Monday, September 20, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 20, 2010

PathWays PA Special Announcements

There are a number of exciting things going on at PathWays PA. Please see information about some of these things and events below. 
Still Time to RSVP to PathWays PA’s Release of "Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges"

PathWays PA is proud to announce a forum focused on the needs of Pennsylvania's workforce and the role community colleges can play within that workforce. The forum is based on a report from PathWays PA 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. "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.

In addition to discussing this report, participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about workforce development and community colleges from around the country. Vickie Choitz, Senior Policy Analyst at CLASP, will be speaking at this forum to highlight national research and information crucial to this important topic. Brandon Roberts, President of Brandon Roberts + Associates (which manages the national Working Poor Families Project) will also be on hand to discuss information on working low-income families.

RSVP here or by contacting Kate Scully at 610-543-5022 x255 or at kscully@pathwayspa.org.

Join us in November for our PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular!

PathWays PA will celebrate 32 years of services to low-income women, children and families this year by hosting the PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 6:30 – 9:00PM

WHERE: Radisson King of Prussia’s Waterford Ballroom.

The silent auction will feature Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Sixers tickets and memorabilia. Also, as part of the festivities, we will present this year's Trailblazer Awards to five inspiring individuals. To read about the 2010 Trailblazer Honorees, click here.

To bid on silent auction items or see what is available, click here.

Tickets to the event are $50 ($60 at the door) and may be purchased online. Further information on corporate and individual sponsorships can be found here.

Save the Date: Help Bring Earned Sick Time to Philadelphia Workers

On October 7, 2010, join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to meet with Philadelphia’s City Council members to discuss the need for earned sick time in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, 41% of workers are force to choose between going to work sick or losing their pay (or possibly their jobs).

Come let members of City Council know that earning a minimum number of paid sick time is a basic right that workers should have.

For more information about the event please contact PathWays PA at 610-543-5022 or WOMEN’S WAY at 215-985-3322.

To learn more about the need for earned sick time visit http://earnedsicktime.blogspot.com/.

Paid Work Experience for 18-24 Year Olds

PathWays PA is excited to offer a program for 18-24 year olds where they can get paid work experience at Goodwill stores or healthcare facilities. The paid work experience is guarantee for 8 weeks but may extend until May 2011.
The program includes:
  • Work Readiness training
  • Skills building
  • Educational support/training
  • Resume writing
  • Workplace communication skills
For more information, please contact Pamela Reid at 610-543-5022.

Federal

Help Save 21,000 Pennsylvanian Jobs

This year, the TANF Emergency Fund has provided more than a quarter-million jobs throughout the United States, including 21,000 in Pennsylvania. Although these jobs have helped countless families get back on their feet, this fund will expire on Sept. 30, 2010, unless Congress extends it immediately.

The TANF Emergency Fund has put unemployed parents and teens back to work at Pennsylvania businesses and nonprofits through “Way to Work,” a subsidized jobs program. Since May, nearly 5,000 Philadelphians have taken jobs through this program. Statewide, the program has enabled 21,000 people to return to work and support themselves and their families. Way to Work also has been critical for 4,200 small businesses and other employers, allowing them to hire and even grow despite the sluggish economy.

In order for this program to continue, Congress must pass a bill that extends the TANF Emergency Fund before it expires on September 30, 2010. The President's budget proposal calls for an additional $2.5 billion for the emergency fund, and the House has twice passed extensions that were fully offset to avoid increasing the deficit. The very last opportunity to extend the TANF Emergency Fund before the deadline likely will be an appropriations bill referred to as the “continuing resolution." If the Congress fails to act in the next few weeks, tens of thousands of people nationwide will lose their jobs at the end of this month.

Please contact your Members of Congress to let them know how important the TANF Emergency Fund is for Pennsylvania.

State

Support the Marcellus Shale Severance Tax

(from our friends at the SEPA Budget Coalition and Better Choices for Pennsylvania)

As the Pennsylvania House and Senate come back into session, the House is making plans to debate a severance tax on natural gas. The severance tax is necessary to make up for the reduced FMAP allocation and has already been included in this year's state budget. Without it, Pennsylvanians can expect at least $70 million in cuts this year alone in addition to the cuts that have already been made. In the future, the severance tax will play a major role in state budgets - if industry production estimates are accurate, the severance tax could be the 4th largest state revenue source.

House members are debating the structure of the tax. It is important that education, health and human service groups weigh in to remind our Representatives that kids, seniors and people with disabilities should not be forgotten in this debate.

We are asking you to support the following:
  • A strong severance tax that does not include unnecessary exemptions and loopholes
  • A fair allocation for critical public services supported through the General Fund.
  • The $70 million promised by the Governor to avoid further cuts.
There are a few ways you can get engaged:
  • Add your organization's name to this sign-on letter if you have not already done so (You can sign-on by contacting the SEPA Budget Coalition by email or phone ((215) 563-5848 x 16))
  • Call your legislators this Monday and Tuesday as the House prepares to vote on a Shale bill.
  • Join one of the rallies that are being planned across the state to focus on the budget.
For more information on the Severance Tax, please read the resources provided by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Information/Events

Community Forum on Key Provisions of the New Health Reform Law

Did you know that thanks to our historic, new health care law, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition? Or that the law limits out-of-pocket costs so that Americans can have security and peace of mind? Or that, under the new law, young adults can stay on their parents' health care plan until age 26?

These are just a few of the ways health reform will affect Pennsylvania's families, but there are many, many more.

Come learn about key provisions of health care reform from:
  • Joanne Grossi, Region III Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
  • Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, President of the National Physician's Alliance
WHEN: Monday, September 20th 1:00

WHERE: Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

To RSVP, please contact Athena Ford at aford@pahealthaccess.org.

The New Health Care Law – 6 Months Later

The National Women’s Law Center is hosting a conference in honor of the 6 month anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

WHEN: September 23, 1:00

September 23rd marks the 6 month anniversary of the passage of this historic law — but it is also the date that new, important protections in the law take effect. On our call, we’ll discuss these important provisions and we’ll also release our new polling data on what women think about the new law and what provisions are most important to them .

To register for the call click here.

Does Your Community Have Inadequate Access to Full-Service Grocery Stores?

For roughly 23 million Americans, access to supermarkets is severely limited. TRF, a leader in neighborhood revitalization, has been working to improve fresh food access in underserved communities. TRF provides financing for supermarkets and other grocery stores that plan to operate in underserved communities across the Mid-Atlantic. By improving the retail food landscape in these communities, TRF’s programs provide families with increased access to fresh, more affordable foods.

TRF along with PolicyMap is offering data on the areas with low access to full-service grocery stores, or Low Access Areas (LAA).

This includes:
  • LAA location at the Census block group level
  • Average LAA score
  • Number of limited service stores in the LAA
  • Percentage of grocery retail expenditure leakage in the LAA
  • How LAA areas compare to non-LAA areas
You can overlay these areas on any of publicly available information such as demographics, income, health, crime and more to learn more about the nature of these areas.

Also, you can find more information on TRF’s customized research and data analysis and on their efforts to improve food access in underserved communities.

Join PathWays PA at the WOW Building Bridges to Economic Security Meeting in Philadelphia

Please register online now for the Wider Opportunities for Women's (WOW) Building Bridges to Economic Security regional meeting in Philadelphia. Registration is free, but space is limited.

WOW's regional meetings will feature acute insights on how Americans are thinking about the economy, work, retirement - all the pillars of the American Dream - and what that means for advocates. Participants will choose from four policy workshops each led by national and local experts (including two speakers from PathWays PA ).

Join us in Philadelphia at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Monday, October 4th. The meeting will run from 9:00am-5:30pm, with registration and breakfast beginning at 8:00am. Lunch is included.

Please spread the word and register today!

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Stellrecht.


PathWays PA Spotlight Initiative

Do You Need Help with Education, Childcare, Welfare Benefits, Parenting, or Support?

PathWays PA’s Project Peace Teen Parent Program is designed to assist pregnant adolescents and teen parents to complete high school and plan for advanced education, learn how to become a better parent, and obtain appropriate community resources such as, child care, therapeutic service, TANF, life skills and employment.

Join Project Peace for Teen Parenting Teen Classes on Mondays from 4:00-6:00 at 3617 Lancaster Ave in Philadelphia. Participants of the class will learn how to improve their parenting skills, hear how other teens handle parenting, learn how to increase communication skills with their children, and have an opportunity to help other teens with their difficulties in parenting by sharing their experiences.
Children are welcome and tokens and light refreshments will be available.

For more information or to register, please contact 215-549-2686.

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