Our 2017 Holiday Benefit

Family Helping Family

Just a Few of the Suburban Family with the Collection for Puerto Rico

Each holiday season, Suburban Testing Labs picks a worthy cause to support and send donations.  This year, we decided to help one of our own.

Our Suburban Family filled boxes of gifts and basic necessities to send to an employee’s family living in Puerto Rico.  Larry is our Supply Chain Material Handler, and is beloved by everyone.  He works tirelessly each day, is wholeheartedly committed to his job, and has been a true asset to the company.  Larry has 29 family members there living in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Last month, owners Rich and Sara Stump put a call out to employees to help Larry’s family in Puerto Rico.  In a letter to the staff, Ms. Stump shared:

After making small talk in the lunchroom with Larry recently, I learned his family in Puerto Rico is still very much struggling for basic needs.  For example, they are still without power, and running water.  They must walk each day to a location where a water truck distributes water, and they are only limited to one bucket per family, per day.  Children have not yet started school.

I asked Larry to reach out to his family and get a list of what they need, or would like for Christmas.  Thinking we might be able to send some “Christmas Spirit,” I was surprised to see the list instead come back with the most basic of essentials, such as feminine care products, flashlights, and batteries.  Here in Reading, we aren’t struggling for these basic needs, and we want to help! 

The team answered the call with an overwhelming response.  More than 100 items and gifts were donated, including many Wal-Mart gift cards that the family can use to purchase water and food.

“We are so impressed with the hearts and generosity of our Suburban Family.  I knew they would come through for Larry’s family, but they far exceeded my expectations.  I’m so proud to work with such amazing people,” said Ms. Stump.

Boxes will be shipped courtesy of Suburban Testing Labs to Larry’s family this week so they arrive in time for Christmas.

If you want to help, it’s not too late.  Email Sara Stump sstump@suburbantestinglabs.com to learn how you can support this effort.

 

Suburban Testing Labs Honored for Technical Contributions

READING (PA) – Suburban Testing Labs has been awarded the 2017 Joseph N. McKenna Memorial Service Award for excellence in contributions of technical advancement in the wastewater field of eastern Pennsylvania.  This award is presented by the Eastern PA Water Pollution Control Operators Association (EPWPCOA).

The EPWPCOA is a non-profit association whose members are actively involved in protecting the water environment through their profession. They have been dedicated to the miracle of Clean Water for over 75 years.

Suburban Testing Labs has been active in the EPWPCOA for more than 15 years.  Our entire team is dedicated to environmental protection with all that we do in our daily jobs. Within the Association, Suburban Testing Labs has three employees that are particularly active.

John Weisman, Account Executive, also serves EPWPCOA in various ways, including serving as the Mid-Summer Expo Committee, Young Professionals Committee, Nominating Committee, and attending every quarterly plant tour.

Rich Stump, President, routinely presents at various EPWPCOA training events each year as the main subject-matter expert on issues involving wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) laboratory analysis and accreditation.

Sara Kuzma-Stump, Director, sits on the EPWPCOA Board of Directors, Industrial Pre-treatment Committee, and Chairs the Laboratory Practices Committee.  The Laboratory Committee delivers valuable training courses for wastewater operators on laboratory analysis at the wastewater treatment plant.  She also delivers training courses at the annual Industrial Pre-treatment Conference that is co-sponsored by the US-EPA and EPWPCOA.

Congratulations to the Suburban Testing Labs team on this great honor!

 

Suburban Testing Labs Recognized as Business of the Year Finalist

READING (PA) – Suburban Testing Labs, of Reading, PA, has been recognized as a finalist for the “Business of the Year 2017” award by Lehigh Valley Business.  The Business of the Year award recognizes the most dynamic businesses and business leaders who share a commitment to professional excellence, business growth and the community.

Finalists will be recognized and the winner in each category will be announced live during an awards dinner on December 5, 2017. Finalists and winners will also be highlighted in the Business of the Year event publication that will be featured in the December 11th edition of Lehigh Valley Business.

Nominees for finalist consideration were evaluated on various aspects of their business, including: how they differentiate themselves in the market, the biggest major challenge they have recently overcome, revenue growth, success factors, company culture commitment, and non-profit involvement.

Suburban Testing Labs has been a leader in environmental lab testing for more than 50 years, and while headquartered in Berks County, has a significant client presence in the Greater Lehigh Valley, PA.  In addition to Berks and Lehigh, Suburban Testing Labs performs lab testing for all counties in PA, and works for clients in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Florida.

 

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About Us

Suburban Testing Labs is a nationally recognized independent environmental testing laboratory specializing in analysis of water, wastewater, soil and solid materials such as biosolids and waste.  We are accredited in accordance with NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) and commit to providing defensible data at a competitive price with first-class customer service.

Address: 1037F MacArthur Road, Reading, PA 19605

Phone: 610-375-TEST

PR Contact: Sara Kuzma-Stump

Website: http://www.suburbantestinglabs.com/

Email: sstump@suburbantestinglabs.com

#DayoftheGirl

#DayoftheGirl

Celebrating our women in #STEM.  Encouraging the success of future generations.

International Day of the Girl is recognized annually worldwide on October 11th.  In 2011, the United Nations declared this international holiday “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” 

Female empowerment is a part of everyday life at Suburban Testing Labs (STL).  STL’s workforce comprises of greater than 50% women, and women are at all levels of the company.  From entry level positions to Senior Leadership, and everywhere between, female professionals thrive among their male counterparts.  Women receive equal pay, and have the same opportunities available to them as their male peers.   STL employs cross generational women from various backgrounds – millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers.  They are committed to equality for all employees.

However, equality in the workforce isn’t the case at all companies in the United States and abroad.  According to dayofthegirl.org, there are currently 3 million STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs in the United States.  The organization goes on to say that less than 25% of those jobs are held by women.  In the engineering field alone, the number is only 13%.  And that trend isn’t unique to Engineering.

Girls need prominent female role models to encourage them to enter the STEM fields, according to dayofthegirl.org.  We wondered what some of STL’s female leaders would say to encourage young girls today to pursue careers the STEM Field, being that they work in a company dominated by female leaders.

“I think the best piece of advice is to be confident in yourself,” said Betsy Shultz.  “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

“Seek out opportunities to learn from STEM professionals: job shadow, intern, volunteer,” said Sarah Purtell, Quality Director.  “It’s the best way to get a real-world look at what your future could hold and can help you feel more confident in your decision.”

Jessica Roberts serves as Supply Chain Manager, and her advice would be to “go for it!  Many inspirational women have paved the way for young girls to continue to discover, create, and innovate in the various STEM fields.  New concepts are waiting for curious and innovative minds to unlock, and who knows?  You may have the next big idea brewing in your brilliant brain!”

“Young girls need confident leaders in the STEM fields to encourage them,” stated Sara Stump, Director of Marketing.  “I try to show my young daughter and my son that there are real life examples of these role models around them all the time.  As adults, I don’t want them to even consider gender as a part of the equation. It’s just about who is qualified to do the job.”

Suburban Testing Labs has had record setting year-over-year growth, and Ms. Stump believes a diverse workforce is a key success factor.

“I think having people at the table making decisions with different backgrounds and experience lends itself to a more creative discussion, and decision-making outcome,” Stump remarked.

Thank you to all of our great female team members, and to the men who serve alongside them.  It’s because of you that Suburban Testing Labs is a great place to work!

 

Hurricanes Harvey & Irma Relief Fund

Kaytlyn Degenhart handing donation check to Sara Stump

Suburban Testing Labs employees recently collected $500 in donations for the American Red Cross to help with Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief.  Funds were donated by employees, and STL also made a contribution to the fund.  Special recognition to volatile organics team analyst, Kaytlyn Degenhart, for leading and organizing the efforts.

These recent storm events were some of the worst environmental disasters in our recent history.  Part of our mission statement is to protect the environment and public health, and we believe these donations specifically support our mission.

 

 

Splash Parks – how safe is the water?

Suburban Testing Labs was chosen by 6 Action News in Philadelphia to conduct a study of bacteria and chlorine testing at splash parks around the city.  What we found at some splash parks may have you thinking twice.  Check out the news story below, which features Jayme Schaeffer, Senior Field Technician, and Rich Stump, President and Lab Director of Suburban Testing Labs.

 

 

Soil Analysis for Assessments & Remediation

The Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP), a program from the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, provides grants and low-interest loans for environmental assessments and remediation.  According to the Department, this program is designed to “foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse. This program covers Phase II and III Environmental Assessments, including the analysis of groundwater, surface water, and soil samples.

In the August 10, 2017 PA-DEP Newsletter, it was announced that the Coatesville Gateway Project broke ground as part of a $23 Million Dollar project to create new mixed-use development and associated parking in the borough.  This project will clean up a contaminated site, and return it to the community for beneficial use.

Do you have clients that could benefit from this funding?  Check out the ISRP webpage for details and eligibility requirements.

At Suburban Testing Labs, we provide high quality data in support of land redevelopment lab testing needs.  We can help you with your soil, groundwater and surface water analysis, plus:

Don’t put the trust of your next big project in the hands of a partner you can’t trust.  Contact us today to get a comprehensive price quote, and information about us.

 


 

New Operations Director Announcement from Suburban Testing Labs

Betsy Shultz

Betsy Shultz, Operations Director

Reading, PA – We are very pleased to announce the recent hiring of Elizabeth (Betsy) Shultz as our Operations Director for Suburban Testing Labs (STL).  In her new role, Betsy will be responsible for the oversight of laboratory, client services, Supply Chain, and field services operations.

Betsy brings a career of impressive results as a leader in the pharmaceutical laboratory field.  In her previous role as Director of Scientific Services at Sodexo at Glaxo Smith Kline, Betsy was responsible for driving growth for laboratory services while maintaining the highest quality standards.  She has also served as Quality Control Manager for SCHOTT, and QC GMP Monitor for Glaxo Smith Kline.  She has her Six Sigma Green Belt, and is currently pursuing her Black Belt, which will compliment Suburban Testing Labs’ commitment to implementing operational process improvements.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Rowan University and resides locally in Berks County, PA.

In her first 90 days at STL, Betsy has already proven herself as a trusted leader and motivator to the managers and front-line staff on her team.

“I definitely love the people here.  It really is like a family,” said Betsy.  “Everyone knows they have a job to get done, but still has a good time and keeps smiling.  I was welcomed warmly and had all the support I needed from day one.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh and have some fun.”

Culture is important to STL’s leadership team, and she was drawn to it.

“I definitely love the people here. It really is like a family.”

Regarding the culture, Betsy says “I immediately felt a culture of a welcoming, knowledgeable, and friendly team and knew it would be a great fit.”

She moved from the pharmaceutical industry to the environmental industry because she saw STL as a growing company with a lot of potential in a field she was interested.

 

“I think the biggest strengths I’ll be able to utilize are listening and problem solving.  There are a lot of great young minds working here and allowing them to be heard and acknowledge their ideas goes a long way in continuous improvements.”

As Operations Director, Betsy has broad oversight.  Most importantly, she will act as a direct conduit for communication between the front-line leadership and the President of the company.  She will begin her efforts leading projects to drive greater operational efficiency in line with the organizations strategic objectives.

“Over the next 6 months, I will be introducing a robust plan for process improvements, problem solving techniques, and a lean mentality to the team,” said Betsy.  “We have exciting potential!”

Rich Stump, President of Suburban Testing Labs, is also excited about the new addition to his Senior Leadership Team.

“I am reassured every day that I made the right decision to start working here.”

“Pharma is full of regulations, as is environmental, but just different types,” she shared.  “I enjoy challenging myself and wanted to utilize my knowledge from the pharma industry in a new setting.

“Betsy brings skills that complement our leadership team well,” said Rich.  “I believe she has the knowledge, discipline, and abilities to successfully lead our talented staff, and help make our vision for the future a reality. “

Betsy is excited about her new career at STL.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great team,” she gushed.  “I am reassured every day that I made the right decision to start working here.  I just hope I can help make things even better!”

We are very excited to have her here as well.  Welcome to the Suburban Family, Betsy!

PA Chapter 252 Updates

Chapter 252 Updates 2017

The law that governs laboratory accreditation in Pennsylvania has been amended, and became effective on July 29, 2017 upon publication in the PA Bulletin.  The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Regulations, Chapter 252, has a few major changes that are important to note, including:

  1. Increased Fees
  2. Laboratory Supervisor & Personnel Requirements
  3. Sample Collection SOP Requirement
  4. QC Requirements for Chemistry and Microbiology
  5. Checking all WETT and SDWA compliance samples for pH and Chlorine (when applicable)
  6. and many more.

According to PADEP, all onsite assessments conducted after July 29, 2017 will be according to this new version.

Our Laboratory Director and resident regulation expert, Rich Stump, will be delivering a webinar detailing what has changed to EPWPCOA members in the fall.  Dates have not yet been announced, but check their website periodically as fall approaches for sign up forms.

Suburban Testing Labs is a NELAP Accredited Lab that must also comply with PA’s Chapter 252 Regulations.  High quality, defensible data is the most essential part of our core values and we are committed to delivering lab testing results that are in compliance with regulations.

We are here to support you with any questions you may have about these regulations.  Take some time to read the regulations.  Then, email or call your sales team member, or project manager and we will direct you to the right person to answer your questions.  Have additional questions for PA DEP’s Lab accreditation team?  Email the Lab Accreditation Team at: eplabaccredit@pa.gov.

Helpful Links

2017-0729 New Chapter 252 Notice – Summary Memo

Final Publication in PA Bulletin

 

Sample Documentation Tips & Tricks

When you’re collecting samples, there’s a lot to remember.  We make it easy by providing prefilled chain of custody forms and labels for our clients’ routine sampling.  Using one of our blank forms and labels?  No problem.  We take those, too!  Learn the essentials of successful sample documentation when collecting your samples in our new Suburban Academy video, including tips and tricks to ensure your samples are processed quickly and accurately.

>>Click here to view our new video tutorial! <<

Sample Documentation Video

OR

>>Click here to view our entire library of e-learning videos.<<

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