General Membership Luncheon
June 28, 2017. At this luncheon it was a pleasure to welcome back Jack Pfunder, CEO of the Manufactures Resource Center as our speaker. Jack's focus at this meeting was to discuss the importance of focusing on middle school students to get them interest in STEM and the manufacturing sector as a place of employment. As part of MRC's awareness program they are working with manufacturing industries such as member Orbel, Corporation in allowing middle school students to produce a video of the business in the "What is Cool about Manufacturing" series. There were 31 manufactures in the Lehigh Vally that participated in this program. Jack feels that the programs are beginning to work. The Lehigh Valley Vo-Tech STEM program has grown from 254 students to 410. At Bethlehem Vo-Tech the machinist program has grown from 3 to 35. He sees CIT increasing in the STEM in the near future. Jack has a very real concern that those skilled workers who have a lot of experience in the current retirement generation will not have the younger worker coming up to replace them. He indicated that the manufacturing sector is growing at a rate of 20% but the skilled workforce is only growing at 8%. Jack feel that without a skilled workforce in the Lehigh Valley manufacturing will leave and new prospects will by pass the Lehigh Valley to settle somewhere else.
March 15, 2017. At this luncheon meeting members of the Easton Area High School Technology Student Association attended to make a request. Daniel Ramut, President of the EAHS Chapter provided information on the Association and indicated their mission is: "...to foster personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering." At EAHS the Association and faculty challenges students to learn about various technological fields in a competitive environment. The state TSA has scheduled a conference and competition in Champion, PA in various technical and leadership fields and Daniel indicated that they are planning to send several members. To do this the Association needs financial assistance. So anyone who wishes to help them can contact Daniel at (610) 570-3837. For more information on the TSA go to their website.
The speaker for this luncheon was A.J. Schwartz, Managing Principal of Environmental Planning and Design which a planning firm based in Pittsburgh. In early 2016 the Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with the update to the township's comprehensive plan which is typically completed every 10 years. Out of several proposals, which were submitted the selection committee chose EPD. Since June 2016 many meetings have been held with the steering committee and several stakeholders in the township to gather data necessary for the development of the Comp Plan. The next step in the process is to present the results of the data to the public in a Public Meeting which was held the evening of the luncheon. With the comments received along with the gathered data and township wide observations A.J.'s next step will be to begin the development of the actual Plan. The completed project will be presented to the Board of Supervisors this summer for their review and approval.
January 25, 2017. Christopher Christman, Palmer Township Manager, was a guest speaker at the January 25, 2017, BIP membership luncheon. Chris reported that by the end of 2017, some long overdue capital projects should be completed. They include: the new public works/parks/utilities garage; renovations to the community pool; full outdoor amenities to the Charles Chrin Community Center, which includes a full sized multipurpose turf field, new natural grass fields and a walking trail that will connect with the Palmer Athletic Complex near the Palmer Elementary School.
Christman also reviewed activities going on in each township department. The Planning Department has contracted with Environmental, Planning and Design of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (EPD) to serve as the township’s consultant on updating the Township Comprehensive Plan. The process is already underway with monthly public meetings being held the third Wednesday of each month at the Charles Chrin Community Center at 6:00 p.m.
The Board of Supervisors approved at their January 24, 2017 meeting, a new collective bargaining agreement with the Township Police Association. The new contract will run through December 31, 2020.
The Fire Department has grown to over 40 active volunteers. The department has purchased two new firevehicles, a tiller ladder truck and a pumper truck that should be delivered in the last quarter of 2017.
The township is also updating its financial software package along with conducting a server upgrade to a cloud based system. From an emergency management perspective, this will allow the township to be more seamless in both the access of, and the distribution of information during emergency events.
Chris then turned the meeting over to Chairman, David Colver. Dave went through the township, project by project, and gave an update of the new land development plans currently underway.
Both are in agreement that the State of the Township is strong. It is an exciting time to live, work, and play in Palmer Township.
June 22, 2016. Cyndie Carman, Director of Planning and Zoning for Palmer Township was the speaker at this luncheon. Cyndie introduced a major project for Palmer Township which will begin soon. This project is the updating of the township's Comprehensive Plan (CP). This is the plan that sets the stage for development in the township for the next 25 to 30 years. This plan was last update in 2013. The township has hired Environmental Planning and Design a planning consulting firm from Pittsburgh to assist the Planing Department, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in formulating this plan. This process will take approximately one year and during that time it is planned to have extensive public participation through this process.
March 23, 2016. Larry Palmer, Chief of the Palmer Police Department was the speaker at this luncheon. Since the Chief took his position he has work to make the department transparent to the administration, Board of Supervisors and the public through the press. They have also begun to use social media through Facebook which has been very effective. One of the main improvements that have been made is having a department that is accredited. This is important so that there are proper policies and procedures for the officers to follow. The department has gone to 12 hour shifts and increased the number of officers. He has also revamped his command staff to be more effective and efficient. Since the department has one officer dedicated to the drug task force and as a result the department has received a considerable amount of money from the drug forfeiture program. This money is used to update the existing equipment and purchase new equipment.
Since Larry joined the department the professionalism has increased considerably.
Helping Your Business While Helping Our Community
© 2017 • Business, Industrial and Professional Association of Palmer Township - P.O. Box 3494 - Palmer, PA 18043