo 09_11 


Register Here 

Committee Meetings
Week of 4/30/12

Member Recognition Subcommittee
Monday, April 30, 2:00 p.m.
The Chamber

GRYP Steering Committee
Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 8:30 a.m.
Tom & Joe's

Legislative Action Committee
Thursday, May 3, 8:00 a.m.
Devorris Center

Subcommittee of Early Childhood Education
Thursday, May 3, 9:30 a.m.
The Chamber

Partners in Small Business
Thursday, May 3, 11:00 a.m.
Devorris Center

Blair County Business Coalition
Friday, May 4, 9:00 a.m.
Through, Inc.









chamber choice(5x3)







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