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Chamber Office Closes at Noon on Friday
Candidate Information Session Next Monday at Jaffa Shrine
"Issues" Program on Non-Profits Debuts Tonight
Ribbon Cutting Set for Wednesday at Applebees
Special Thanks to Municipal Forum Sponsors
Customer Service is Focus of WE-LEaD Workshop
Commercial Electricity Renewals Underway for Chamber Members
New Residential Electric Program Seen as Community Benefit
WE-LEaD Workshop to Emphasize Customer Service
Register Your Cell Phone for "Alert Blair County" Today
Blue Card Discounts 

Chamber Office Closes at Noon on Friday
The Blair County Chamber Office will close at noon on Friday in observance of Good Friday.  The office will re-open on Monday, April 9th at 8:30 a.m.  To register for programs and events or to access information on The Chamber, visit The Chamber Website.

Candidate Information Session Next Monday at Jaffa Shrine
The Blair County Chamber will hold a Candidate Information Session next Monday, April 9th beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Jaffa Shrine.  Dr. John McGinnis, candidate for the State House of Representatives in the 79th Congressional District will participate in a question-and-answer session moderated by former Blair County Commissioner Donna Gority, a member of The Chamber’s Legislative Action Committee which is hosting the event.  The committee had originally planned a debate between McGinnis and incumbent Rick Geist, strictly on issues related to business.  When Geist declined an invitation to participate, the event was modified to allow McGinnis to respond to the questions that Chamber Members had submitted to be used in the debate.  The Candidate Information Session will also be taped by the Altoona Public Access Studio for airing at times indicated by The Chamber that would allow those voters unable to attend the Session an opportunity to hear McGinnis’ views.  Corporate sponsor of the Session is Broadway Sharpening and Gority Cabinetry.  The Session will not be broadcast live nor will questions be taken from the audience.  The public is invited to attend.  For more information, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151.

"Issues" Program on Non-Profits Debuts Tonight
Non-Profit organizations made a considerable impact on the Blair County economy.  That impact was a key part of the discussion at The Chamber “Issues” program which will debut tonight at 9:00 p.m. on Altoona Public Access Channel 14.  The program will run every Monday at 9:00 p.m. and every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. during the month of April.  The title of the program is, “Blair County’s Non-Profits: Rising to the Challenge.”  Panelists are: Terri Grove of CONTACT Altoona, Jim Kilmartin of Joshua House Community Center, Judy Rosser of Blair County Drug and Alcohol Program, Inc., Tim Salony of Blair County Library System and Chrissey Wagner of The Altoona Symphony Orchestra.  Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader is the moderator.  Sponsors of this “Issues” program are: Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries, Blair Senior Services, Family Services, Inc., Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley, Skills of Central PA and The Arc of Blair County.

Ribbon Cutting Set for Wednesday at Applebees
Applebee’s is getting a whole new look.  The restaurant will be closed until 6:00 p.m. on April 4th.  Guests will enjoy both a more updated look and openness in the restaurant’s newly refurbished interior.  The Chamber will be conducting a Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate Applebee’s new look.  For more information on the ribbon cutting, please contact Linda Stotler at The Chamber, 943-8151.

Special Thanks to Municipal Forum Sponsors
The Chamber wishes to thank the following businesses and organizations that sponsored last week’s Municipal Forum on Unfunded Mandates: Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Hoss’s Steak & Sea House, Roaring Spring Bottling and Stuckey Ford & Subaru.  It is only through the support of sponsors like these that The Chamber is able to hold events that broaden the knowledge of the business community.

Customer Service is Focus of WE-LEaD Workshop
Customer Service will be the topic of the annual Spring Workshop of The Chamber’s WE-LEaD program. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 17th from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center. The presenter will be John Rodgers, Jr., an experienced executive coach who has been a Dale Carnegie trainer for more than 25-years. Businesses and individuals may sign-up for the workshop online or by calling The Chamber at 943-8151. The cost to attend is $60 for Chamber Members and $70 for non-members. The price includes a light breakfast, lunch and training materials. Exhibitors from women-focused businesses will also be featured as part of the event. WE-LEaD is an acronym for Women Encouraging: Leadership, Education and Development.

Commercial Electricity Renewals Underway for Chamber Members
If your business has been enrolled in the ChamberChoice electric program through OnDemand Energy, you’re probably anxious to renew that coverage.  The renewal period for the program has begun and you should have received information about new rates, participation guidelines, etc.  If, for some reason, you haven’t received that information, contact The Chamber at 943-8151.

New Residential Electric Program Seen as Community Benefit
According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s latest statistics, about 25% of Pennsylvania residents statewide have taken advantage of electricity deregulation for their home residences, many through The Chamber’s energy program.  “Our estimates show that if the residential subscribers in Blair County currently paying the tariff utility default rates switched to the lower Chamber residential rate, over 1.5 million dollars annually could be put into the local economy,” acknowledged Chamber President Joe Hurd.  “At a time when we’re rolling out “Buy Here. Live Here.” that’s a significant dollar figure to begin circulating.”  The decision has been made, therefore to open-up the ChamberChoice residential program to all Blair County residents.  Residential homeowners interested in this program should visit www.ondemandenergy.com and click on the residential savings button.  With a residential bill in hand, citizens can sign-up online for the lower ChamberChoice rate in a matter of minutes.  Homeowners may also call 1-866-699-9968 to speak to a program representative.  Customers who choose to sign-up for the lower rate will continue to receive one bill and the same level of service from their utility.  The ChamberChoice commercial electric program will continue to require Chamber membership as a prerequisite for participation.

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.

. . . to New Pig Corporation of Tipton.  Two of its products – the PIG Drum Containment Bag and the PIG Latching Lid for Poly Drums – were recipients of the 2012 New Equipment Digest King Awards which honor superior industrial product innovation.
. . . to Mount Aloysius College whose community service efforts earned it a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
. . . to P. Joseph Lehman, Inc. of Hollidaysburg which recently attained a perfect score in a safety rating from ISNetworld, a global resource that connects corporations with safe, reliable contractors/suppliers from capital-intensive industries.
. . . to Nason Hospital of Roaring Spring which achieved AdvisorMeds 2012 Great American Home Health Care Award by demonstrating results that consistently exceed patient expectations.  AdvisorMed is a free, online report card/healthcare guide featuring home healthcare agencies, nursing homes and hospitals.
. . . to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona which has received top recognition from Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation.  The hospital ranked in the top 10% of qualifying rehabilitation hospitals for 2011.  UDSMR is a non-profit group that evaluates rehabilitation hospitals on their delivery of effective, efficient, timely and patient-centered care.

Blue Card Discount offers
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.

Keystone Business Support, Inc.

Present your Chamber Blue Card and receive 15 percent off the first 3 months for all new commerical cleaning service. 

The Hite Company


Receive $25.00 off any $150.00 Hite Company Lighting Showroom purchase. Good on showroom products only, one coupon per customer. Not good on previous sales and must be given at time of purchase.

The New Specialty Lift Truck, Inc.

 Present your Blue card to receive 35% off a Forklift Rental.

The Village at Morrisons Cove


Receive 15% off Dinner Purchase when you present your Blue Card at The Bistro at the Village Green (The Village at Morrisons Cove). Limit one coupon per customer per visit. *Only good with purchase of an entree.

Woody's II


Present your Blue Card to receive $1 off any large hoagie. Offer is good for up to 4 hoagies per order.




April 2, 2012

Upcoming Events

Register online

Breakfast Club

Thursday, April 12, 2012
7:45 - 8:55 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park

Sponsored by:


Register Here 
WE-LEaD Spring Workshop

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
"Attitudes for Service"

7:30 a.m - Continental Breakfast/Exhibits
8:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Program
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center

Sponsored by:

blair medical

Register Here 

GRYP Networking Event

Thursday, April 19, 2012
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Oak Spring Winery

Register Here
Backbone Bash

Friday, April 20, 2012
6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Buccinese Society

Register Here
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Chamber Golf Classic

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

Register Here




Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 4/2/12

Golf Committee
Monday, April 2, 2012, 3:00 p.m.
The Chamber

Chamber Ambassadors
Tuesday,April 3, 8:00 a.m.
Devorris Center

GRYP Steering Committee
Tuesday, April 3, 8:30 a.m.
Panera Bread

Business Hall of Fame Committee
Wednesday, April 4, 8:00 a.m.
The Chamber

LBC Adult Committee
Wednesday, April 4, 3:30 p.m.
Devorris Center

Legislative Action Committee
Thursday, April 5, 8:00 a.m.
Devorris Center

BASICS Sub. on Early Childhood
Thursday, April 5, 9:30 a.m.
The Chamber

Partners in Small Business
Thursday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.
Devorris Center

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