The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 7, 2013

Business briefs 03/08/2013


Spring job fair set for Wednesday

Somerset County Spring Job Fair will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory, Friedens.

There will be more than 30 businesses and organizations. Area community colleges and trade schools will discuss educational opportunities.

Space will be provided onsite for employers to interview potential candidates, so job seekers should dress appropriately and bring resumes.

Admission and parking are free.

Additional parking will be available at Somerset County Airport, with a shuttle bus from the airport to the armory.

Information: 445-6431 or

EcoKids offering cash for gently used items

EcoKids, a children’s consignment store at 2025 Bedford St. in Geistown, is offering local schools and organizations an opportunity to earn cash by bringing in gently used children’s clothing, toys, books, furniture and baby items.

The store is reaching out to local parent-teacher organizations, preschools, Scouts, sports leagues and other groups that work with children and families.

Groups can set up a consignor account and alert supporters that they can bring their items to the store.

“EcoKids was designed to support The Learning Lamp’s free after-school programs,” said Angela Rizzo, development director.

“At The Learning Lamp, we spend a lot of time raising money, so we know how time consuming it can be. We felt that EcoKids could be a good opportunity, not just for us, but for other community groups to raise money as well.”

Fundraising can take place throughout the year, with no deadline or complicated paperwork to fill out.

Once the group’s items sell, it receives 50 percent of the sale price. All items must be in good condition, free from stains and tears and current in style.

EcoKids is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Information: 266-0111 or

Foundation receives grant for screenings

Conemaugh Health Foundation has received a $25,000 grant for prevention screenings.

The $25,000 award by the Edwards Lifesciences Fund will be used to expand Conemaugh’s diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention program, with an emphasis on diverse and underserved patients in rural areas, the foundation said in a news release.

This is the eighth consecutive year the Conemaugh foundation received an award. Of more than 200 grant recipients, only 50 received the maximum $25,000.

Screenings highlight the risks from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.

Health board seeking advance drilling notice

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Board of Health wants natural gas companies to provide 24-hour advance notice before drilling starts.

The board passed the recommendation unanimously Wednesday night. Authorities say they want the advance notice so air pollution can be monitored at drill sites.

Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County.

The requirement covers shale gas extraction, including well drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The county recently approved a long-term contract for gas drilling on thousands of acres of land around the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The plan must still be approved by the Allegheny County Council and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

State audit targets regional jobs program

OIL CITY – Findings from a state audit of a regional job development program in northwestern Pennsylvania are expected soon in response to concerns expressed by local officials about how it is managed.

The Oil City Derrick reported Thursday that a Forest County commissioner, Robert Snyder, said he’s been informed the state auditor general’s examination of the Northwest Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and a related entity may soon be complete.

The paper said local government officials sought audits, saying they had questions about the board and the Regional Center for Workforce Excellence.

Venango County Commissioner Bonnie Summers said a federal programmatic audit is expected to begin once the state auditor general’s audit is finished.

The six-county board was established by a 1998 federal law and has a $15 million annual budget.

Kutztown foundry closing after 144 years

READING – The owner of a foundry that has been in Kutztown for 144 years says a decline in demand is behind the decision to close the facility, eliminating 130 jobs.

McConway & Torley LLC will close its plant on May 5 and lay off 130 workers because of a drop in demand, Nancy Farrar, a spokeswoman for Trinity Industries Inc. – the Dallas, Texas-based company that owns McConway – told the Reading Eagle newspaper.

The plant has been in use since 1869 and was purchased by McConway in March 1980.

In 2007, the company laid off 149 workers.

Rent help available for some disabled

HARRISBURG –The Department of Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency will use $5.7 million in federal rental assistance to make some accessible housing more affordable for 200 low-income individuals with disabilities.

Pennsylvania was one of 13 states selected to receive this money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This effort will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and reduce health care costs by giving the individuals the option of living in their own community instead of a long-term care facility.

The Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency and the welfare department will create the new housing opportunities by using methods developed through PHFA’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and other affordable housing projects administered by both agencies.

The accessible, affordable housing will support three groups of individuals under the age of 62: Persons with disabilities who are institutionalized; those at risk of institutionalization; and those currently living in a congregate setting who desire to move into the community.

Information: 800-692-7462 or  

Speaker to talk about changes in tax code

LATROBE – Robert Grossman, head of tax and business valuation groups at Grossman, Yanak and Ford LLP., will be the guest speaker at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Fred M. Rogers Center on the campus of St. Vincent College.

Grossman’s topic is “Changes in the Tax Code and the Impact on Your Financial Planning” during the initial presentation in the fifth annual Personal Financial Planning Lecture Series.

Admission is free but pre-registration is requested by calling 724-805-2177.

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