ONEONTA – First Night Oneonta has announced a name change to Hill City Celebrations and a new collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. This expansion and re-branding better reflects the year-round events and activities First Night organizes for the community.
The mission of First Night has always been to provide healthy, alcohol-free activities and events for families, the announcement reads. Community partners include LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, Five Star Subaru and dozens of generous local foundations, individuals, and businesses. Hill City Celebrations also works closely with the City of Oneonta, SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College and Bassett Healthcare Network to produce events such as the Oneonta Festival of Lights, First Night at the Foothills, and the Hometown 4th of July.
Every year the Otsego Chamber of Commerce welcomes in a group of people to their Leadership Otsego program.
The curriculum explores current leadership topics such as motivating teams, understanding local challenges, managing conflict, building professional networks, building teams and enhancing leadership presence in our community.
OPENING DAY – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Join the community for day of crafts, food, music to celebrate the area and the opening for the summer season. Meet community organizations, enjoy tours of the State Park, meet the Rolling Meadows Clydesdales, learn with Utica ZooMobile, relax with Springfield Reads, more. Free, open to the public. Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5098 or visit hydehall.org
Local child care providers will get together at The Barnyard Swing in Hartwick Seminary on Saturday, May 21, to let area families know more about the services they provide, and enjoy a day of talking and meeting about their profession.
The ‘Spring Swing Child Care Professionals Appreciation Celebration’ — an idea that arose from a discussion at a winter women’s group meeting with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce — takes place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. An Otsego County Community Events grant helps cover the expense of hosting the event.
“One of the topics at our meeting was the absolute lack of affordable child care in Otsego County. Our area has been deemed a ‘child care desert’,” said Marcy Birch, owner of The Barnyard Swing. “The idea to have this event percolated out of those sessions.”
OPENING GALA – 5:30 – 7 p.m. Celebrate the opening of the exhibit of the works entered in the Leaf Art & Poetry Contest. Will feature refreshments, live music, & poets reading their works. Free, open to the public. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-432-0090 or visit www.facebook.com/LEAFArtContest
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce addresses area child care needs and opportunities in a free Zoom webinar, “Child Care Desert Grant Explained,” on Thursday, March 17, beginning at 9 a.m.
Rebecca Matthews of Catholic Charities, the lead organization behind the program, presents the webinar teaching local employers how to register and apply for funding to start childcare in your business, help a spouse of an employee set up a childcare for workers, or help expand an already existing childcare facility near your business. With $11 million available in this grant funding beginning in April, employers should begin the two-step registration process immediately.
To register for this free Zoom event, visit www.otsegocc.com and click on ‘upcoming events.’
GET ON BOARD – Noon. Zoom meeting for local non-profits to pitch their organizations to the public and discuss what they need, from board members to volunteers to furniture. Presented by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
Congressman Antonio Delgado headlines a roster of local officials outlining 2022 priorities during a virtual “State of the State” presented by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, January 11.
The Chamber offers free Zoom access to the event but requires pre-registration at www.bit.ly/2022-StateofState.
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce this week named Five-Star Subaru’s Ben Guenther as its Eugene A. Bettiol, Jr., Distinguished Person of the Year as part of its year-end award ceremony.
Chamber officials stopped by Five-Star and other award winners on December 21 and 22 in surprise visits to present framed certificates to this year’s honorees.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors and local citizens met December 1 to wade through multiple nominations in each category, with the Board choosing winners on December 15.
Along with Mr. Guenther, the Chamber presented these awards:
CRIMINAL ELEMENT – 6 p.m. Mystery and Thriller authors come together to write a short story live on this edition of ‘Once Upon a Crime’.Presented by Huntington Memorial Library, Oneonta. 607-432-1980 or visit www.facebook.com/hmloneonta/
GOLF CLASSIC – 1 p.m. Join the Otsego Chamber of Commerce for the 35th Annual Golf Classic to support the Chamber’s efforts to help the local community thrive. Sign up for golf tournament at 1 and Lunch/networking event at 11:30. Registration required. Oneonta Country Club, 9 Country Club Dr., Oneonta. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Zoom town hall Tuesday, July 27, to discuss workforce needs for small businesses.
The participants included Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie.
The overall sentiments of the Zoom call echoed the reality of a huge problem with understaffing and the difficulties hiring employees in Otsego County.
Business owners spoke of restaurants being unable to service customers due to staff shortages and some businesses being forced to close early based on having no staff available.
Audrey Benkenstein, from Opportunities for Otsego, spoke about how many of her organization’s positions required advanced degrees and training, which made finding employees very difficult.
“We serve a vulnerable population and without staffing our programs suffer,” Benkenstein said. She said there were also lack of transportation options, lack of internet issues and lack of day care assistance available.