Signature Staffing celebrating quarter century of staffing PA workforce

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Signature Staffing is hosting an event today in Lemoyne recognizing a quarter century of staffing Pennsylvania’s workforce. 

Signature Staffing Founder and CEO Pamela Hill said it’s important to recognize partners and leaders who have paved the way for a woman-owned business in central Pennsylvania. 

“From access to financing to growing my network to choosing a business address, I am grateful for the opportunities our region provides to thrive and succeed here,” Hill said in a statement. 

Signature Staffing places employees for more than 100 corporations and businesses. According to a company press release, many of the state’s leading accounting, banking, IT, legal, manufacturing, and warehouse companies are staffed with Signature Staffing clients. 

The celebration is scheduled to include: 

Rep. Patty Kim; Gwen Ross, Director of Workforce Development Initiatives, PA DCED; Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick; Cumberland County Commissioner Jean Foschi; Lemoyne Borough Council; Solomon Wheeler, Eastern District SBA; and Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC). 

M&T Bank, business colleagues, friends, and the Harrisburg Chamber are expected to join Hill as she speaks to the impact of mentoring on her success as a woman-owned small business and opportunities in today’s region. A single mother who did not return to college, Hill had a mentor who she said changed her life, and she credits her success to the value of mentorship.

Can’t connect to the internet? It might be because your device is too old 


If you can’t click on this story, it might be time for a new device. 

As of Thursday, older phones and computers that are no longer supported by their manufacturers may lose access to a number of websites and apps. 

The problem stems from a popular digital certificate used by websites that tell a device logging into the site that it is safe to use. Older tech, such as Macs running macOS 10.12.0 or earlier, and iPhones and iPads running iOS 9 or earlier, were only programmed to read the certification on these sites up until Sept. 29, 2021, said John Fields, director of IT for Central Penn Business Journal’s parent company, Bridge Tower Media. 

Those devices and others, such as computers running Windows XP and older Android devices, do not receive updates from their manufacturers anymore like their more modern counterparts. That means they can no longer access any app or website that uses that specific certificate after it expired. 

A website’s certificate can be found by clicking on the small lock to the left of a website’s URL in a browser. For example, when reading this story on CPBJ.com, click on the lock next to the CPBJ.com URL, then on certificate and finally certification path. Doing so reveals the “chain of trust,” or a list of certifications that authorize one another, according to an article by Tomsguide.com. For CPBJ, the primary certification is ISRG Root X1, a certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt, a free, automated and open certificate authority founded in 2015. 

Because of Let’s Encrypt’s recently new footing as a commonly used certificate authority, ISRG Root X1 relies on an older certificate, known as DST Root CA X3 to translate ISRG to older devices. This week, DST Root CA X3 expired, meaning that any site using that certification or ISRG can no longer appear on those devices. 

A workaround for this problem is using the browser Mozilla Firefox while on the web, since Firefox does not use the same security certificates as other browsers. However, that method will not work for any apps that use the expired certificate. 

“If I had to boil it down its mostly Apple devices — iPhones and some older mac devices,” said Fields. “The hope is that Apple gets this resolved for any devices that they can update. Some of these older devices that can’t run anything over iOS 9, I don’t believe Apple is patching those.” 

Some devices may have workarounds, but most users facing this problem will most likely need to invest in a new device, said Fields. “Unfortunately this is one of those times where you might have to bite the bullet and buy a new device,” he said. 

Candoris acquired by New York City tech company CDI 

Annville, Lebanon County technology solutions provider Candoris has been acquired by Computer Design & Integration (CDI), a New York City-based competitor.

CDI announced this week that it completed its acquisition of Candoris after purchasing the company for an undisclosed amount of money. Candoris specializes in technology services, including software engineering, data center infrastructure and outsourced IT.

The acquisition of Candoris gives CDI access to the company’s specializations in salesforce consulting and modern cloud native application development, the company said in a written statement.

“The team at Candoris could not align to CDI’s vision of being a next generation IT integrator more perfectly,” said Rich Falcone, CEO and president of CDI.

CDI operates from offices in Atlanta, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Boston, Virginia, the UK and Teterboro, New Jersey.

“Like CDI, Candoris has built a robust digital services offering. Their expertise with Salesforce solutions, paired with our elite ServiceNow offerings, brings added value to our mutual clients who time-after-time have asked to bring these complimentary platforms together,” said Falcone. “It just made sense to partner so that our clients can optimize their application development and transform how they deliver differentiated customer experiences.”

The IT solution provider brings a deeper pool of solutions to Candoris’ clients and broader career opportunities for Candoris employees, said Stephan Van Der Ploog, president and Chief Accountability Officer at Candoris.

“Joining the CDI team is a perfect partnership at the perfect time,” said Van Der Ploog. “Cultural alignment was table stakes for Candoris when we began this process, and we feel blessed that CDI appreciates and wants to preserve what we have built over the past 10 years.”

Candoris was founded in 2011 by Van Der Ploog and his brother, Lucas. This year, the company was named number 3492 on Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

Mentor-protégé partnership proves beneficial for two area IT companies

Leland Nelson, left, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central PA, and owner of Think Tank Consulting, and Bob Spoljaric, chief operations officer of Method3, formed a mentor-protégé partnership last year that has benefitted both companies. PHOTO MARKEL DELOATCH

When the profile of the Black Lives Matter movement grew in 2020, many businesses started to reach out to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central PA. They wanted a list of Black-owned businesses in the region they could add to their lists of vendors.

But for many area Black-owned businesses, those calls didn’t lead to long-term relationships with larger companies, and many continue to struggle thanks to the pandemic, said Leland Nelson, the chamber’s president.

Two years ago, Nelson revived his own business, Harrisburg-based management consulting and IT staff augmentation firm Think Tank Consulting, thanks to a mentor-protégé agreement with Method3, another company in the IT staffing space.

Lifting up Black-owned businesses through mentorship agreements could be the answer for how the business community can better impact small diverse businesses in their region while also fulfilling diversity requirements, said Nelson.

Revival through mentorship

Nelson founded Think Tank in 2008 to hold scheduling software he built for his junk hauling company, Dirty Dog Hauling. While the original plan was to sell Think Tank’s software as a service, the company didn’t have the resources and kept the product internal.

The company was temporarily shelved as Nelson went back to school for his MBA in business administration from Penn State Harrisburg. During that time, he joined Method3 as its engagement manager in 2018.

Wormleysburg-based Method3, was founded in 1998 and focused on management consulting and IT services. During his time with Method3, Nelson made it known that he was interested in reviving his business. Method3 saw an opportunity to help Think Tank get off the ground through a mentor-protégé agreement.

“Leland mentioned he had Think Tank Consulting– it hadn’t progressed and was lying dormant,” said Bob Spoljaric, Method3’s COO. “We had a mutual agreement that it was a good time to resurrect that business and try to build it to have an impact in those places that were interested in hitting diversity and inclusion goals.”

The two companies formed a contract using the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBA Mentor-Protégé Program as the framework. The program helps small businesses, known as protégés, gain capacity and win government contracts through partnerships with experienced companies, or mentors.

Nelson finished his MBA and retooled Think Tank from a software company to a management consulting firm. Think Tank specializes in implementing automated software known as Robotic Process Automation, or RPA. With RPA software, Think Tank can provide a company with a software robot that can do repetitive tasks such as answering specific questions for clients, or reading and evaluating resumes.

The two companies mostly overlap in services so any customer of Method3 could also be a customer of Think Tank, said Spoljaric. That sharing of the same product made the companies a good fit for one another, Nelson said.

Through their collaborative agreement, Method3 helps Think Tank with business strategy, financing, accounting and sales strategy. The company’s services, such as staffing, project management and recruitment solutions, are also available to Think Tank.

The partnership gives Method3 the ability to give clients with diverse IT staff through Nelson’s pool of hires. By partnering with a state-certified diverse business, Method3 also has an opportunity to bid for projects with diversity mandates, Nelson said.

“Partnering gives you that security blanket to find opportunities together,” he said. “Some Federal contracts require you to have diverse businesses on contract. We fill that void.”

The two businesses plan to continue the partnership for the long-term to hit the goals set aside in the contract.

Currently Method3 and Think Tank see themselves as separate entities, but Spoljaric said there could be an opportunity to fold them together if it made sense operationally.

“We have had both companies operationally focused in different tech arenas,” he said.

For companies interested in bringing on a protégé business, the agreement can provide a board of advisers feel, but with parties that are each coming to the table with stakes in the businesses, Spoljaric said.

It can also provide a business with new and diverse voices.

“Method 3 was open to diversifying their partnership,” said Nelson. “It was great alignment and it made sense. I think more companies should do that. Have the willingness to reach out and say it’s good business and it’s the right thing to do.”

Doceo opens new Lebanon office

Doceo opened a new sales and service center at 604 Cumberland Street, Lebanon. PHOTO/PROVIDED

York technology services company Doceo recently opened a new office in downtown Lebanon.

Doceo, a provider of copiers, printers and IT services with locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, announced on Monday that it opened a new 1,800-square-foot sales and service center at 604 Cumberland Street.

The new office space is in the same building as the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“The decision to expand our presence in Lebanon had been on our radar prior to the pandemic,” said John Lewis, president and CEO of Doceo. “Then in February of this year, we decided to make the long-term commitment to (open) an office in downtown Lebanon.”

The Lebanon County office marks Doceo’s 11th location since it was founded in 2004. Doceo first broke into the market as a copier/printer provider and has since expanded to offer managed IT services, disaster recovery, cybersecurity and document management.

Doceo employs 45 people with three working at the new Lebanon office.

Last month, the company relocated its Lancaster County service center from Highland Drive in West Hempfield to 1697 Oregon Pike in Manheim Township.

Cyber attacks on public services are a threat, and manpower is needed to keep intruders out, officials say

How safe are public utilities? 

From obvious risks like burst pipes or a power grid failure caused by severe winter weather in Texas to the water system hacking breach in Olsmar Fla., reliable and secure public utility services require constant vigilance 

More sophisticated technology drives the need for trained professionals at the controls. Hard infrastructure investment along with current technology creates a three-legged approach to service safety and ultimately success. 

J.T. Hand

“It’s an investment in infrastructure, in technology and in people,” said JT Hand, president and CEO at The York Water Company, a private water and waste water utility. 

Area professionals said the best response to avoid utility disruptions is concerted and holistic  whether a breach is prompted by Mother Nature or malicious hackers. 

In Florida, remote access by employees – meant to keep the Olsmar system running smoothly, left the water supply vulnerable to hackers on February 5a Scientific American website report said 

It was the trained operator, who saw and responded to the hacker’s remote attempt to poison the water for about 15,000 customers that saved the system from potential catastrophic consequences. 

Remote access to such systems is where the potential for cyber crime can occur. 

The larger number of people now working remotely has expanded the number of possible avenues for cyber attacks and further emphasized the need for constant vigilance by everyone,” said Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. 

She said regular conversations and information sharing about cyber security and cyber threats to utilities include reviews of incidents and events on the national and global stages. 

The PUC had issued a cyber security advisory to regulated water utilities in Pennsylvania because of preliminary information about the event in Florida, including recommendations about “strong cyber hygiene.” The report also recommended a cyber security and physical risk assessment of critical infrastructure at utility plants. 

“Every PA PUC regulated utility is required to have a cyber security plan for their operations because a cyber threat that appears in one sector may be part of a broader effort to penetrate another type of utility or business,” Dutrieuille said. 

The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Safe Drinking Water monitors water purity in the commonwealth. Those municipal operators and authorities outside the PUC’s jurisdiction also have cyber security counter measures in place. 

“They have not reported any significant issues,” Dutrieuille said. 

Providing and sharing information about developing cyber threats and connecting utility companies with resources is another role the PUC serves. Hand said the convenience and efficiency of digital technology – including remote access by plant operators into systems for regular monitoring – is part of its Achilles heel. 

These cyber actors are sophisticated and good at what they do. They find and then exploit those vulnerabilities,” he said. 

A proactive approach 

Being proactive, thinking ahead and protecting vulnerabilities, as well as continued facility investments, is the best approach. Being prepared means ensuring there is no single point of failure gaps for a cyber criminal to exploit.  

High tech Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are the front line of defense in preventing hacking events. SCADA systems allow operators to interact with a plant system’s hardware and software including sensors, valves, pumps and motors. 

The system allows controls of water flow, temperature, the probability of rain precipitation [and] chemicals “There are thousands of nodes you can incorporate into it to optimize water quality, quantity and availability, Hand said. 

As the oldest investor-owned utility in the United States, York Water has provided service to customers for more than 200 years with only one 12-hour disruption in service during its history. 

A historical marker at the York Water Co. PHOTO/FILE

It was during Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Equipment was moved out of the flood plain and power and water service was restored, Hand said. 

By investing in employee training as well as other resources – like infrastructure and technology companies can make sure any security breaches don’t become utility disasters, he said. “It doesn’t matter how good your IT tech or infrastructure is if you don’t have the right people to take care of it. In Florida that operator was the last, best line of defense.”  

In Emmaus, five nationally certified water plant operators make sure the taps are running for the borough’s roughly 11,200 residents and its business community. 

Emmaus Borough Manager Shane Pepe, said the municipal operated public water system has a combination of technology and manual shutoffs to maximize security for the plant and protect the borough’s five wellheads. The manual shut off valves protect the wells and the water supply from outside “bad actor” interference. 

Labor shortage 

The Florida breach happened because the security systems meant to protect it, along with a pandemicproduced mass exodus to working remotely, created an entry point that allowed hackers to access the system. 

According to the PUC, an estimated 500,000 U.S. cyber security jobs are unfilled, representing a 350% spike in the sector’s employment since 2013. Getting people into those positions is a constant challengeDutrieuille said. Like manufacturing and the skilled trades, public utilities face a workforce shortage, expected to get worse as baby boom workers near retirement age. 

While the most visible utility work might be construction and storm repair there is hightech work at utilities that happens out-of-sight. Competition for the same young talent by high profile companies such as Apple or Google is fierce, she said. 

Recent cyber security breaches serve as a reminder for us to maintain our sharp focus on the cyber safety of our employees and customers,” said Mark A. Miller, director of communications for PPL Electric Utilities in Allentown. 

A coordinated defense to protect the bulk electric system, as well as customers’ data and privacy from cyber attacks was layered, constantly updated and “tested and strengthened, he said.  

The following steps are part of the PUC’s recommendations for maintaining cyber security: 

  • Update all computers operating systems. 
  • Use strong passwords and multiple-factor authentication. 
  • Ensure that anti-virus, spam filters and firewalls are updated, properly configured and secure. 
  • Train users to identify and report attempts at social engineering. Social engineering includes phishing schemes or hacking scams aiming at getting people to reveal their passwords, bank accounts or other personal information with the intention of gaining control over a computer or breaking into a secure system.  
  • Identify and suspend access of users exhibiting unusual activity. 
  • Conduct physical and cyber security risk assessments on their critical infrastructure. 

Larger utilities may be more attractive targets for cyber crime, but they also have larger cyber expert teams and tighter safeguards to fend off attacksDutrieuille said. Mid-sized and smaller systems may not offer big “paydays” for cyber criminals, but smaller utilities can be more vulnerable if fewer cyber security resources are available to them. 

“Everyone, regardless of their specific job, plays a role in keeping data and infrastructure secure,” Miller said. 

York-based Tech Company expands Lancaster footprint

Doceo’s new Lancaster office. PHOTO PROVIDED.

York technology company Doceo recently moved its Lancaster location to a new, 1,866-square-foot service center on Oregon Pike.

Doceo, which provides copiers and printers, managed IT services and more, announced this week that it moved into the larger space to allow for continued employee growth.

“The decision to expand our presence in Lancaster with a new office was a matter of necessity. We had outgrown our previous branch, and this space gives us room to grow,” said John Lewis, president and CEO of Doceo.

The move coincides with a number of hires at the new location. The 1697 Oregon Pike center will open with six total employees rather than the previous three.

“The larger space affords us the opportunity to expand our staffing to service current and future Lancaster County IT and copier/printer customers,” said Lewis.

Doceo’s former Lancaster location is closed and is being leased out to another business.

The firm currently operates nine branch locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

Morefield Communications to bring on first non-family president


Morefield Communications’ fourth president is the first from outside the Morefield family since its founding in 1945.

Wesley Kelly, the Camp Hill-based business technology solutions firm’s incoming president, will take up his new role in late June after more than 21 years at the company.

Kelly joined Morefield in 1999 as a student intern and joined full-time as a Programmer Analyst after grading from Penn State University. Since then, he has held positions as operations manager and manager of converged engineering services.

Today, Kelly is executive vice president of sales and services at the company, a member of its Board of Directors and a shareholder.

Morefield Communications specializes in cloud and managed services, networking and infrastructure, IT support services and more. The Camp Hill firm has a second location in Altoona and employees across the state.

“We will strive to make the community better by making organizations successful through their use of technology,” said Kelly. “We want the next generation to benefit from their experiences at Morefield and see their work contribute to the communities they live in.”

Kelly replaces current Morefield president John Morefield, who will remain with the company as chairman of its board. He will also take on a role as client advocate.

“Wes has developed an unparalleled ability to lead over his 21-year tenure at Morefield,” said Morefield. “It is with a great sense of gratitude to Wes that I can transition into a new role at Morefield with the confidence that my grandfather’s vision, and the community we have collectively built over the past 75 years, will continue to grow in this next chapter under his guidance.”

Harrisburg University to grow IT program through partnership with IT apprenticeship program

A new partnership between Harrisburg University and an Arizona-based IT apprenticeship program is expected to build a pipeline of eligible students into the university’s Information Systems and Information Technologies program.

The university announced on Friday that it will partner with Woz Enterprises, an organization that offers apprenticeship programs to address a widening gap in technology careers in the country.

Through the new partnership, HU will grant apprentices of Woz Enterprises pre-acceptance to pursue a Bachelor’s degree through the university’s Information Systems and Information Technologies (ISIT) program.

Individuals who hold an associate degree and complete a pre-apprentice program through Woz will also be eligible to enroll in the ISIT program.

“We are pleased to partner with Woz Enterprise to provide this opportunity to individuals who are pursuing a career in technology,” said Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University. “The agreement gives individuals the ability to enroll in our affordable, world-class ISIT program.”

Woz Enterprise, a division of WozU and founded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, acts as a supplement to an associate degree and teaches students courses like Application Development .Net, Application Development Java and End-User Computing.

Students in the Woz Apprenticeship program receive college credits toward the HU ISIT program and get on-the-job experience in the tech industry, said Chris Coleman, president of Woz U.

Coleman added that educators can no longer say that technology careers are the future and should instead realize that companies need talent in the present.

“Getting training and an education in information systems, information technology and computer sciences allows individuals to enter an industry that offers job security and competitive salaries,” he said. “Working and gaining valuable experience in a relevant tech field, while simultaneously earning a degree also makes it a cost-effective proposition for students.”

Once students complete the necessary courses, they are well-prepared for both the technical and non-technical courses at Harrisburg University, said Dr. Beverly Magda, associate provost at HU.

“Industry has a strong need for a workforce with technical skills and knowledge, but they also need a workforce that have the strategic thinking, ethics knowledge and business skills,” Magda said. “This is why the ISIT program is a good fit for WozU students.”