OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe City of Allentown just made it easier for those individuals who are seeking jobs in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which includes the PPL Arena and Hotel currently being constructed downtown.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski and representatives from Lehigh Carbon Community College and Career Link held a Press Conference to announce the opening of the Allentown Employment and Training Center, which is at LCCC’s downtown location at 718 Hamilton Street.

“We are meeting our long-standing commitment to make new jobs available to our citizens,” said Pawlowski. “The center is opening in plenty of time to make job seekers aware of the opportunities that will exist. Career Link will work with the developers in the NIZ and their tenants to put together information on the jobs that will be available,” said Pawlowski.

A total of $125,000 in funding for the center is coming from both the City’s Community Development Block Grant program and the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA).

According to ANIZDA Executive Director Sara Hailstone, “The NIZ development is generating a lot of positive momentum. This center represents another solid step in the economic synergy that is taking hold.”

Career Link will survey employers about what jobs will be available and the skills that will be required. Workshops will be scheduled to assist job seekers with interviewing skills, conducting a job search, employer expectations, developing a resume and much more. Information will be available to link potential applicants with the resources available to assist them in finding training.

“An Employment and Training Center in downtown Allentown, right in the middle of where all the new jobs are being created, provides a one stop resource center for Allentown residents to learn about employment and training opportunities within the Neighborhood Improvement Zone and throughout the entire Lehigh Valley,” said Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. “PA CareerLink is Lehigh Valley’s premier workforce development system and welcomes the partnership with the mayor, the City of Allentown, LCCC, and ANIZDA.”

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the city, ANIZDA and Career Link on bringing job opportunity information to the public,” said LCCC President Dr. Donald W. Snyder. “We at LCCC are excited about all the development downtown and are excited to be a key partner in training and worker development.”

The news conference was also attended by Ruckus CEO Josh Wood and Ruckus President Alex Friedman. Ruckus signed a deal this spring to acquire the former Neuweiler Brewery in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone with plans to open a brewery next year.

“The Neuweiler redevelopment is especially exciting because as a brewing facility it creates an array of employment opportunities,” said Ruckus CEO Josh Wood. “The attraction of the facility to other commercial occupants, particularly as a cornerstone to the new Waterfront, will undoubtedly foster the development of employment opportunities as the project continues to evolve.”

The Employment and Training Center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.




Mayor Pawlowski Stands Next to Interim Police Chief Joe Hanna

Mayor Pawlowski Stands Next to Interim Police Chief Joe Hanna and is Surrounded by Others Receiving Promotions

The end of an era arrived on September 13th when Allentown Police Chief Roger MacLean retired.  MacLean was appointed Police Chief in 2006 by Mayor Ed Pawlowski, and has been an officer since 1974 after two years as a police cadet.  He had served in several command positions in the patrol and investigative divisions, and was acting chief from December 2001 to April 2002.

“I will always be grateful to Roger for his leadership of the department,” said Pawlowski. “He saw the city through very difficult times after massive retirements in 2006. Since that time the city’s crime rate has dropped considerably. Management of any organization of the department’s size is a challenge, but Roger handled it extremely well.”

During a news conference in City Council Chambers, Assistant Chief Joe Hanna was promoted to interim Police Chief.  Pawlowski also announced the promotions of Captain Jorge Medero to Assistant Chief-Operations and Gail Struss to captain.  Medero is the city’s first Latino Assistant Police Chief, while Struss is the city’s first female Police Captain.

MacLean said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in the Allentown Police Department. I want to thank Mayor Pawlowski for the confidence he bestowed in me by giving me this command. I am privileged to have led such a fine group of officers. I want to wish all of them the best.” 

Hanna joined the department in 1979, becoming a Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division in 1988.  Working his way up through the ranks, he was eventually promoted Assistant Chief of Police Operations in January 2006.  Hanna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Moravian College. He holds a Certificate of Completion from the US Department of Justice FBI National Academy and has completed advanced police studies at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.

“Joe is certainly well-prepared to lead this department over the next few months,” said Pawlowski. “He has filled-in very capably in Roger’s absence. I have had regular meetings with Joe as a member of the command staff over the last seven plus years. He has a firm grasp of the day-to-day operations of the department. I am confident that we won’t miss a beat.”

The city is conducting a search for its next permanent police chief.  Hanna is set to retire at the end of the year.    The police contract that took effect in January 2009 included a one-time Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP enhancement for veteran officers. This allowed the city to keep its most experienced police officers and command staff through the end of this year. That group includes Chief MacLean, Chief Hanna, Assistant Chief Dan Warg and two of the city’s most experienced captains.

Pawlowski talked about the promotions of Medero and Struss, stating, “It is with a great deal of pride that I announce the promotion of the first Latino assistant chief of police and the first female police captain in the long history of the Allentown Police Department,” said Pawlowski. “Allentown is a very diverse city and we need to reflect that diversity in our city government. Jorge and Gail are excellent officers who have earned their stripes and can be counted-on to meet their new responsibilities.”

Morris joined the department in 1997. Morris was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in May 2007. He accepted the position of Assistant Hostage Negotiation Team Commander in December 2007. Morris assumed command of the Youth Division in December 2007. He was promoted to captain in January 2011 and graduated this spring from the US Department of Justice FBI National Academy.

Pawlowski also announced that Lieutenant William Reinik and Sergeant Tony Alsleben will be promoted to captain upon the retirements of Captain Daryl Hendricks and Captain Dean Schwartz.

Pawlowski said, “We have been planning for this day for more than four years. Now it is upon us. The promotions we announce today set the stage for the future of the Allentown Police Department. Chief Hanna and his eventual successor will be well served by this group of leaders. The Allentown Police Department is in good hands for years to come.”



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAllentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski recently stood outside 619 Cedar Street, to induct the owner of the property, Mohinder Kaur, into his Landlord Hall of Shame.  Kaur, with addresses listed in South Whitehall Township, New York and California, became the latest property owner to join the infamous list.

The property, which has numerous code violations, has been tagged Unfit for Human Habitation, most recently in May, and is under consideration for inclusion on the Allentown Redevelopment Authority Blighted Property List. Utilities for the structure have been shut off.

“The owner’s refusal to make any necessary repairs to this building brought us to this point,” the mayor said. “It has been years since the city has seen any evidence that Mr. Kaur has done anything at this property.”

A citation has been filed against Kaur for more than $3000 in outstanding unpaid SWEEP violations. Kaur also owes the city $700 in rental registration fees and more than $600 in boarding-up charges, interest and penalties. The city has also filed liens against the property for more than $1,400 in back taxes.

The Landlord Hall of Shame was established in October 2008 for the purpose of bringing public pressure to bear on property owners who refuse to improve sub-standard conditions on their rental properties and bring down property values across the neighborhood.

The mayor also encouraged qualifying property owners to take advantage of the city’s Rental Rehabilitation Program. “It is not my desire to be standing outside any properties conducting induction ceremonies for the Landlord Hall of Shame,” Pawlowski said. “What I want is for property owners to take advantage of the city’s Rental Rehabilitation Program which provides funding to rehabilitate permanent rental housing that is affordable to and occupied by low-income persons and families. Landlords can call our Financial Specialist at 610-437-7696 for more information,” the mayor added.

The city is giving the public the opportunity to nominate a property owner for the next Hall of Shame induction. Suggestions can be called-in to the Bureau of Building Standards & Safety at 610-437-7690.


Mayor Pawlowski Chats with President Komorowski

Mayor Pawlowski Chats with President Komorowski

Mayor Ed Pawlowski was invited to meet the President of the Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, at the Consulate General of Poland on Madison Avenue in New York City, during a reception held for members of the Polish Community in the United States.

“It is an honor to be invited to meet with the president,” said Pawlowski. “President Komorowski took office under very difficult circumstances. He has championed reforms while respecting Polish traditions and values.”

Komorowski was visiting the United States to give a speech at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.  In addition, he received the 2013 Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award at a dinner hosted by the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Komorowski became the Acting President of the Republic of Poland after the tragic death of President Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash in Smoleńsk, Russia, on April 10, 2010.  He won the presidential election on July 4, 2010.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first step in the rebirth of Youell’s Oyster House, which was completely destroyed by a fire in January, took place recently when a groundbreaking ceremony was held recently at the site of the former restaurant.  Mayor Pawlowski helped to overturn the first shovelful of dirt where a new, bigger and better Youell’s will be built at corner of 23rd and Walnut streets in Allentown.

A new 150 seat restaurant, including a mezzanine level for private functions, should be completed and ready to open by January of next year.

Owner Christian Filipos told the more than 50 people in attendance that he was grateful for all the support he received from his patrons and the community after the devastating blaze.  The restaurant, nestled in a West Allentown residential neighborhood just south of Hamilton Street near Cedar Beach Park, was a local landmark since relocating from Easton in 1992.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski said he was happy that Youell’s was returning to the area and looks forward to the re-opening.


Mayor Pawlowski Surrounded by Local Elected Officials and Community Leaders

Mayor Pawlowski Surrounded by Local Elected Officials and Community Leaders

On Monday, September 9th, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski officially kicked off his run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014 with a rally in downtown Allentown across the street from the future entrance to the PPL Arena now under construction at 7th and Hamilton Streets.

“The failed leadership of the Corbett Administration has caused Pennsylvania’s economic recovery to lag behind the rest of the nation,” said Pawlowski.  “State unemployment rates are above the national average and we now rank 46th in the nation – down from the top 5 in 2010 — in job growth.  This is unacceptable. Pennsylvania needs new leadership. As Mayor of Allentown, the third largest City in the State of Pennsylvania, I have brought together the people and resources that prove we can move Pennsylvania forward to where it needs to be.”

The crowd of several hundred packed Hamilton Street and strained to hear Pawlowski above the noise of the construction across the street.  “That’s ok,” joked Pawlowski.  “That’s the sound of jobs back in downtown Allentown.  That’s a good sound I don’t mind fighting with.”

Pawlowski was supported by local elected officials including State Representatives Mike Schlossberg and Dan McNeill, Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Allentown City Council Members Pete Schweyer, Cynthia Mota and Joe Davis, and representatives from local union and business organizations.

Pawlowski then boarded a rented RV wrapped with large “Pawlowski For Governor 2014” signs and headed to events in Harrisburg and then Philadelphia, the first day of a state-wide announcement tour that took him to 23 counties in nine days.

“As Pennsylvanians, we deserve better.  I believe we can replicate the proven bipartisan formula that worked in Allentown on a statewide basis and can achieve the same or better results.  This is why I’m running for Governor,” Pawlowski concluded.