From Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy
Nearly every U.S. state saw an increase in clean energy jobs in 2018, with an anticipated 6% job growth in 2019. Read here about the latest impressive growth of clean energy jobs in America, including the top 10 states in the county. Pennsylvania ranked fourth for growth in clean energy jobs by percentage from 2017 to 2018.
Good for the economy. Good for the environment. Every day, Chambers of Commerce are discovering the positive opportunities for economic growth associated with affordable clean energy. If you are interested in discovering more about these opportunities, please contact Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy via email.
- Commonwealth Health – Berwick Hospital Center‘s free six-week educational series, “Six Weeks to Better Health,” wraps up this evening, April 17, from 5-6 p.m. at the Hospital’s Conference Room 1 and 2, located at 701 East 16th St., Berwick. Tonight’s session is on Advanced Directives and Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). For more information, see the flyer, and to RSVP, call 570-759-5337.
- There will be a free showing of the 2018 documentary about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, titled Won’t you be my Neighbor, next Tuesday, April 23, from 7-9 p.m., at the Berwick Theatre and Center for Community Arts, located at 110 Front St., Berwick. This event is being presented by the United Way of Columbia and Montour County. For more information, see the Facebook event page.
- PA CareerLink Columbia/Montour Counties will host its annual job fair on Thursday, May 2, from 1-5 p.m. at Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School, located at 5050 Swpeenheiser Dr., Bloomsburg. The entire event is open to both the general public and students. Employers interested in attending as an exhibitor/vendor should register online. For more information, see the flyer.
- Representatives from the Berwick Area High School and girls’ basketball team presented the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation with a check for $1,687 to support the Steven Mark Nastelli Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to Berwick Area High School graduating scholar athletes attending post-secondary education.
The donation was raised during the Lady Bulldogs Steve Nastelli Alumni Basketball Game. More than 200 people attended to cheer on the former players and coaches. The game was established by Coach Bill Phillips and his staff and is held each year.
Pennsylvania’s craft breweries would have to pay six percent sales tax on every beer served at a tasting room or brew pub starting July 1 following a 2018 ruling by the PA Department of Revenue. This change comes after a 2012 interpretation that on-site beer sales were tax exempt. After hearing concerns from area craft breweries, the Chamber is calling for legislators to provide fairness with other bars and restaurants regarding the assessment of the tax (see the letter sent to local state legislators).
Most beer is currently taxed at the wholesale level. For example, if a craft brewery sells a keg or case to a local restaurant, the sales tax is assessed on the keg or case. However, under the 2018 Dept. of Revenue ruling, the brewery would have to collect the sales tax on every pint or bottle sold to a customer at its own tasting room or brew pub, resulting in significantly more tax being collected. This would put the brewer at a significant disadvantage in which a pint, bottle or growler of beer would potentially cost more at the place it was brewed than at a bar, restaurant or retail establishment down the street.
Therefore, the Chamber is supporting proposals that would also assess the sales tax for craft breweries at the wholesale level rather than the serving level.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently voted to oppose a plan by Governor Tom Wolf that would more than double the state’s minimum wage by 2025. As part of his 2019-2020 budget proposal, Wolf is calling for an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019, with annual increases of $.50 per hour to get to $15. The tipped wage would also be eliminated. Board members expressed concerns about the impact on non-profit organizations and service businesses, as well as the potential ripple effect to consumers.
A report by the Independent Fiscal Office estimates that a mandated increase to $12 would lead to minimum wage employees seeing a reduction in hours and the loss of 33,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. The report also concludes that this proposal will result in a ‘more difficult entry into the labor market for inexperienced workers, especially part-time high school and college students.’ The PA Chamber of Business and Industry has long advocated for policies to help low-income families without risking jobs.
The letter sent to Senator Gordner and Representatives Kurt Masser and David Millard notes that, with low unemployment rates, there are many unfilled job openings in our area with starting wages well above the minimum wage. Also, such a dramatic increase could put Pennsylvania at a disadvantage in retaining and attracting employers.
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Latest from the Newsroom
- Make Your Mark in Downtown BloomsburgApril 19, 2019 - 11:47 am
- Pennsylvania Ranks Fourth in Largest Increase in Clean Energy Jobs in 2018April 18, 2019 - 11:47 am
- Member News – April 17, 2019April 17, 2019 - 10:22 am
- Chamber Calls for Fairness in Craft Brewery Sales Tax AssessmentApril 16, 2019 - 3:10 pm