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Blair Business Mirror Hits the Streets Tomorrow
Wolf to Testify for Chamber at Transportation Hearings
A Chamber "Breakfast Club" You Won't Want to Miss

Submit Questions to Ask Senator Eichelberger
Help Send a Message to Big Labor
GRYP "Summer Blast" Set for Buccinese Society
Chamber Members Asked to Support 814 Effort
Top Educators Featured on Chamber Television Program 
ACE Award Nomination Deadline is August 26th
Bring-in a New Chamber Member, Enjoy the Rewards
Blue Card Discounts

Blair Business Mirror Hits the Streets Tomorrow
The August issue of the Blair Business Mirror will be a supplement to tomorrow’s Altoona Mirror and will feature a cover story on longtime Chamber Member, Morefield Communications.  Other inside features include ones on: Audiological & Hearing Aid Service, new Chamber employee Jessica Meck and Leadership Blair County Youth.  If you don’t receive the Altoona Mirror, don’t despair.  A copy of the Blair Business Mirror is mailed each month to each Chamber-member business.

Wolf to Testify for Chamber at Transportation Hearings
The State Transportation Hearings for the local region will take place on Thursday at the Altoona Ramada Inn and the Blair County Chamber’s testimony will look somewhat different than in years past.  Rather than simply identifying a long list of projects, The Chamber’s priorities are more diverse and more critical to the needs of the business community.  The only projects to be referenced, in fact, are ones in which The Chamber will lend support to Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation’s efforts to construct additional parking facilities in Downtown Altoona and reconstruct an intersection at Rte. 22 and Frankstown Road that would facilitate the future development of the Hollidaysburg Car Shops.  From there, the emphasis shifts to three transportation studies that will have significant impact if they ultimately make it to the project phase.  The first is a much-needed revamping of the traffic patterns at Pleasant Valley Boulevard and Seventeenth Street in Altoona; the second a long-overdue look at pedestrian issues on Plank Road and the last a more far-reaching attempt to create better traffic flow on Rte. 22 between Duncansville and Mount Union.  One other component of The Chamber’s testimony will be at least a reminder of a resolution that was created two years ago by the Transportation Committee and passed by The Chamber Board of Directors.  That resolution advocated for a funding plan to keep Pennsylvania ’s transportation infrastructure from further erosion.  Eric Wolf of AMTRAN, who chairs The Chamber’s Transportation Committee, will testify at the hearings on behalf of The Chamber.

August “Breakfast Club” to Focus on Cyber Bullying
At our monthly Breakfast Club on August 18th at The Casino at Lakemont Park, The Chamber will be departing from its usual business-specific topics to focus attention on a growing problem primarily aimed at young people who spend considerable time on the internet.  Craig S. LeCadre of the State Attorney General’s Office, a frequent presenter at Leadership Blair County sessions, will present, “Sticks & Stones: Cyber Bullying.”  The often-graphic presentation is a must-attend for parents and educators.  The program itself runs a little longer than most Breakfast Club presentations so this one will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude at 9:15.  Corporate sponsor for the Breakfast Club is MedExpress.  The cost to attend is $16 for Chamber Members and for non-members.  To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online at www.blairchamber.com.

Submit Questions to Ask Senator Eichelberger
The September 8th Chamber Breakfast Club will feature State Senator John Eichelberger as keynote speaker.  The question-and-answer format for the event will have the Senator answering questions submitted in advance from members of the Blair County Chamber.  If you’d like to submit a question(s) for consideration, please email it to Joe Hurd at jhurd@blairchamber.com by no later than August 26th.  Please try, as much as possible, to keep the topic of the question(s) related to business.

Help Send a Message to Big Labor
With the 2012 elections just around the corner and Big Labor’s top priority, Card Check, dead on arrival in the 112th Congress, it was only a matter of time before the Obama Administration took drastic measures on behalf of the unions.  That appeasement is taking place in efforts undertaken by the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.  The DOL issued a proposed rule that would vastly expand reporting obligations under the so-called “persuader” regulations, making it virtually impossible for companies to obtain the legal advice they need to safely exercise their statutory rights to express their views during union organizing campaigns.  The NLRB’s new proposal would significantly shorten the time employers have to speak with their employees about union representation, potentially shortening the entire election process to just ten (10) days from the current median of thirty-eight (38) days.  To send comments on either or both proposals, click here for DOL and here for NLRB.

GRYP "Summer Blast" Set for Buccinese Society
The 2011 GRYP Summer Blast will be held on Friday, August 19th from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Buccinese Society in Altoona.  The event will feature delicious food, free beverages (sponsored by Inco Beverage), awesome door prizes, bocce ball and much, much more.  Live entertainment will be provided by Conner Gilbert.  The cost to attend is just $10 for GRYP members and $15 for non-members.  To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online at www.blairchamber.com.  GRYP, an acronym for Growth and Relationships of Young Professionals, is an innovative program of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce. 

Chamber Members Asked to Support 814 Effort
A hearing will be held on August 24th at 6:00 p.m. at the Ramada Altoona Conference Center for the purpose of providing the public an opportunity to weigh-in on the proposed changes to the 814 Area Code.  The public is encouraged to attend the public input hearings, where residents will have the opportunity to present remarks that will become part of the record upon which the Commission will base its final decision. For businesses and parties of the case who are attending the public hearings, the Commission offers the following list of questions as guidance. The PUC and State Office of Consumer Advocate offer tips on how to participate in public input hearings.  They include:  
      1.   Prepare what you are going to say beforehand.  Even though
          it is not required, you may want to write out your statement,
which can be read.
2.     Bring copies.  If you have a written statement you would  
like to give to the judge as evidence, please bring two copies
          for the court reporter and several copies
for the other
     3.      Plan to be questioned.  Parties in the case may want to ask
          you a question to clarify something you said.  For those
          interested in submitting written comments directly to the PUC,
          letters can be addressed to the
following and reference
          Docket No. P-2009-2112925:  Mr. Robert F. Powelson,
          Chairman, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) 400
          North Street P.O. Box 3265 Harrisburg, PA  17105-3265

Top Educators Featured on Chamber Television Program
Severe cuts in state funding for higher education is just one of several factors that colleges in the region face as they look for new and better ways to meet the needs of area students.  What’s the strategy going forward?  That will be one key discussion point as The Chamber brings top educators together for its next “Issues” program which will tape August 23rd at the Altoona Public Access Studio.  The program will then run throughout September on the Public Access Channel.  “The Role of Higher Education in Regional Development” is the title of the hour-long program that will be moderated by WTAJ’s Carolyn Donaldson.  Panelists will be: Dr. Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, Chancellor of Penn State Altoona; Dr. Wayne Powel, Provost of Saint Francis University; Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; Dr. Thomas Kepple, President of Juniata College; and Dr. Thomas Foley, President of Mount Aloysius College.  Sponsorships for the program are available at just $150 each.  To sponsor, contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151 or email him at jhurd@blairchamber.com.

ACE Award Nomination Deadline is August 26th
The Blair County Chamber’s Farm-City Committee has announced that nominations are now being accepted for the 20th Annual Agricultural Community Excellence (ACE) Award.  Activity and participation in Blair County community affairs and the promotion of Blair County agriculture are the criteria used for selection.  Nominations may be submitted for individuals, organizations, businesses, farm families and/or self-nomination.  Click here to secure a form.  For questions, contact The Chamber at 943-8151. The deadline to submit a nomination is August 26th at noon.

Bring-in a New Chamber Member, Enjoy the Rewards
Without question, the best recruiters of potential chamber members are satisfied members themselves.  And by successfully bringing-in a new member, it can yield a nice reward for the recruiter.  Simply contact a potential member and have them fill-out a membership application.  If they join, we will send you a $25 gift certificate to the Chamber-member business of your choice.  Contact Joe Hurd at 943-8151 or email him at jhurd@blairchamber.com for more information.

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.

G. B. Wineland & Son, Inc.

Present your Blue Card to receive 5% off Polaris Insulated Doors OR 5% off your order of five or more Polaris Windows.

Kopp Drug Present your Blue Card for a free membership to the Kopp Drug RX Rewards Plus Club Card.
Quantum Health & Wellness Present your Blue Card for 10% off any corporate wellness program or tool, includes screening, educational programs, electronic medical records, health management coaching. Offer also applies to individual clients.
Edward Jones Investments Present your Blue Card to receive a FREE Business Retirement Plan Assessment from Edward Jones Investments, Altoona and Hollidaysburg.
Envision Laser Centers Present your Blue Card to receive 10% off Lasik eye surgery.


August 8, 2011

 Upcoming Events

Register online

August Breakfast Club
Thursday, August 18, 7:30 - 9:15 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park
Craig S. LeCadre, Senior Supervisory Special Agent, Education and Outreach for the PA Office of Attorney General
Sticks & Stones: Cyber Bullying

Hosted by: 

Register here

  GRYP Summer Blast

August 19, 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Buccinese Society
612-14 8th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602

Register here

August Business After Hours

590 Newry Lane
Duncansville, PA 16635

August 25, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Register here


  Upcoming Committee Meetings
                    Week of 8/8/11

Home & Garden Show Committee
Tuesday, August 9, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber

WE-LEaD Steering Committee
Wednesday, August 10, 8:00 a.m.
ABCD Conference Room

GRYP Education
Wednesday, August 10, 8:30 a.m.

Regional BASICS
Wednesday, August 10, 10:00 a.m.
Devorris Center


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