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Showing posts from July, 2009

The Classes Are Full, The Wait List is Long, yet Budget Proposals Cut this Successful Program

It’s not too often that business owners, workers, educational leaders, and respected advocates can join together on behalf of an inexpensive program that benefits everyone, but that is what happens every day through the Industry Partnership program. Industry Partnerships bring together employer consortiums that promote opportunities to improve and expand the workforce, something that is particularly important during a recession.

PathWays PA convenes the Delaware County Healthcare Partnership, comprised of employers, educators and workforce development entities dedicated to working with low-wage healthcare workers to develop career paths and increase their earnings while improving the competitive position of healthcare providers. The Partnership’s multi-faceted training approach raises workers’ skills and credentials to meet employers’ needs while creating opportunities for low-wage healthcare workers to learn the tools necessary to advance in their earnings and careers.

In the past ye…

Mayor Nutter on the State Budget

Today at 2 P.M. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter held a rally at City Hall to urge the General Assembly to act on the budget, which would allow the city to raise the sales tax.

Philadelphia passed a budget in May 2009, but Nutter explained that if Philadelphia is not able to raise revenue than that the city budget would require revision and potentially more cuts, such as the loss of:
3,000 jobs 972 police officers 196 fire fighters At least 1 fire house 2 health clinics Numerous other services, including trash pickup, which would be limited to twice each month In Nutter’s words: "we are not asking for a handout, we are just asking for a hand." In order to protect essential services the city needs the General Assembly to act. The Mayor reminded everyone to be in touch with their representatives.

Budget Rally Tomorrow!

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PCCY will be holding a budget rally to urge Senators not to cut key programs.

WHEN: Friday, July 31 at 12:00
WHERE: State Senator Pileggi’s Office, 415 Avenue of the States Chester, PA 19013



Feel free to bring signs!

For more information, contact Colleen McCauley at colleenmccauley@pccy.org or 215-563-5848, ext. 33

Update: Pennsylvania Raises Income Limits for SNAP (Food Stamps)

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As we mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania has raised the income limit under which a family can apply for SNAP. Below is the gross yearly income a family can earn:

If you are not sure if your family qualifies, or if you want to apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits, please call an organization in your area to learn more.

In Delaware County, call PathWays PA at 610-543-5022In Philadelphia County, call PathWays PA at 215-387-1470For other parts of the state, check the last pages of our Financial Resource Guide to find your county.

Budget Rally at Philadelphia City Hall 2PM Today!

The Mayor is calling on all Philadelphians to join him at a Rally at City Hall July 30 at 2:00 p.m. to send a message to Harrisburg that we need our legislators to work without a recess until we have passed a budget with revenue that will ensure that services are still available for our city.

Mayor Nutter is personally leading the charge to encourage everyone to make their voices heard in Harrisburg. Please come to City Hall today and make your voice heard!

Please Make Calls NOW for Industry Partnerships!

The Good News: Legislators have been talking recently about the number of local businesses they are hearing from that support the Industry Partnerships program.

The Bad News: Even though there is support for IP's, some versions of the budget eliminate them entirely.

Please call your legislators now and ask them to support the Industry Partnerships program and related training activities. Specifically, funding needs to be restored for:
Training Activities $11,754,000 (Listed under the Department of Labor and Industry-Section 217, page 100, lines 4-5)Industry Partnerships $3,613,000 (Listed under the Department of Labor and Industry-Section 217, page 103, lines 14-15)Industry Partnerships link higher education with workforce needs to ensure that workers receive training to fit the high-demand occupations found here in Pennsylvania. They deliver a high return on investment from both public and private dollars, with nearly $9 million in funds leveraged by private firms and another $30 …

Health Reform Townhall in Philadelphia on Sunday

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be at the National Constitution Center at 3:00PM on Sunday for a town hall on Health Reform. Senator Specter and Congressman Fattah will also be there.

This event is free and open to the public.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Health Care Reform – On a District Level

Health care reform legislation is moving through Congress. A report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that the bill in the House of Representatives would add health coverage for 23 million people in 2013, the first year of implementation, and 37 million by 2019, the last year for which the CBO provided data.

For Pennsylvania, this means that an additional 957,000 individual will have health care coverage by 2019.

The House bill accomplishes this in several ways.
It stops insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing health conditions. It offers substantial, sliding-scale subsidies so people can afford health coverage. It limits the out-of-pocket costs families pay when a loved one gets sick. It strengthens the safety net for our most economically vulnerable families.It will lower health premiums for those people who currently have insurance. It will do this by reducing the so-called “hidden health tax” that gets tacked on to insurance pre…

Pennsylvania Raises Income Limits for SNAP (Food Stamps)

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Effective immediately, the Department of Public Welfare has increased the Gross Income Limit for families eligible for food stamps from 130% of the Federal Poverty Level ($28,665 for a family of four) to 160% of the FPL ($35,280 for the same family).

Additionally, all one or two person households under the Gross Income Limit (160% FPL for most families, but 200% FPL for senior and disabled households) are eligible for at least $16/month in food stamps, even if they are above the Net Income Limit.

Thanks to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger for this information. You can learn more and find updated materials at their website.

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 29, 2009

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It’s week five of the fiscal year and there is still no budget for the Commonwealth. As of now, it appears the only thing all sides can agree on is that the budget proposals are far apart.

As the proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. In recent weeks, legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But, t…

A Rally for Women

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On July 27, Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, spoke on the impact the state's proposed budget would have on women and children in Pennsylvania. Please read the Pennsylvania Commission for Women's press release on the event and take action on the state budget!

PathWays PA Job Postings - July 27, 2009

Tax and Public Benefits Outreach Manager

This position is based in Delaware County (Holmes). Strong organizational and interpersonal skills, fluency with data management and reporting required. Need strong written and oral communication skills, staff management experience and familiarity and commitment to helping low income/TANF recipients. Requires management of an established and growing EITC/VITA

Program. Masters Degree required. Fax resumes to: 610-543-6483, attn: LK/SS


Financial Paths Case Manager

Innovative program that promotes economic well-being of low-income families seeks a BS/BA level Financial Paths Case Manager. Must be comfortable with people, computers and TANF system and able to work some evenings and Saturdays. Ability to discuss basic financial planning and budgeting. Independent transportation required; bilingual a plus. 4 year degree required – no exceptions – prefer BSW, background in education, or related field. Counseling experience also preferred. Fax…

PathWays PA E-Alert - July 27, 2009

PA Budget

We are currently in the fifth week of the fiscal year and the Commonwealth is still unfortunately without a budget. While budget proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

Today at 12:30, PathWays PA's President/CEO, Carol Goertzel, will be joining other state leaders at a rally in Harrisburg to discuss some of these cuts.

The two proposals that made their way through both chambers are:

* House Bill 1416, which moved the higher education line items out of the General Fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund. It also made cuts to the Governor's proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting.

* Senate approved Amended House Bill 1416. The amendment reincorporates the higher-education …

PathWays PA Letter to the Editor - Beaver County Times

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To the Times:

In a recent editorial entitled "Hard Times", your paper pointed out the staggering amount of American children living in poverty, 18 percent in 2007.

As a Philadelphia area nonprofit organization serving over 6,000 women and families striving to reach self-sufficiency, PathWays PA is constantly working with individuals and families who are working toward economic independence.

In a recent study, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, our organization found that 21 percent of all households in Pennsylvania are living with inadequate incomes.

That means in Pennsylvania, there are over 700,000 households that do not make enough money to put food on the table every night, cover all housing expenses, pay for transportation, child care, or health care.

In looking only at Beaver County, over 8,000 households are unable to meet their basic needs.

As we found in our study, poverty is an issue that affects all counties, all races, all …

Restore the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Today, the federal minimum increased to $7.25 an hour; however, not all workers will enjoy a raise. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees - waitresses, nail salon workers, car wash attendants, to name a few – has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991.

The result has been to drag down the pay for tipped workers, the overwhelming majority of which are adult women, many supporting families. They are hurt the most by the frozen minimum wage, which is an under-appreciated factor in the unequal pay that working women continue to receive.

Thirty-two states have preserved or adopted stronger protections for tipped workers, and by 2010 over half of those will guarantee tipped workers 60% of the full minimum wage. This is the level of protection that the federal minimum wage provided tipped workers until 1989.

Pennsylvania is one of that states that requires stronger protections for tipped workers. In the Commonwealth, tipped workers receive $2.83 an hour and an employer must make u…

Budget Impasse Puts Women and Children at Risk!

Join Leaders, Women and Men, at

A Rally for Women
Monday, July 27 at 12:30
Main Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg

The Proposed Budget Severely Cuts These Critical Services:

Childcare ServicesChildcare AssistanceMedical Assistance- Obstetric and Neonatal ServicesAccessible HousingBreast and Cervical Cancer ScreeningMaternal and Child HealthPublic Library SubsidyAdult and Family Literacy
Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood Education, cut 100%PA Commission for Women, cut 100%Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs, cut 100%Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Cut 100%Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs, cut 100%
For more information about this event, please contact the Pennsylvania Commission for Women or call Barb Warner at 1-888-615-7477.

PathWays PA Center for Families Open House Today!

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PathWays PA’s Center for Families is a supervised group residence located in Delaware County that serves women and their children referred by the child welfare system. 50 or more persons reside at the Center at any given time. The Center for Families staff promotes education, teaches parenting and life skills, fosters self-esteem and moves women towards attainment of their life goals, family well-being and self-sufficiency. The Center also promotes the healthy physical, emotional and social development of children through early childhood development programs; enrollment and maintenance of school aged children in the local school system; an after-school homework club and summer activities.

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 23, 2009

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PathWays PA Budget Alert!

We are currently in the fourth week of the fiscal year and yet the Commonwealth is still unfortunately without a budget. While budget proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. Legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our fami…

Unemployment Compensation Being Exhausted

Over the weekend, more than 20,000 individuals receiving unemployment benefits exhausted those benefits, the first large wave of individuals to do so. State lawmakers are working on legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits another seven weeks, but until then those 20,000 individuals will have to go without.

One major reason individuals are exhausting their benefits, is due to the unavailability of jobs. For the few individuals who are able to find a position, many of them do not pay a self-sufficient wage, leaving some with a difficult decision of whether they pay their mortgage or put food on the table.

With so many individuals unable to find work it is crucial that job training, education, and support programs, like Industry Partnership, Adult and Family Literacy, and the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, remain funded in next years budget. These programs not only provide a stable and skilled workforce but such a workforce will bring new business, and …

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 20, 2009

PA Budget

It is late July and the Commonwealth is still without a budget. Currently, there are four proposals on the table, Senate Bill 850, the Governor’s revised proposal, House Bill 1461, and the Amended Senate Bill 850. The House recently passed House Bill 1461, which would move $1.2 billion of higher education line items out of the general fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund. It will also cut $500 million from the Governor’s proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting.

Below is a summary of how House Bill 1461, and the other proposals, will affect key programs:

Industry Partnerships: The Governor’s revised proposal and House Bill 1416 cut roughly 30% from Industry Partnerships and Training Activities. The Amended Senate Bill 850 eliminates all funding for both programs.Child Care Services for Working Families: The Governor requested funding child care services at $171.7…

Contact Federal Legislators About Adult Education

While we are concerned about the state budget situation here in Pennsylvania, legislative life continues elsewhere in the country. At the federal level, Pennsylvania, along with many other states, has lost some money for adult education - $1.8 million in our case.

However, there is a chance to recover some of that funding. Joann Weinberger, the President/Executive Director of the Center for Literacy, has passed on this message that she sent to Senator Specter’s office. Please adapt the message to send to both Senators Specter and Casey to recover education funding today!

I am very concerned about the FY 10 Appropriations Bill which is scheduled for mark-up next week. Senator Specter has been extremely supportive of the need to make PA whole after the USDOE cut 10% of its adult literacy funds through its use of the American Community Survey census data. I am writing today to once again ask his support for adult literacy—both a hold harmless provision for states such as PA going fo…

An Open Letter to Legislators Regarding the Budget

I am writing today to thank you for your support of working families, particularly the businesses and clients who work with PathWays PA, and to ask for your continued support of these businesses and families throughout the budget debate.

PathWays PA is an organization that serves more than 6,000 women, children, and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our programs endeavor to keep families together, to support parents and their children, and, most of all, to work with families so they can attain self-sufficient jobs and to work with businesses to create a strong workforce. But for strong families and strong businesses to continue making their mark on Pennsylvania, certain programs must remain.

One of the most important state programs is the Industry Partnership (IP) program, which uses a small amount of funding to create long-term benefits for businesses and employees. This program provides opportunities for workers to earn new skills and credentials, creating an employer-appr…

Budget Alert - Next 24 Hours Key in House

Multiple reports are coming out of Harrisburg that after today’s budget debate in the House, members plan to vote tomorrow on a budget bill (perhaps not coincidently, the first of the “payless paydays” for state workers).

There are a number of budget bills, which makes it hard to keep track of who is proposing what. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has a spreadsheet showing some of the main funding across various bills. A longer overview of the budget is also available online.

Please take the time TODAY to call your representatives and remind them to invest in Pennsylvania’s families. Your message can be simple – just finish the line below:


“I am a constituent of Representative __________ and I would like to register my thoughts on the budget. If it comes down to making a choice between cutting or eliminating important programs such as Industry Partnerships, Child Care Works, and adult literacy education, or increasing revenues, I choose….”

Investing in Pennsylvania's Programs Leads to Growth in Pennsylvania

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Programs such as Industry Partnerships, which increase wages by 6.6 percent, are integral to Pennsylvania's economic recovery

Throughout the current budget battle, many legislators seem to view important Pennsylvania programs as a budgetary problem when they are actually a means of helping the Commonwealth during this recession. Yesterday, leaders from local groups gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to remind legislators that investing in Pennsylvania's workers is the only way to foster future growth.

"The short-term fix of cutting important programs will lead to a future that requires even more spending to aid those who went without education, healthcare, and childcare when they needed it most," said Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA. "With 21 percent of all Pennsylvania households living with inadequate incomes, we need a budget that supports workers' progress towards self-sufficiency."

One of the most important state programs that invests i…

New Federal Grants Proposed for Community Colleges

Yesterday, President Obama announced new grant programs for community colleges. If Congress approves the funding (which is slated to come from subsidies formerly given to private lenders), it will be aimed at new programs for community colleges along with training opportunities and increased funds for tracking students. Some funding would also go towards repairing and replacing infrastructure. A final portion would go towards reducing or eliminating the cost of online education, an important prospect in a state like Pennsylvania, which includes five regions without access to community colleges.

Why are community colleges so important? To begin with, their alumni earn 30% more than high school graduates. State and local governments earn a 16% return on every dollar they invest in community colleges.

More importantly, at a time when workers need middle skills education (some college, though not necessarily a degree), community colleges are crucial to receiving that training. In Penn…

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 15, 2009

PathWays PA Budget Alert!

We are currently in the third week of the fiscal year without a budget for the Commonwealth. While the Governor and General Assembly are in negotiations, important programs are still at risk of being cut. Legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

For more information throughout the week on the budget and other issues, be sure to check out the PathWays PA Policy Blog.



Today - Rally in Capitol Rotunda

Join workfo…

Debate Over Screening for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a very real illness that affects many mothers following childbirth, and sometimes fathers too. Read this new blog posting by the Women’s Law Project to learn more about how postpartum depression is being debated on Capitol Hill.

Major Announcement on Community Colleges Expected Today

President Obama is expected to announce a major plan for community colleges sometime today. According to The Workforce Alliance, this plan will include $9 billion in competitive grants to colleges and states, $10 billion for community college expansion, and $50 million to expand online learning.
Check back with PathWays PA and The Workforce Alliance throughout the day for more information.