Monday, June 21, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 21, 2010

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
  • Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment
  • Clean criminal background check
  • No back problems or physical restrictions
  • The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet
  • Willingness to working with and touch all people
  • A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training)
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant
  • Willingness to work different shifts and weekends
If the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
  • 6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • 50 hours of First Responder Training
  •  77 hours of EMT training over 7 weeks
  • Career coaching support 

Please feel free to share this information with your clients and networks. For more information please call 610-543-5022 and ask for Jennifer Oglesbee at extension 256 or joglesbee@pathwayspa.org or Barbara Lewis at extension 228 or blewis@pathwayspa.org.

Federal

Support the VITA Grant Program

VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a program sponsored by the IRS to help low- and middle-income people file their income tax returns. Through the program, community partners engage and train volunteers and set up sites where clients can come to have their basic returns completed.

To gather support for this program, a Dear Colleague letter is being circulated in the Senate. If you support this program, please contact your Senators and ask them to show their support for the work of VITA in your district by signing-on.

If the Senator is interested in signing the Dear Colleague letter, tell the staffer to contact Conor Sanchez in Senator Bingaman’s Office to sign on.

After connecting with your Representative's office, please send an update to Lucy Mullany, NCTC's Field organizer.

State

The Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a program entirely funded by federal dollars, is drastically under-utilized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CACFP provides support and assistance to child care providers to serve healthy food to children in their own home. It also educates providers about healthy eating habits and enables them to purchase healthier foods.

Unfortunately, there is a coverage gap regarding which providers and children can benefit from this program as Pennsylvania does not include its relative/neighbor child care providers (those who care for three or fewer none-related children in their home) in the list of eligible providers of CACFP. However, those providers are eligible to participate under federal regulations.

CACFP plays a critical role in combating the twin problems of childhood obesity and malnutrition our country is facing. If you believe it is an important program please contact your legislators and ask them urge the Department of Education to include “license-exempt” providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Information/Events

America Speaks: Our Budget, Our Economy

On June 26, 2010 at 11:30, thousands of Americans across the country will participate in an unprecedented National Town Meeting on our budget and economy. The National Town Meeting will include thousands of people in different locations all across the country connected live via satellite video, webcast and interactive technologies.

There are two locations in the Philadelphia area that are holding a meeting:
  • Chalmers Park, 2800 North 29th Street Philadelphia, PA 19132 Philadelphia, PA
Participation is free and food will be provided at Town Meeting locations, but space is limited. Please click on the location names above to register.

Share Your Caregiving Story

The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) is a non-profit organization, based in Philadelphia, which has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable older people for over 32 years.

CARIE is seeking participants for a research project documenting the needs of caregivers of older adults. The project focuses on caregivers that have experienced the hospitalization of an elderly loved one. If you, a family member, or a friend have experienced a loved one’s hospital discharge, and are willing to share the story, please contact Marta Cuciurean-Zapan at 267-546-3443 or by email at cuciurean@carie.org.

We define a caregiver as a family member or a friend who is, or has been, responsible for the physical, emotional, or financial well being of an older adult. Participants would commit to an interview with one to two researchers from CARIE, and their identity would remain confidential. The information collected through this new initiative will help CARIE to better understand caregiver needs and subsequently provide access to resources that aid caregivers, as well as advocate on their behalf. If you qualify and are selected for this project, you will also receive a small stipend to compensate you for your time.

Maternity Care Coalition: Breastfeeding Friendly Business Awards

The Maternity Care Coalition is looking for small or large Philadelphia-based employers who meet specific criteria to be nominated for the “Breastfeeding Friendly Business Award. Anyone can nominate a business. You could be an employee who is breastfeeding or has breastfed, a co-worker, a supervisor, a boss, or a patron at a local establishment. Please visit the MCC breastfeeding website to find more information on past winners.

If you would like submit a nomination, download a printable nomination form or complete a nomination form online by Wednesday, June 30th. For additional information please call the Breastfeeding Coordinator, Katja Pigur, at 215-989-3564 or via e-mail.

The recently passed health care reform includes a provision for workplace breastfeeding support. The provision states that employers shall provide reasonable, unpaid break time and a private, non-bathroom place for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth. Employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to the requirement if it would cause "undue hardship." Show your support of businesses that acted ahead of this legislation.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011

PathWays PA is proud to announce that we released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011.  The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.
Some ways the Standard can be and has been used include:
  • Funding - When applying for funding, the Standard promotes a new way to measure need and success
  • Eligibility - When creating or evaluating programs, using the Standard as an eligibility limit opens the programs to new populations
  • Reference - When discussing financial needs with board members, staff, or clients, the Standard establishes a new measure of reference
If you would like to receive a copy or have any questions about the Standard please contact policy@pathwayspa.org or call 215-543-5022 X255.

Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool

The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET) is an online tool that allows staff and clients to determine their personal Self-Sufficiency Standard and benefits eligibility for their own families.
This is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including LIHEAP, food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP. Once eligibility is determined, link are provided to connect staff or client to COMPASS and other programs that clients may find useful.

Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges

PathWays PA is proud to announce the release of a new paper that examines the impact that community colleges and other workforce development can have on the earnings of Pennsylvanians.

While many students enter college straight from high school, a growing number of students need access to higher education after they have already entered the workforce. Nationally, 2/3rds of the 2020 workforce has already graduated from high school, but they have not all gone on to higher education. Pennsylvania ranks 3rd highest in the country for the number of adults (age 18-64) whose formal education ended with a high school diploma or GED.

By 2014, 51 percent of all jobs in Pennsylvania will require some college, though not a four-year degree (also known as "middle skills" education). As of 2008, only 22 percent of Pennsylvanians age 25 and over fit into the middle skills category.


Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges examines the needs of adult workers in Pennsylvania and the part that community colleges can play in serving those needs.


Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia! Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. You can support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia. Support both!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

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