October 12, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bucknell University will offer the workshop, "How to Write an Employee Handbook," Thursday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon in the SBDC Business Education Center, Room 308 of the DeWitt Building at 416 Market Street in Lewisburg.

Victoria Mavis, president of Core People Resources, will lead the discussion of how properly designed handbooks help prevent lawsuits by informing employees of policies. Mavis will examine employment laws as well as basic forms and policies associated with employee handbooks, essential provisions to include in a handbook to reduce the risk (and cost) of lawsuits, and common mistakes employers make in their handbooks.

Participants will receive a list of policies to consider when drafting an employee handbook. This program has been submitted to the HR Certification Institute for review. If pre-approved, attendees will be notified of eligible PHR/SPHR credits for this workshop.

Mavis is the author of Building the Ultimate Network. She has more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, local government, manufacturing, medical services, non-profits and retail.

Registration for this workshop is $35; registration is required as seating is limited. To register, call the SBDC at 570-577-1249; e-mail SBDC@bucknell.edu, or visit www.bucknell.edu/script/sbdc/register.asp. Veterans may attend at no charge.

Medicaid Infrastructure Grant
The Bucknell SBDC has received a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to work with the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit in McVeytown in support of initiatives related to promoting employment for persons with disabilities.

The grant will be used to provide training on topics related to the employment of disabled persons to human resource managers of for-profit small businesses so HR managers can be certified or recertified.

In connection with the grant, Mavis will participate in the workshop, "Americans with Disabilities Act and Your Small Business," Friday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m. in the SBDC Business Education Center.

Mavis said, "Our work in this area is designed to dispel the misconceptions, help employers realize there are solid business and financial reasons to hire job candidates with disabilities, and to connect them with the resources to help  them find and hire qualified individuals with disabilities in a cost-effective manner."

According to Mavis, more than 20 percent of Americans have disabilities, which translates to 30 percent of the marketplace having either a family member or a friend with a disability. "In sectors such as public services, transportation, or telecommunication, great strides have been made; however, there's still more work to be done in various business cultures, where it is the perception of what is entailed with hiring an individual with a disability that often gets in the way," she said.

The Bucknell SBDC has been helping businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper for more than 30 years in Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union counties. SBDC consultants are available to assist business owners who are just getting started investigating a business model, developing a business plan and need some coaching, or are seeking to reinvent, innovate, and grow an existing business.

Co-sponsors include the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the Brush Valley Regional, Central Pennsylvania, Greater Susquehanna Valley, Middlecreek Valley and Perry County chambers of commerce; the Danville Business Alliance; the Watsontown Area Business Association; The Daily Item; Inc. magazine; The Standard-Journal; and Susquehanna Life magazine.

Contact: Division of Communications