News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.
CAN DO President and CEO Kevin O'Donnell welcomed the crowd and gave remarks during the program. The event began with a moment of prayer given by Rev. Michele Kaufman, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, and a flag presentation from the American Legion Butler Township Post 795.
Rep. Tarah Toohil, Butler Township Supervisor Dr. Frank Polidora, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce President Mary Malone and Butler Township Police Chief Brian Sabatini also gave remarks.
With the use of several services offered through the CAN BE program, Candelles, a handmade soy candle company located in the CAN BE Innovation Center within Valmont Industrial Park, has tripled the size of its production, distribution and storage facility just 15 months after moving in.
Candelles, which Kelley Major and C.J. Graaf founded in 2013 out of their kitchen, originally occupied 860 square feet of space when moving its operations to CAN BE in November of 2017. Over the past 15 months, the company has tripled the amount of space it occupies within the facility which now includes a loading dock as well.
CAN DO Board of Directors Chairman Bill Magnotta served as master of ceremonies for the ribbon cutting event and Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat and Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce President Mary Malone gave remarks before Magnotta introduced Congressman Cartwright.
Hazleton Public Transit Director Ralph Sharp reviewed transportation services to Humboldt Industrial Park and Christine Jensen of the PA CareerLink discussed the CareerLink’s On-the-Job Training and Summer 2019 internship programs during a recent Humboldt Park Association meeting.
The Student Action Committee greeted members of the community at the free event, which was designed around a theme of “Come Celebrate the Arts.” The evening featured musical performances by students from schools throughout Greater Hazleton, refreshments, a Letters to Santa table and a visit from Santa Claus himself.
The CAN DO Student Action Committee will ring in the holiday season as it hosts the 26th annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Wednesday, December 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Hazleton, located on the corner of Church and Green streets in downtown Hazleton.
The public is invited to attend this free event, which features performances by students in choral groups, orchestras and jazz bands from schools throughout Greater Hazleton. This year’s performers include the MMI Preparatory School Chamber Ensemble under the direction of Tina Lizbinski, the Hazleton Area High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Joseph Stefanko, the Hazleton Area High School Cougar Swooners under the direction of Kim Sharonoff, the Heights Terrace Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jennifer Gerhard and the Heights Terrace Elementary School Third Grade Chorus under the direction of Rachel Brimmer.
CAN DO, in its role as a certified economic development organization for Luzerne County, assisted Summit Utility Structures, LLC, obtain a $1 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan the company will use to purchase machinery and equipment for its relocation to an existing industrial facility at Valmont Industrial Park in West Hazleton Borough.
Students in schools throughout Greater Hazleton collaborated to collect hundreds of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items for the CAN DO Student Action Committee’s 14th annual Operation: CAN DO drive. The Freeland American Legion Post 473 is assembling the items collected into care packages for military members with ties to the area who will be stationed abroad for the holidays.
Luzerne County manager David Pedri provided an update on the Route 424 extension project and Luzerne County Transit Authority Executive Director Norm Gavlick and Public Relations Director Lorri Vandermark and Hazleton Public Transit Director Ralph Sharp all discussed bus transportation to and from Humboldt Industrial Park during the recent Humboldt Park Association meeting.
Pedri discussed the more than $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant funding that has been approved for CAN DO through Luzerne County for continuing phases of the Route 424 and White Birch Road extension project. Pedri initially announced the grant last month as part of his keynote speech during the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce’s recent Red Carpet Breakfast. CAN DO is among six municipalities in lower Luzerne County that are sharing a pool of $15 million in block grant funds. At the Humboldt Park Association meeting, Pedri reiterated how the extension project will improve safety in the parks by providing an additional means of access to the park.
The collected items will be used to create care packages for military service members with ties to Greater Hazleton who will be stationed abroad for the holidays. Student Action Committee members are urging the public to contact CAN DO with the names and addresses of any local friends or family members who are serving in the military.