POTTSTOWN PA – If you’re among the more than 8 percent of greater Pottstown area residents now without a job, here are opportunities to get back into the hunt.

Montgomery County Community College will hold career fairs this spring at both its West Campus in Pottstown PA and its Central Campus in Blue Bell PA. The fairs are free, open to the public and will feature up to 20 area businesses and organizations looking to recruit for part-time, full-time, temporary and seasonal employment, as well as for internships.

Career fairs at the Pottstown campus are scheduled over three consecutive months, on Feb. 2, March 2 and April 6, all from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the main lobby of South Hall, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

At the Blue Bell campus, similar fairs will be held Feb. 2, Feb. 3, March 1 and March 7, also from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the atrium of the Advanced Technology Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. In addition, the college’s annual Spring Employment and Internship Expo, featuring up to 50 employers, will be held April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its Physical Education Center at Blue Bell.

Businesses and organizations that wish to participate in the career fairs should call Cindy Murphy in the college’s Office of Career Services, 610-718-1802, or e-mail her.

Photo from Google Images

POTTSTOWN PA – Before they attend even a single session this week to hear about future career choices, eighth grade students in the Spring-Ford, Pottsgrove, Pottstown, Owen J. Roberts, Boyertown, and Perkiomen Valley school districts have learned a valuable lesson about the working world:

It pays to be prepared.

The Western Montgomery County School-to-Work Partnership‘s two-day “Youth Career Leadership Conference,” at which hundreds of area students will be introduced to the careers of about 40 invited speakers, was to have begun this morning (Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011). It’s already been postponed, a casualty of the snowstorm weather forecasters predict will hit the area beginning tonight and continuing through Wednesday.

With so many guests, and so much transit coordination needed between districts, the partnership thought it best to avoid complications and disruptions. So the conference has been shifted to alternative snow dates – the potential need for which was planned months ago – of Thursday and Friday (Jan. 14-15), beginning both days at 9 a.m. on the Pottstown campus of Montgomery County Community College.

The partnership is a self-sustaining group of business leaders, educators and other volunteers created 15 years ago to help show students the wide variety of job and career paths open to them. For many youths about to enter high school, its conference represents a real chance to start answering the question, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

Surprisingly, given the area’s mercurial winters, the conference has never been postponed. “This is the first time in our history that we have had to utilize our snow dates,” organizers said in an e-mail distributed Monday (Jan. 10) to participants. “We realize … the decision is being made early; however, we feel this will be one less thing to worry about, especially if the storm arrives earlier than expected.”

Therein, of course, lies a lesson for those who will attend the conference. Their work lives will throw them curves, and they’ll need to be ready to adapt.

Professionals employed in all imaginable types of work are the guest speakers, and most seem able to change their schedules to fit the snow day shift. Students from each district (Spring-Ford eighth graders will be at Thursday’s sessions) get to choose four talks about careers that most appeal to them, and have their questions about them answered too. Both days will end with lunch.

Photo from Google Images

LIMERICK PA – You know it’s January when college football bowl games continue endlessly on television, when weathermen and women predict the next storm could be a “snowicane,” and when Jim King returns with his crystal ball for businesses.

Speaker Jim King.

King, president and chief investment officer of National Penn Investors Trust Company, this Thursday (Jan. 13, 2011) makes what has become his annual foray to the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Forecast Breakfast to offer is thoughts on what lies ahead for the local, state and national economies, as well as a review of notable market and economic events during 2010.

Networking at the breakfast begins at 7 a.m. in the Copperfield Inn at Lakeside, 594 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick PA; the meal will be served at 7:30 a.m., followed by King’s remarks. Chamber members who have heard him speak several times, by the way, report he’s been accurate more often than not.

King is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and the Central Atlantic School of Trust. Locally, he is a director of the Inter-Faith Housing Alliance. Professionally, King also is a member of both the CFA Institute and Bond Club of Philadelphia, as well as an affiliate member of the Financial Analysts of Philadelphia.

The breakfast is sponsored by National Penn and National Penn Investors Trust. Tickets for the event are still available, according to chamber President Eileen Dautrich, priced at $25 for members, $30 for members who must be invoiced, and $50 for non-members. To buy tickets or for more information, call the chamber office at 610-326-5158.

TRAPPE PA – Teens age 15-18 interested in learning more about what it takes to become a veterinarian can find out during a 4-H Teen Veterinary Science course, to be held on consecutive Thursdays from Feb. 3 (2010) to March 3 from 6:30-8 p.m. each session in the Animal Medical Center, 25 W. Third Ave., Trappe PA.

“We plan to address how to prepare for a career, look at schooling needs, and help participants experience some of the daily duties of a veterinarian or vet technician. We are very pleased to have the staff of the Animal Medical Center … again volunteering to be our instructors,” Montgomery County (PA) 4-H Coordinator Nancy Kadwill said.

Other topics to be covered include office visits and determining animal health, animal handling and safety, acupuncture, lab radiology, and parasite control. Participants may also have an opportunity to view a surgery procedure. A certificate will be presented to all who complete the course.

Advance registration is required. Enrollment is limited to 18 teens. A $25 donation per person is requested to help cover the cost of materials and program support. For more information or to register, call 610-489-4315.

Photo from Clipart.com

LIMERICK PA — Gateway Employment Resources, which has its offices on Ridge Pike in Limerick PA, will hold a fund-raising “Night at the Races” on Nov. 5 (2010; Friday) from 6-10 p.m. in the Loft At Limerick Golf Club, 675 N. Lewis Rd., Limerick.

A buffet dinner, music, horse races, silent auction, and 50-50 raffle are included. Tickets cost $30. For more information, call Tina Cooper at 610-489-9699 Ext. 115.

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COLLEGEVILLE PA – To observe its 20th anniversary, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, Main Street, Collegeville PA, is giving the public a literally wide-open view of its permanent collection. It has constructed a new, visible storage wing on the campus grounds, complete with a distinctive glass facade and a rooftop sculpture terrace.

The Berman museum (background) and its new wing (foreground).

The idea behind the addition, according to museum Director Lisa Hanover, is to foster renewed interaction between art and the community, and allow immediate access to the Berman’s permanently held works.

The 4,200-square-foot wing caps a $4 million expansion and renovation project designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm Towers & Miller. The addition provides storage and lecture space, a works-on-paper study area, and new galleries including the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation Sculpture Terrace.

The addition is named the “Henry W. and June Pfeiffer Wing,” for long-time college trustee and museum supporter Henry ‘Hank’ Pfeiffer, Ursinus Class of 1948, and his late wife, June.

The collection’s visibility is enhanced by state-of-the-art open storage vitrines. Before the wing was built, more than 3,000 of the Berman’s paintings, drawings, sculpture and cultural artifacts had to be housed in basement storage.

“The new Pfeiffer Wing – an imaginative, welcoming space that is open, transparent, dynamic and light – echoes the philosophical foundation of the museum’s mission to capture and engage a diverse audience,” Hanover said. “The magnificent wing, inside and out, truly makes the (Berman) a national model for academic art museums,” she said.

The museum was dedicated in 1989, when business leaders and philanthropists the late Philip and Muriel Berman, found a home for their collections inside a historic stone building originally constructed on campus in 1921 as the Alumni Memorial Library.

The Berman pieces consisted of contemporary sculpture, American paintings, and works on paper and folk art. They were joined with an existing collection of 18th and 19th Century American and European paintings. Twenty years later, the museum houses more than 4,000 notable works of art, and attracts more than 35,000 visitors annually.

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COLLEGEVILLE PA – As the first graduate of Montgomery County Community College’s Theatre Arts program, Krista Kenney of Collegeville intends to take the industry by storm.

Kenney, who graduated from the college last month, said she is looking forward to a year-long intensive study program at Vancouver Film School in British Columbia, thanks in part to her training so far. “This has been an amazing experience for me,” Kenney noted. “A passion has awoken inside me that I did not know existed.”

Kirsta Kenney of Collegeville is Montgomery County Community College's first graduate in its theatre arts program.

The college began offering a theatre arts program in 2009, and Kenney found many of her existing credits were applicable. With resources offered there, she said, Kenney has complied three binders ready to present to potential employers for a variety of jobs, such as props master, assistant stage manager and stage manager.

Her memories of the past year: intense teamwork in class and scene work that created close friendships. Her classmates constitute a “family full of people with the same passion, pride, and commitment,” Kenney said.

After Vancouver, Kenney hopes to join the Disney College Internship Program and pursue a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts.

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