Monday, July 12, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 12, 2010

Federal

Help Move the Paycheck Fairness Act

Currently, women working full-time, year-round make an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make. This means that the average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher. Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House, would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women and men to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and national origin. In addition, the bill would improve the collection of pay information by the Department of Labor and the EEOC to enable those agencies to evaluate pay disparities, facilitate class actions in Equal Pay Act claims, and spark the development of salary negotiation skills training.

Please sign onto a letter urging the Senate to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act this summer.

State

Support Adult and Family Literacy

While the State Budget for 2010-11 was passed and signed by the Governor, there may be insufficient revenue in the budget to fund all the programs listed. To balance the budget it is likely more cuts will have to be made and programs, like adult and family literacy, are in jeopardy.

Funding cuts to adult and family literacy would result in fewer learners served and fewer learner transitions to post-secondary education, training, or the workforce. Moreover, any cuts would result in growing unemployment as educators, administrators, and support staff would inevitably lose their jobs.

What can you do?
  1. Sign a petition and forward the petition to everyone you know.
  2. Contact your state legislators. Here is a sample message: “Adult literacy is critical for your constituents. It is the needed first step toward getting a job or training for today’s economy. Revenue needs to be increased so your constituents can receive needed services. In the past year, the budget has been cut by almost 50%.”
  3. Contact your federal legislators and urge them to extend the FMAP funding, as Pennsylvania relied on $850 million from the federal government. Here is a sample message: “PA needs the Medicaid Funds (FMAP) in order to balance the state’s budget. Please vote for this appropriation in order to save vital education and human services including adult literacy.”

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education.

Information/Events

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.

Backpack Challenge: Supports Teens in Foster Care

Young people in foster care who are members of the Achieving Independence Center (AIC) have issued the Backpack Challenge, asking organizations and businesses to collect a minimum of 20 laundry baskets, backpacks, or storage bins filled with school and dorm supplies to help AIC youth prepare for the upcoming school year.

The AIC is a one-stop center designed to help young people from the Philadelphia area who are ageing out of the foster care system achieve a future of self-sufficiency. The goal of the AIC is to help youth escape homelessness, poverty, and delinquency by increasing employability, graduation rates, and enrollment in post-secondary or vocational institutions and assisting youth in making a successful transition into a healthy, productive adulthood.

The AIC’s goal is to collect 150 college care package kits before August 11th. If you would like to help please email challenge@aicenter.us with the organization or company name, contact person, and best way to contact them.

Want to Learn More About Health Care Reform?

Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is holding a number of calls on different aspects of the health care reform bill. Below is a list of upcoming topics and call times:

Small Business and Health Care Reform - Wednesday, July 14th 6:00 PM-7:00 PM - with Marc Stier, Executive Director of PennAction.
This call is especially geared for small business owners, with information on tax credits included in the health care bill and how it will affect them. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Exchanges and Subsidies - Tuesday, July 20th 6:00-7:00 PM - with FamiliesUSA

adultBasic - Monday, July 19th - 6:00 PM Are you on adultBasic or the waiting list? Have you sent PHAN your story? They need to hear from you again on this call! The program is in jeopardy and PHAN has a report coming out soon.

Call for Health Care Providers - Thursday, July 22nd 7:30 PM - Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, President of the National Physician's Alliance will be joined by an SEIU nurse to host a call geared for health care providers.

To participate in any of the calls, please email aford@pahealthaccess.org.

Happy Hour for Her

Save the date for the next Happy Hour for Her! Join WOMEN’S WAY’s Young Women's Initiative (YWI) and the coalition Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania for a fun, casual night of conversation and networking.

Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a broad-based coalition formed by WOMEN'S WAY to ensure women's voices were heard and concerns were addressed during the health care reform debate. This coalition is now advocating for implementation policies that support and protect the full-range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women. During the event, you will have the opportunity to learn about the coalition's important work and how you can get involved.

WHEN: Monday, August 9, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
WHERE: Vango, 116 South 18th Street, Philadelphia

To attend the event, please RSVP to Cate Galbally at cgalbally@womensway.org or 215-985-3322.  This event is hosted by YWI but men and women of all ages are welcome. A suggested donation of $5 is encouraged.

Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania's coalition members include: African Family Health Organization, Black Women's Health Alliance, Bucks County National Organization for Women, ACLU of Pennsylvania- Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project, Cherry Hill Women's Center, CHOICE, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Family Planning Council, Health Care for America Now, HepTREC, League of Women Voters of Philadelphia, Lutheran Settlement House, Maternal and Child Health, Consortium in Chester County, Maternity Care Coalition, Medical Students for Choice - Temple Chapter, Nancy's House, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Omega Omega Chapter, PathWays PA, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Philadelphia National Organization for Women, Philadelphia Nurse Family Partnership, Philadelphia Women's Center, Planned Parenthood Bucks County, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Women's Law Project, Women's Medical Fund, and WOMEN'S WAY.
PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

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.

PathWays PA Resource Library Blog

The VISTA members at PathWays PA have developed a Resource Library Blog in order to facilitate the sharing of resources online. The Resource Library is a compilation of financial education and asset development resources, public benefits information and career tools for agency staff and community members.

The blog covers topics including:

If you come across a good resource that you think should be a part of the blog, you may send an email to pathways.pa.vistas@gmail.com. Be sure to reference the resource library in the subject line.

We encourage you to use this resource to your benefit, and welcome any feedback regarding topics you would like to see addressed in the blog.

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