HONESDALE, PA — Business and Professional Women / PA (BPW) is one of the oldest and largest organizations advocating for working women in the commonwealth. Founded in 1919, BPW includes over …
HONESDALE, PA — Business and Professional Women / PA (BPW) is one of the oldest and largest organizations advocating for working women in the commonwealth. Founded in 1919, BPW includes over sixteen thousand members, with 75 local chapters and 12 districts across the state.
Members of BPW’s Wayne County chapter appeared before the Wayne County Commissioners on Thursday, October 7, to discuss the organization and its efforts and to receive a proclamation from the commissioners in support of National Business Women’s Week.
Kathy Enslin, the current president of the Wayne County chapter, said that the chapter had been founded over 70 years ago, and was active in advocating for women’s pay equity, economic self-sufficiency and working equality. The chapter provided scholarships to area high school or returning students interested in furthering their education. It provided five $1,000 scholarships to area high school students this past year and two additional $1,000 scholarships in partnership with the Wayne County Walk of Honor.
The chapter meets every month except July, and would love to have additional members, said Enslin; the chapter currently comprises 27 members, and is looking especially for younger women to join. She highlighted Kayla Bolduc, a draftsman and marketing team member with Northeast Infrastructure, as a younger member who brings a fresh perspective to the organization.
Commissioner Joseph Adams praised the members of BPW—including fellow commissioner Jocelyn Cramer—and business women throughout Wayne County for their work, and said that he encountered professional women in all areas and at all levels of responsibility across the county. He had yet to have a conversation with anyone where someone was seen as less capable because of their gender, he said, be they a woman, a man or nonbinary.
“The stigma of white-male-driven isn’t there,” Adams said. “It’s great—we live it.”
Cramer added her praise for BPW; she hadn’t been a member for very long, she said, but for long enough to see the value of the work the organization did.
“This is great representation from the group,” Cramer added, highlighting Rochelle Haviland as a former president of the chapter and Juliann Doyle as an encyclopedia of history and knowledge. “You’re building networks; you’re building relationships.”
The commissioners proclaimed October 17 to 23 as Business Women’s Week, “In recognition of the critical role women play in the development and success of our country’s business community.”
A number of professional women working in the county’s government offices appeared before the commissioners on other business at the same meeting.
Kylie Emerson, a social services aide with the psych rehab program, received a certificate from the commissioners in recognition of one year of service.
Emerson couldn’t believe it had already been a year, she said. She thanked the women she had worked with so far in the department, saying, “They’re shaping me into who I need to be in my career.”
Mary Ursich, director of the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging, talked about the agency’s participation in a Pennsylvania Department of Aging program to establish an Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) for older adults.
ECHO provides older adults with a prefabricated cottage, placed on the property of a relative or a family member. With that program, said Ursich, an older adult can live independently while remaining close to family in case they are in need of help.
The agency is applying for a grant to fund one ECHO unit, said Ursich. The units cost around $43,000 to manufacture, she said, and an extra $50,000 in assorted delivery and administrative costs. The grant has a 15 percent matching requirement, she said, which the agency will provide through in-kind administrative support.
The commissioners approved a letter of support for the grant application.
Cindy Furman and Amy Christopher provided the commissioners with an election update from the Wayne County Elections Bureau.
The bureau was currently taking applications for changes in voter registration, said Furman, and would continue to do so until Monday, October 18 at 5 p.m.. It was also taking applications for mail-in and absentee ballots, she said; the deadline for those applications was Tuesday, October 26 at 5 p.m., and completed ballots had to be back in the bureau’s hands by 8 p.m. on election day.
Furman recommended that voters consider returning ballots in person to the bureau offices or to the drop box provided inside the Wayne County courthouse. The drop box was entirely secure from tampering, she stressed; it was only accessible during business hours at the courthouse, and it was under the constant watch of the sheriff’s deputy at the entrance and by security cameras.
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