Monday, July 5, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - 5 July 2010

PathWays PA hopes everyone had a happy
and safe 4th of July.

State

Industry Partnerships - Out of Committee and on to the Senate

Last week, Industry Partnership (IP) legislation passed unanimously out of the Senate’s Labor and Industry Committee and is now on its way to be debated on the state Senate floor.

IP's are consortia of businesses with similar products, markets and human resources needs that come together to identify and address common workforce education and training issues. Currently, more than 6,300 employers across Pennsylvania participate in 74 Industry Partnerships, and more than 73,000 Pennsylvanians have benefited from IP training. Individuals trained through Industry Partnerships see an average wage increase of over 6 percent as a result of their training.

The Industry Partnership bill amends the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Act to make Industry Partnerships a permanent part of Pennsylvania’s workforce development system. It will require the Department of Labor and Industry to continue defining targeted industries and High Priority Occupations and to administer a grant program when funds are made available.

Please take a moment today to call your Senators and ask them to support the bill, which has already passed unanimously in the House. For more information and to view some talking points about the IP’s, please see a recent post on this Policy Blog.

Federal

July 7 is National Juvenile Justice Call-In Day

For too long, "tough on crime" political rhetoric has resulted in juvenile justice laws that are bad for youth and that ultimately increase crime. Research has proven there are better, more effective ways to deal with youth offenders, and it is time for Congress to act to improve our nation's juvenile justice system.

Below are three things Congress can do to make juvenile justice a priority:

  1. Reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which promotes the use of community-based alternatives to detention, keeps youth out of adult facilities, reduces the disproportionate involvement of youth of color in the system.
  2. Increase funding for juvenile justice programs, which received a significant decrease in funding in the President's proposed budget. There has been a sharp decline in funding for juvenile justice programs since 2002.
  3. Pass the Youth PROMISE Act to promote proven, cost-effective prevention-based strategies to reduce youth crime. Under Youth PROMISE, representatives from the communities facing the greatest juvenile crime challenges will be able to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent youth crime through a coordinated prevention and intervention response.

On July 7, please call your U.S. Senators and your U.S. House Representative and ask them to make juvenile justice a priority in the 111th Congress. For more information, please contact Tim Briceland-Betts, CWLA Government Affairs, at bricebet@cwla.org.


Information/Events

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.

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.

July 14th Community Forum on the Future of Child Protection and Prevention Services

The Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services invites you to a Community Forum on the Future of Child Protection and Prevention Services for Philadelphia’s Children, Youth and their Families.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA

Participants include elected officials, public and private agency leadership, child advocates, foster parents, and consumers.

Discussion will focus on fiscal and environmental challenges in delivering services to our city’s most vulnerable children and youth.

Please RSVP to Southeast@pccyfs.org. If you have any questions, contact Margaret Zukoski at 215-931-4482.

Get the Scoop on the Commonwealth Workforce Development System

Cool off this July with ice cream and learn about upgrades to the PA CareerLink® job posting site, the Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS). CWDS is currently going through upgrades to make it easier for you as an employer to post jobs and find qualified applicants.

WHEN: Thursday, July 8, 3:30 PM
WHERE: 701 Crosby St, Suite B, Chester, PA, 19013

If you have not used PA CareerLink®'s complimentary employer services before, or if you have been a long time user, consider taking advantage of this valuable opportunity and stop by the PA CareerLink® office at Chester City to learn about these improvements and enjoy an ice cream treat. Please bring your business cards as there will be plenty of time for networking!

Please RSVP to Sarah Twomey.

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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