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Good morning. Remember proposals to address the labor shortage by paying people to return to work? They have taken a back seat in Pennsylvania to fights over election audits. In the meantime, neighboring New Jersey just launched a program that doles out $500 to people who take full-time jobs. The program also subsidizes wages, though certain conditions apply.
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Worker shortages delay trash pickup



Local trash routes are among the latest victims of the staffing shortages that have afflicted nearly every industry.
  • A lack of workers led regional trash hauler Penn Waste to delay pickups yesterday in at least two townships, according to Facebook posts from the townships: Lower Allen in Cumberland County and West Manchester in York County.
  • In Lower Allen, the company put off picking up yard waste. In West Manchester, it's the recycling.
  • "Our plan is to have crews available to catch up on these homes tomorrow," according to a message from Penn Waste that was posted on the Facebook feed for West Manchester Township Parks & Recreation
  • A spokesperson for Penn Waste's parent company, Waste Connections, referred calls to local managers. Efforts to reach Penn Waste, based in East Manchester Township, York County, were not successful.
  
Is nothing safe: Apparently not. A shortage of workers has prompted many restaurants to cut hours and for some states
to call in the National Guard to drive school buses. Companies in nearly every industry are posting help-wanted messages on billboards and boosting wages.
  • It's not surprising that trash collection is joining the list. 
  • West Manchester first had trash-pickup problems over the summer, according to township manager Kelly Kelch.
  • The township ended up fining Penn Waste about $5,000 under its contract provisions and that led to an improvement, Kelch said. The company also met with township officials and residents in July.
  • One area of focus has been better communication so local officials can advise residents on what to expect, Kelch said.

What's next: Kelch said he sympathizes with Penn Waste's predicament. But the labor-shortage excuse could eventually wear thin.
  • "We understand the economy, but they're just going to have to make accommodations to solve this issue," he said.
  • If the situation deteriorates, West Manchester could exclude Penn Waste from bidding again when its current trash contract expires.

The background: Penn Waste was founded by York County entrepreneur Scott Wagner, who is also a former state senator and one-time candidate for governor.
 


Quick takes



WHO'S HIRING: The Pennsylvania CDFI Network, a coalition of nonprofit lenders and community development financial institutions. known as CDFIs. The group has named Varsovia Fernandez as its first executive director, according to a press release. The network is chaired by Daniel Betancourt, president and CEO of Lancaster-based Community First Fund, a member of the network.
  • Working most recently as an independent consultant, Fernandez also has been an executive with Customers Bank and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Community First and other CDFIs helped distribute nearly $250 million in state and local grant money to small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Beneficiaries included nearly 8,000 women-owned businesses and 11,634 businesses considered low or moderate income, according to a report on the grant money.
  • “As communities continue to recover from this health and economic crisis, Varsovia’s leadership will be integral to helping the Network scale its support for businesses across Pennsylvania," Betancourt said in a statement.
 


WHO'S TAKING SIDES: Local grocery chains. It may not be the same as picking between Coke and Pepsi -- or VHS and Betamax -- but Weis Markets and The Giant Co. have launched delivery services with competing online channels.
  • Sunbury-based Weis is partnering with DoorDash for deliveries from its 170-plus stores.
  • Carlisle-based Giant, which has nearly 190 stores, is on team Instacart
  • The moves reflect the rise of online grocery shopping, which accelerated during the pandemic, as well as fierce competition between delivery services for customer dollars.
  • Partnerships with grocery stores offer a potentially steady stream of repeat customers.
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Compiled and written by Joel Berg

 
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