Gracedale Nursing Home is offering a Temporary Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) program this month to attract workers.
The free eight-hour course will be held at the home, 2 Gracedale Ave., Nazareth. Upon completion, successful candidates will be employed by the Gracedale Nursing Home, according to a Northampton County press release.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) offers an eight-hour online course for temporary certification for CNAs or Certified Nursing Aides. A standard CNA class takes four weeks, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began allowing the on-line version in 2020 to help with staffing during the pandemic.
“We’ve seen these temporary CNAs convert to part-time and full-time positions at Gracedale,” said Jennifer Stewart-King, Gracedale administrator. “If anyone would like to join our team, we urge them to consider this opportunity.”
For more information about certification programs, please contact Amy Kahler at 610-829-3402 or [email protected] or apply online at https://www.northamptoncounty.org/HR/Pages/Recruitment.aspx
The deadline for licensed childcare providers to apply for funding through the American Rescue Act is Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m.
The Wolf Administration today said the one-time funding is to help address workforce and operational challenges due to the pandemic.
“The childcare industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the providers and staff in this sector deserve our thanks and support,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “As a parent to young children, I know that without childcare, parents cannot go to work or school and cannot provide for their families. These funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are an unprecedented investment in the childcare sector and are key to our economic recovery from this pandemic, and I urge providers not to miss this opportunity for additional support.”
Childcare providers can use the funds for:
Personnel costs, including for both recruitment and retention efforts, such as sign-on bonuses and pay increases;
Operational costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and insurance;
Health and safety costs, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitation supplies, and staff professional development related to health and safety practices;
Equipment and supplies;
Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume childcare services;
Mental health services for children and staff;
Reimbursement for past COVID-19-related expenses incurred after Jan. 31, 2020
The early childcare education industry currently faces a multitude of challenges, many of which stem from the COVID-19 pandemic. Childcare providers have experienced increased costs in order to maintain safe care, staffing challenges, and disruptions in service, the Wolf administration said in a press release.
In September, DHS announced its plan to distribute $655 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize Pennsylvania’s childcare industry. To date, $613 million has been committed, reaching approximately 83% of licensed childcare providers across Pennsylvania.
Additionally, $352 million in Child Care Development Fund funding from the American Rescue Plan Act is beinginvested in Pennsylvania’s Child Care Works(CCW) subsidized childcare program, targeting decreased costs to families, greater support for childcare providers participating in the program, and setting incentives for providers who expand care availability beyond traditional hours.
“When we as a society invest in early childhood education, everyone wins,” said Snead. “For our youngest Pennsylvanians, an early childhood education experience can shape their educational, social, and emotional development throughout their lives. Parents can go to work knowing that their children are safe and thriving. And our communities and our economy become healthier and stronger. Making sustained investments in early childhood education benefits not only individuals, but all Pennsylvanians.”
Mechanicsburg-based Appalachia Technologies, a managed IT and cybersecurity company, will provide cyber protection services for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
The company will provide services including assessments, remediation and advisory services, a company statement said.
“We are truly honored to be selected by PASSHE as the only PA-based company to provide cybersecurity services to the 14 state universities throughout our state,” Chris Therit, account executive, said in a prepared statement.
“It is exciting to see higher education throughout PA focus their attention on cyber security as the higher education industry is one of the top targets of cyber criminals. Appalachia’s ability to work with the state universities allows us to continue building on our already strong cybersecurity offerings and help protect clients not only in our state, but across the globe. We value our partnership with PASSHE and look forward to seeing it grow in the years come,” Therit said.
Appalachia’s Security Operations Center (SOC) is staffed by certified cybersecurity analysts who actively work to defend organizations. Appalachia’s SOC currently leverages AlienVault USM technology to provide Unified Threat Management (SIEM) as a core part of its operations, addressing proactive threat detection, threat response and compliance requirements
After 42 years in Emmaus, Shangy’s the Beer Authority is expanding into a new, second location in nearby Macungie.
Owner Nima Hadian, said that while Emmaus and Macungie are neighbors, traffic makes it a good 20-to-30-minute ride between his popular flagship location along Lehigh Street and the new location going up at 6480 Alburtis Road in Macungie.
He said with all the development going on in the borough, both residential and commercial, he saw a strong market there and decided it was time to expand.
“Because of the success of the first store and the growth in the beer segment, we were ready to grow,” he said.
The 14,000-square-foot store is being constructed in an old Rite Aid building, that has been gutted and is being rebuilt by Jerdon Construction of Allentown.
With construction set to be complete by the end of February, Hadian hopes to have the store up and running by spring.
Ron Jerdon, who’s overseeing construction of the building, which will be comparable in size to the existing Shangy’s, said work on converting the old Rite Aid began in October.
“The whole interior of the building was gutted. It’s going to be a real nice location for them there,” he said.
Like the original Shangy’s, Hadian said the new location will be a destination for beer lovers.
The Macungie Shangy’s will have what Hadian said is the largest selection of beer in the country with over 4,000 different beers in stock.
Of course, like the original, the new store will have more than just cases of beer. He said the store will also have a wide selection of alcoholic seltzers and hard teas, which are very popular right now.
Because there are no limits on how much beer a distributorship, like Shangy’s, can sell, customers can also take advantage of choosing their own Mix Six variety, creating their own customized six-packs in a number of different price points. Individual bottles of beer can also be purchased.
There will also be a slushy bar, which will serve to-go malt beverage slushy in between 30 and 40 flavors at any given time.
Customers can come in and tap their own slushy or take out one of the pre-packaged slushies in the cooler.
One of the highlights of the new location will be a Gruber-brand growler/crowler station where customers can choose from a selection of around 20 different rotating local, craft and imported beers and tap them either into a growler container, which come in 64 and 128 ounces, or into a pressure-sealed can, which can be filled in volumes ranging from 16 ounces on up.
Other highlights include drive through service for to-go slushies and growler service and curbside pickup for cases of beer.
While beer is the main focus, it isn’t the only offering at Shangy’s. The store is also well known for its selection of nuts and other snack foods, glassware, cigars and Shangy’s brand gear such as hats and sweatshirts will also be for sale.
Allentown-based Phoebe Ministries announces the promotion of two employees to vice president positions after the retirement of its chief operating officer.
Robert Richards, was appointed executive vice president and COO and Thomas Baer, was appointed senior vice president of finance and CFO. Both appointments were promotions from within the organization after the retirement of COO Lisa Fichera, a 43-year veteran Phoebe employee.
As the COO, Richards is responsible for the overall management of Health Care Services, Pharmacy Services Operations, Marketing, Human Resources, and Affordable Housing Operations. Richards also serves as a staff liaison to Phoebe’s governing board and board committees and is a member of the subscriber committee for the Phoebe Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, according to a company statement.
Richards was hired in 2015 as the senior vice president of Finance and was promoted to CFO in 2017. Previously, he was vice president of finance/CFO of Good Samaritan Health System in Lebanon. Prior to that, he was the vice president of finance at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown.
A resident of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Richards graduated from Thomas Jefferson University (formerly known as Philadelphia University) with a Bachelor of Science in accounting.
Baer, in his new role, will establish and guide Phoebe’s financial policies and direction. He will oversee the Billing and Revenue Cycle department and will be responsible for directing the Finance, Contract Services, and Information Technology departments. Additionally, he will serve as a staff liaison to Phoebe’s Governing Board and work closely with the Audit, Finance and Investment Committee, a sub-committee of the board. He is a member of the subscriber committee for the Phoebe Reciprocal Risk Retention Group.
Hired by Phoebe in 2007 as the corporate controller, Baer was promoted to executive director of finance in 2014. Before coming to Phoebe, Baer worked for Campbell, Rappold, and Yurasits LLP.
A resident of Whitehall, Baer graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor of Science in accounting.
Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk named Connor Corpora as executive secretary to the mayor starting January 24.
Corpora will act as a liaison and an extension of the mayor’s office in both City Hall and in the community, working collaboratively with regional and city partners. He will be the official representative for the mayor on several boards and committees, including the Discover Lehigh Valley board, among others.
Corpora served as the Lehigh Valley regional manager for U.S. Senator Bob Casey for the past six years.
In that position he was the Senator’s liaison to various government, community, and constituent groups in the greater Lehigh Valley region.
“Connor’s years of experience with Senator Casey’s office makes him the perfect candidate to serve in this capacity in the mayor’s office,” said Tuerk. “He knows Allentown and the Lehigh Valley and is looking forward to getting even better acquainted with our residents, businesses, and stakeholders in Allentown.”
Corpora is a graduate of Easton Area High School and holds a degree in Political Science from Penn State University.
More than 100 manufacturing jobs are heading to the Lehigh Valley starting this summer.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today that pet health and wellness company Spot & Tango has selected Pennsylvania as the location of a manufacturing facility
Landmark Commercial Realty announced in February that it had leased a 66,700-square-foot facility to Breuer Premium Pet Food, a Bedford, New York-based premium pet food company, but few details were released on the plans for the building at 7520 Morris Court in Upper Macungie Township.
Breuer is the company that makes the Spot & Tango line of pet food.
This project, which will allow the company to insource a portion of its product manufacturing, includes leasehold improvements, equipment acquisition, and training. Spot & Tango anticipates the facility being operational this summer.
“We explored a variety of locations throughout the Northeast and selected the Lehigh valley due to its close proximity to major metropolitan centers, infrastructure and talent pool. We are looking forward to working with the governor’s office, local leaders and building a long-term relationship with the community” said Russell Breuer, CEO and founder of the company.
The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a $288,000 Pennsylvania First grant, a $150,000 workforce development grant to help the company train workers and was encouraged to apply for the department’s Manufacturing Tax Credit (MTC) program. Spot & Tango has committed to investing approximately $20 million into the project and creating at least 96 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.
“Spot & Tango is the latest entry to the fast-growing food, beverage and pet food production market in the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, president & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “Animal and people food, along with beverages, is one of the fastest growing sectors of Lehigh Valley manufacturing. We are thrilled about this exciting new brand of pet food finding a home here in Lehigh Valley.”
Founded in 2018, Spot & Tango is a personalized pet health and wellness company that is focused on providing dogs with the highest quality, human-grade meals excluding artificial additives, fillers, and inexpensive preservatives. The company delivers its products to 48 states within the U.S.
Paul Hodges had an idea to make grow lights that looked good in homes and offices, unlike those on the market that were suitable only for the basement.
“I realized that people wanted to grow plants inside, but the lights were ugly,” he said. “I wanted to make beautiful lights with warm white ambient light in modern fixtures.”
To accomplish his goal, Hodges turned to the Partnership for Innovation (Pi) at the Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) for help.
Pi is a small business incubator which provides affordable space to startups that are eligible for the KIZ program until they outgrow the space.
Asher Schiavone, economic development coordinator for the City of Bethlehem, said Pi is an affordable space for startup companies within the Southside Bethlehem KIZ. It offers new entrepreneurs loft-style ceilings, hardwood floors, and brick walls to retain the industrial nostalgia of the former silk mill that houses the program.
More importantly, it offers startups with the support needed to make a company grow.
Two other incubators offer the same type of help. Ben Franklin TechVentures is located at Lehigh University in Bethlehem and Bridgeworks Enterprise Center is in the former Mack Truck Plant 4A in Allentown.
Hodges said he received “tons” of help from the Bethlehem Economic Development Corp. to launch Soltech Solutions. “They were incredible supporters and they offered us countless resources from an initial grant to get us started to tax credits.”
Soltech Solutions started in a small 200 square-foot office where “we were touching elbows.” Now the company is utilizing 5,000 square feet to produce its grow lights. “We started with three people and now employ 21,” he said.
And after five years in business, the company is looking for new space in an industrial park in Bethlehem. “It’s just incredible what the incubator has done for us. None of us are from the Lehigh Valley, we moved here to take advantage of the incubator and made this our home. I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else,” he said.
Laura Eppler, chief marketing officer for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, said TechVentures typically houses 30-40 companies at one time. Currently, they have 34 in the technology-based sectors, including life sciences, electronics, materials, advanced manufacturing, and computer applications.
“Companies typically stay for five years, and life science companies can stay closer to seven or eight years because of the time needed to navigate the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval process,” she said.
The companies are offered management guidance, business planning, and marketing help along with investment and venture capital funding.
“Business incubators help early-stage firms win the incredibly difficult fight to succeed in the marketplace,” Eppler said. “It’s about improving people’s lives by creating highly paid, sustainable jobs. It’s about innovation, creating products and processes that improve the human condition,” she said.
“Since 1983, Ben Franklin’s incubator has graduated 69 successful companies, together grossing more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue and creating more than 6,900 jobs,” she said.
Bridgeworks occupies 64,000 square feet in the Mack Truck plant and is the only incubator in the Lehigh Valley dedicated primarily to manufacturing startups, said David Dunn, program director. There are 11 manufacturing companies, and they typically stay for three to seven years, he said.
“The office space is leased long- or short-term to those who don’t want to work at home. They want networking,” he said. “We have lawyers, architects, computer programmers, ad agencies and manufacturing reps.”
All tenants have access to mentoring, training, conference rooms, administrative support, shared machine shops, a loading dock and forklifts.
Since the start of the program in 1989, there have been 64 startups with 34 successful graduates, 28 of which are operational. About 600 jobs have been created primarily in the Lehigh Valley.
Tyson Daniels, president and CEO of Polymer Contours Inc., a custom injection molding business, is a Bridgeworks success story. Daniels, who purchased his company in 2015 from an owner who was a tenant, said he invented a product in 2011 and had it manufactured in China, shipped back, and sold here.
“It was through that product that I met Dunn and the staff. I was trying to get into the Valley community.” Daniels said he never planned to get into the injection molding business but while attending programs at Bridgeworks he met Anthony Durrante, who now works with Ben Franklin.
“I told Anthony I wanted to buy a business and he told me the injection molding business was for sale. It was meant to be.”
Daniels grew from a small space with two machines and one employee to a larger space with four machines and nine employees. He is also graduating from the program. He is purchasing the A1 Restaurant building on North 16th Street, staying in Allentown.
“I’m happy to be part of the bigger business community in the Valley,” he said. He will be renovating the property and adding six machines. Once that property is up and running, Daniels said he will move the four machines to the new digs and hire eight to 10 more people. “I would like to see that happen in six months, but with the supply chain slowdown, it might take longer.”
Daniels said the best part of being at Bridgeworks, aside from not working out of a garage with no support, is the weekly meetings with all the owners and a business coach.
“We would talk about whatever was holding us back,” he said. “It’s really good to sit down and talk about the challenges with everyone. We all have different backgrounds, but we can give each other insights. The energy is really important,” he said.
Lehigh Valley International Airport ended 2021 on a high note, with higher than expected passenger traffic.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, expectations for a quick return to normal air travel routines at Lehigh Valley International Airport seemed unlikely in 2021, said Thomas Stoudt, executive director of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority.
“We’ve said it all along, the aviation industry pointed to 2023 or 2024 as the recovery period. Passenger traffic numbers in January and February supported that case. Fortunately, this timetable was expedited throughout the year as vaccinations increased and the level of comfort for air travel certainly improved,” said Stoudt.
A total of 752,111 passengers traveled through the airport in 2021, which is a 92.4 percent increase from 2020, and nearly reaching the 2018 total of 792,974.
“Would we have optimistically predicted over ¼ million passengers during the summer and over 700,000 passengers choosing your neighborhood airport for the year? I don’t think so. This resurgence was a welcome sight and certainly created positive momentum at the Airport,” said Stoudt.
Following a steady flow of Thanksgiving fliers, a strong holiday travel season continued in December with 68,034 passengers taking off and landing at the airport, a 146.2% increase from the same month the previous year.
United reported a massive passenger traffic increase of 220%, Delta jumped 161%, Allegiant moved up 147%, and American finished 104% ahead of December 2020.
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network has moved its Schnecksville outpatient site to a new location that offers more treatment space for patients seeking physical therapy and other rehabilitation services in North Whitehall Township.
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation’s new location, 4909 Route 873, is less than two miles away from its former site at 4110 Independence Drive. The 3,900-square-foot location is in the Mary Ann Plaza, next to Fresenius Kidney Care and Wendy’s.
The site offers private treatment rooms and state-of-the-art exercise and therapy equipment to serve people with injuries, illnesses or chronic conditions, according to a Good Shepherd statement.
“We’re excited to bring this brand-new treatment space to the North Whitehall Township community,” said Karen Long, Good Shepherd’s vice president of operations for outpatient therapy. “Good Shepherd has a long history of providing high quality and compassionate care in Schnecksville, and we are eager to continue that legacy in a larger, more convenient space for our patients and families.”
Led by David Blum, site manager, the Schnecksville team specializes in treating musculoskeletal problems, such as back and neck pain, sprains and strains, fractures, joint replacements, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD/TMJ), headaches and arthritis, as well as caring for people recovering from stroke, brain injury and other neurological conditions. Programs and services include orthopedic rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation, physical therapy, and occupational health rehabilitation for injured workers.
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) will open a new health center in Pennsburg, Montgomery County, this year, filling a need of Montgomery County residents who asked for better access to LVHN doctors and providers.
The new center is on West Seventh Street, just off Route 29.
“Bringing this health center to Pennsburg is part of our mission to heal, comfort and care for the community,” said Dr. Michael Rossi, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, LVHN. “We look forward to bringing exceptional LVHN care to northern Montgomery County.”
Services will include family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric specialty care, adult and pediatric rehabilitation, imaging, mobile breast health services and testing services through HNL Lab Medicine.
After more than 20 years, Corporate Environments is moving to a new home.
The office furniture retailer has been leasing space at 605 E. Broad Street in a building that had formerly been a silk mill. Under new ownership, the building was to be transformed into an apartment complex.
With the need to move, the management of Corporate Environments decided to purchase a building and chose a spot at 2601 Baglyos Circle in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VI.
“It’s a long-term investment in the Lehigh Valley,” said Adam McMahon, market president.
He said the new building will allow corporate environments to upgrade its showroom space and will give it additional warehouse capacity.
He said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has made changes to the office landscape across the country, there is still a demand for office furniture and office environments and the company is adapting and changing to the new market and he looks forward to how the new space will help the company meet the needs of its customers into the future.
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