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Chamber of Commerce e-Dispatch Page

Chamber Welcomes Sen. Stefano

Join the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce in welcoming newly elected Pa. Senator Pat Stefano for Eggs & Issues on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Somerset Country Club. Stefano represents the 32nd PA Senatorial District, which encompasses all of Somerset County. He is a lifelong resident of Fayette County and a third-generation business owner. Stefano serves as vice chair of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee and as a member of Transportation, Rules and Executive Nominations, State Government and Game and Fisheries committees. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast and the program at 8 a.m. Admission is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members, and the price includes a full breakfast buffet. Sponsorships of $250, which includes seating for eight, is available. Registration is required by Feb. 24. Click here for more information, or contact the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce at (814) 445-6431 or info@somersetcountychamber.com.

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Will To Speak At February WINS Lunch

Women's Information Network, Somerset County (WINS) is pleased to welcome attorney Megan E. Will as the guest speaker for its Feb. 12 event, "Women's Legal Needs." Women today are often faced with unique legal challenges. At one end of the spectrum, they may be balancing child custody matters while also addressing the care of aging parents on the other. Megan will discuss legal issues and trends specific to women, including the necessity of both estate and guardianship planning, as well as local resources available to area residents. Registration for this event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Somerset Country Club, followed by lunch and the presentation at noon. Admission is $15 for Chamber members, $20 for nonmembers, and $10 for prospective members (one-time only). For more information or to register, click here or contact the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce at (814) 445-6431 or info@somersetcountychamber.com. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, Feb. 6.

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Experience Bavaria, Oktoberfest

Epic Journeys LLC of Johnstown has partnered with the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce to offer Alpine Splendors With Oktoberfest, an eight-day tour of Austria and southern Germany Sept. 16-23. Highlights of this escorted tour include visits to Mozart’s birthplace and St. Peter’s Churchyard in Salzburg; a tour of the Swarovski Crystal Factory in Innsbruck; a traditional Bavarian dinner in Oberammergau and a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany’s most recognizable castle; sightseeing in Munich and free time to experience all that is Oktoberfest. Click here for additional information, including fees and a more detailed itinerary, or visit epicjourneystours.com. Chamber members are eligible for a discount when booking this tour. For more information, contact Cynthia Watters at Epic Journeys at (814) 266-5070. Join the Chamber for an information session on this trip from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9 at Laurel Arts.

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2015 Chamber Scholarship

The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce is offering three $500 awards to area students. Applicants must be a member of the Chamber, an employee of a Chamber member, a child of a Chamber member or the child of an employee of a Chamber member. Some other restrictions apply. See application for details. Applicants must also be planning to attend a Chamber-member institutions. Click here for an application. Applications are also available at the Chamber office or from school guidance counselors. The deadline to register for the 2015 Chamber Scholarship is April 10. Winners will be notified on or before April 30.

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Megashow Expo Coming March 14-15

Spaces are still available for the 2015 Megashow Home, Garden & Business Expo March 14-15. Click here for a registration form, or contact the Somerset County Builders Association at (814) 267-5564 or the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce at (814) 445-6431. The Chamber is also seeking sponsors for the Megashow Mixer on Friday, March 13. Contact the Chamber for details.

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Chamber Membership Directory

The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce staff has begun work on the 2015 Community Profile & Membership Directory. This full-color, glossy publication outlines life in Somerset County and features a list of Chamber members and their services and serves as a great resource for everyone who lives, works or visits the region. More than 16,000 copies are printed annually and are distributed to all Chamber members, area hotels, new residents and approximately 12,000 Somerset County subscribers of The Daily American. Representatives from The Daily American and the Chamber are selling advertising for this project and should be contacting you regarding advertising opportunities. As an added feature, many of the directory ads include advertising on the Chamber’s website. Click here for more information, or contact the Chamber at (814) 445-6431 or Kathy Shriner, Daily American advertising executive, at (814) 444-5942.

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Mental Health First Aid

Behavioral Health Services of Somerset and Bedford Counties, Inc. (BHSSBC) and the United Way of the Laurel Highlands are sponsoring several free community trainings on Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). The Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone 16 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions. These two-day trainings will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 12-13 at Somerset MH/MR. Registration information is available on the BHSSBC website www.bhssbc.us. Training participants will receive a free Mental Health First Aid Manual. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Tracy Shultz, HealthChoices Project Manager, at tshultz@bhsssbc.us or (814) 443-4891, ext. 4105.

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Introduction to Government Contracting

The JARI PTAC, in conjunction with the Somerset County Economic Development Council and the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, will be holding an informational workshop on March 24 in the Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative meeting room, located at 223 Industrial Park Road, Somerset. The workshop will include a presentation regarding getting started in government contracting including resources available, required registrations, and how to look for opportunities. Ample time will be allowed for questions, as well. Any business interested in learning about selling to the government is invited and encouraged to attend. Sign-in will begin at 9:45 a.m. with the workshop to begin promptly at 10 a.m. Registration is free, but RSVPs are required by March 20. For more information or to register, contact Lenora Leasure, JARI PTAC program manager, at (814) 254-4022 or lleasure@jari.com.

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Request For Equipment

The Huntingdon County Business and Industry Inc. is searching for a used 15-20 ton clicker cutting press (a.k.a. a die cutting machine or a hydraulic press) with a working table size of approximately 20" x 40". Anyone with such a piece of equipment available for purchase should contact Amy Sheaffer Wise, CEcD executive director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry Inc., at (814) 506-8287 or awise@hcbi.com.

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Compensation and Benefits Survey

The Lytle Group will be conducting a compensation and benefits survey for the labor catchment area of Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Bedford, Fulton, and Centre Counties in January 2015 to determine the prevailing wage rates for 15 benchmark positions that are common to most manufacturing organizations as well as to gather data on various benefits that are offered. The results from this survey will be summarized and all participants will receive a free copy of the respondent report. All data for individual companies will remain strictly confidential. For more information, click here, or to participate in this survey, contact Barbara Bilek at BBilek@thelytlegroup.org.


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Wessel Tax Program

Vietnam Veterans Recognition Ceremony

The Veteran Community Initiatives (VCI) will be honoring living Vietnam veterans in Somerset and Cambria counties at a special ceremony Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Cambria County War Memorial. VCI is asking that local Vietnam veterans or their friends and families contact the VCI office and provide the veteran's name, rank, branch of service, dates of service, and proof of veteran status. A phone number, email (if you have one) and home address are also needed so veterans can be contacted with more details regarding the ceremony closer to the date of the event. If you would like to participate in this event or know of someone who should be honored, please fill out the attached form.

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Pennsylvania Pink Zone Event

Mlaker Transportation, Davidsville, is organizing a trip to the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University on March 1 to attend the Lady Lions game vs. Wisconsin. The Lady Lions will be spotlighting the Pennsylvania Pink Zone, a non-profit organization founded in 2011 to support the Penn State Lady Lions in their efforts to support breast cancer research and outreach. The game will spotlight breast cancer survivors and the amazing challenge they have overcome by defeating breast cancer. Survivors and family members are invited to attend the game and ride the bus at no cost. Non-cancer survivors are welcome to attend and show your support for $5 per person. All proceeds will be donated. Bus transportation will be provided for the Somerset, Johnstown, and Ebensburg areas. Game tickets are available by calling Penn State at 1-800-NITTANY. To reserve your seat on our Mlaker's Hope For A Cure bus, call (814) 479-2515. For more information about the Pennsylvania Pink Zone, visit to pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.

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Transportation Survey

Riding a bicycle 20 minutes to work in one of the nation’s snowiest counties is not anyone’s idea of a sustainable lifestyle. Neither is missing a doctor’s
appointment or parent-teacher conference because you’re visually impaired or without a car. This is reality for a number Somerset County residents. Many
residents face serious barriers to the most basic standards of living, never mind quality of life. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Behavioral Health Services of Somerset and Bedford Counties, Inc., together with the Somerset County Foundation are not sitting idle; they’ve joined forces with ITNAmerica® to organize a community survey to build a case for bridging the transportation gap in this rural community. All residents in the greater Somerset County area who are 18 or older in age are invited to take an online survey to help us build a case for change. The survey will remain live until a valid number of responses have been received. All participants in the survey will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of several $20 Giant Eagle gift cards. For more information or a paper version of the survey, contact Rob Stemple at (814) 233-8826 or rstemple@visioncorps.net, or Hank Parke at (814)-444-3189 or parke@somersettrust.com.

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