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Showing posts from July, 2013

Can't Afford Diapers? You're Not Alone

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33% of the women interviewed for a study published this week in the journal "Pediatrics" said they'd experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. One in ten women reported that they would “stretch” the diapers when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or by partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.

Diapers are such a concern that low-income families rank it along with food and housing as a top stressor. This concern is especially real for single moms, a group who tend to be the most economically vulnerable with a poverty rate of 15%.

6% of a single, full-time working mother's gross income goes to purchasing diapers. Unfortunately neither WIC nor SNAP (food stamps) include their costs. One women, Debbie Bloom of Warwick, PA , said she spent $30 per week on diapers. The costs were so high that "she often paid her credit cards late, incurring penalties" so she could afford them.

Carl …

Ask Congress Today to Raise the Minimum Wage!

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Three presidents have come and gone. Bubbles have inflated and burst. The tipped minimum wage is still $2.13 an hour.

Almost a quarter of American children have a parent who makes the minimum wage. Raising the floor for all workers, including tipped workers, will give a jolt to the economy by putting money in the hands of people who will spend it in their communities.

Click here to ask the House and Senate to raise the minimum wage.

Annie E. Casey Foundation Releases 2013 KIDSCOUNT Data!

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KIDS COUNT®, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States. By providing high-quality data and trend analysis, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children - and to raise the visibility of children's issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

The data shows that Pennsylvania still struggles with education and economic well-being of children compared to other states and the overall health ranking for children and families in PA fell from 8th best in the country to 22nd for 2013.

The Data Book tracks 16 indicators of children's well-being in the U.S. You can order a copy or download the PDF.

Big GED Test Changes Coming in 2014! Higher Costs-Less Accessibility

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Come January 1, 2014, an overhaul of the nation's leading high school equivalency program will make the test more difficult and will nearly double the cost to test takers in most states

The changes will include eliminating the paper-and-pencil version of the test and moving to a computer-based exam. The new test will cost about $120 in most states, assuming students pass all four parts in their first attempt. That's about a 70% price hike from the current paper-and-pencil test, which costs about $70 on average, according to a survey of 36 state agencies.

In responding to the new costs, Marcie Foster, a workforce development policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, said:
While $120 may not seem like a lot to some of us, it represents a significant portion of student wages who are in this population. We're talking about students who don't have secondary school credentials.Some states are moving away from the GED program entirely in favor of new options…

PathWays PA and Elected Officials Launch HereosPath!

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With the help of Representatives Adolph, Hackett, Miccarelli and Senator Pileggi, $200,000 has been appropriated in the budget to launch our veterans outreach program, HeroesPath.

There are currently about 38,000 veterans living in Delaware County, which is the sixth highest concentration of veterans in Pennsylvania. The program will serve as a pilot to help veterans and their families throughout the region find educational opportunities, financial strategies, and support services.

The program will serve as a primary source for all employment training and opportunities available in the area for veterans and assist them in transitioning into their new roles as civilian employees. PathWays PA is excited to embark on this new endeavor with the assistance of the local community leaders and elected officials.

If you are interested in learning more or participating ib the program, please contact Lyn Kugel at: lkugel@pathwayspa.org.

Come to the Job Fair Tuesday, July 30!

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On Tuesday, July 30, the Philadelphia International Airport and City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson will host a food and shop concessions job fair from 10AM-3PM at Lincoln Financial Field.

Parking will be free in norhteast lot K, off of Darien St. View the map here.

Your resume is needed to participate, and it is suggested that you bring multiple copies.

Contact Your Senator Today About the McKinney-Vento Act!

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From our friends at the People's Emergency Center
McKinney Vento is being specifically debated this week. We need you to call or mail now. If you don’t call, no one else in our region will. Really – this is serious.

Senator Toomey: (202) 224-4254 You can also reach out to his housing staff, John Crews.Senator Casey: Phone: (202) 224-6324 You can also reach out to his housing staff, Matthew Lachman Please Encourage Senators Toomey and Casey:

Support $2.381 billion for the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Program.Oppose S. 1243, Senator Coburn’s amendment that changes the law on the required match for any McKinney Vento project from using other federal funds.Senator Coburn’s amendment would dismantle a brokered agreement that ended up in the HEARTH Act (HUD’s regulations on homelessness) that had significant bi-partisan agreement. HEARTH included the provision that nearly all HUD grants would require a match of 25 percent because, while HUD provided money for housing, homeless p…

Delaware County Crisis Connections Team is Here to Help!

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The Delaware County Crisis Connects Team (DCCCT) consists of services available to Delaware County residents who may be at risk for emotional crisis. The service continuum was developed in collaboration with Elwyn, The Delaware County Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health, and Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania, Inc.

DCCCT's goal is to provide crisis services that are recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and evidence-based.

There are two forms of assistance that DCCCT can provide. The warm line, 1 (855) 464-9342, is if you need social support or someone to talk to. It is available Monday thru Friday from 6pm to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 7pm.

The mobile crisis team, 1 (855) 889-7827, is for those who need immediate help with a mental, health or substance abuse issue. The crisis mobile team is available 24 hours a day, everyday and will come to you.

Senate has Struck a Deal on Student Loans-But Rates Still Go Up!

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The Senate is likely to vote this week on the issue of student loan rates. There is a concern that the deal will not reduce the loan rate back to the previous 3.4% it was fixed at and also tie the rates to market fluctuation.

Federal student loans will be calculated and fixed to the interest rates on the 10-year Treasury bill. Undergraduates will pay an additional 2.05% with an 8.25% interest rate cap; graduate students will pay an additional 3.6% with a 9.5% interest rate cap; and PLUS loans, which mainly affect parents of college students, will have an additional 4.6% with a 10.5% interest rate cap.

Under this program, all undergraduates this fall would borrow at 3.85% interest rates. Graduate students would have access to loans at 5.4%, and parents would be able to borrow at 6.4 %.

Students need the ability to borrow for higher education without the concern that the market changes could send their interest rates soaring, possibly making repayment of those loans impossible.

Plea…

Job Postings from PathWays PA

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To submit your resume online, click here.

Financial Educator (Chester, PA)
Full time position. Innovative program that promotes economic well-being in low-income families seeks a BS/BA level Financial Educator. You must be comfortable with people, computers and TANF system and have the ability to discuss basic financial planning and budgeting. Must be able to work some evenings and Saturday mornings. Independent transportation required to multiple work sites. Bilingual a plus. 4 year degree required - no exceptions - prefer BSW, background in education, understanding of personal finance, or related field. Counseling experience also preferred. Grant-funded position. Fax resumes to: LD/LK/CR at 610-328-2807.

Part-Time Mentoring Coordinator (Philadelphia, PA)
This is a part-time position, 3:00-7:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM on Fridays. Some weekends required. The Mentoring Coordinator will have experience with issues related to older adolescents and will have som…

Norristown Brothers are Walking Across America to End Human Trafficking!

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Two Norristown brothers, Jay Atlas and Shannon Sprowal, are walking across the country to raise awareness about sex trafficking and child laborers.

Their walk began in Atlantic City last week and is continuing through Chicago and onto Los Angeles.

According to the End It Movement, there are 27 million men, women and children who are victims of human trafficking, working in brothels, factories and quarries in 161 countries, including the U.S., but most Americans don't know about what's going on in the shadows.

Atlas will be filming his interactions with the people he talks to along the way for a documentary he's planning to make. You can follow their progress on Twitter @KeepsJaywalking and on Facebook at LongRoadtoFreedom.

Join the Action Tomorrow to Raise the Minimum Wage!

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Tomorrow will mark the 4th year without a raise in the minimum wage and over 21 years without an increase in the tipped minimum wage.

In continued efforts for family sustaining jobs, ROCunited, an organization that advocates for restaurant workers, wants to call attention to the out-of-date minimum and tipped minimum wages.

There will be an action event at a nearby business in Center City beginning at 1:30PM. Participants are asked to RSVP and meet at City Hall on the S. Broad St. side by the 6ft tall neon green birthday card at 1PM.

Please RSVP here, email sheila@rocunited.org or call (215) 867-9747.



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Contact Senators Casey and Toomey-Ask Them to Support Full Funding for HUD!

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The full Senate may consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) bill, S.1243, as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, July 23. The bill will need significant support to get considered on the floor and then to pass the Senate.

S. 1243, increases funding for HOME, CDBG, Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, programs that a companion House bill would reduce considerably. It is important that the Senate negotiators enter the conference committee from a position of strength. Both Pennsylvania’s senators are needed.

Click Here, select "Take Action Today on THUD Bill" and ask Senators Casey and Toomey to:
Support consideration of the bill by the full SenateMake a floor statement about the importance of HUD programsOppose amendments to reduce funding or harm programs Support S.1243.

Philly 311 Releases Language Assistance Widget!

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Philly311 has released a new widget, called Language Assistance, which will help non-English speaking residents learn about language services and community resources through the Philly311 Mobile App.

In addition to English, information on language assistance is now available in the five most requested languages: Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese (Traditional) and Vietnamese. Citizens can also request information in other languages through the widget.

The Philly311 Mobile App is available for download in the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry App Stores.

Philly's Plan to Fight Poverty - A Big Step for Philly's Children

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The city of Philadelphia is launching a five-point plan called Shared Prosperity to reduce poverty among Philadelphia families. U.S. Census figures show 39% of Philadelphia children live at or below the poverty line.

Shared Prosperity is a vision for Philadelphia - a city that collaborates and works together to fight poverty. It means sharing responsibility to find a better, more coordinated approach. And share the benefits of a collective impact that results from our efforts.

One part of the Shared Prosperity plan calls for wider availability of high quality childcare and public pre-k programs so that children enter elementary school prepared to learn. This is great news for Philadelphia's children. PCCY and other child care organizations laud the mayor because the plan can significantly improve the lives of Philadelphia's youngest generation if it is properly implemented.

Managing Relationships With Coworkers-July "Office Hours" Radio Broadcast!

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Tomorrow, July 17, beginning at 1PM join the PA Conference for Women for this month's radio broadcast that is designed to give you the tools you need to successfully manage relationships with your coworkers. 

During this broadcast host Sam Ettus and guest Marie Peeler will share insights that will help you learn how to develop meaningful, supportive and successful relationships and build influence and deepen effectiveness with co-workers.

Click here to register and learn more.

Bertucci's Dining for Dollars Fundraiser July 23!

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On Tuesday, July 23 from 11AM-10PM, Bertucci's of Huntingdon Valley located at 2190 County Line Rd, will be partnering with PathWays PA in the Dining for Dollars Fundraiser.

Just show this flyer when you go and 15% of whatever you spend will be donated to our organization.

You can also use the flyer if you order take-out!

PA Agency Offers Food Aid to Low-Income Children

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education has changed course on a decade-old policy that kept millions of dollars in federal food subsidies from low-income children who are in child care with relatives and neighbors.

Starting this month, relatives and neighbors providing state-approved child-care services to low-income children will be able to apply for the aid. An Education Department official estimated the program could bring in $3 million more each month for the state's child-care system, depending on how many providers sign up.

Qualifying relatives or neighbors would receive an average of $1,000 a year per child. Call 1-855-252-6325 for more information.

2014 RSVP Competition Has Begun!

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Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer programs in the nation, RSVP offers a diverse range of volunteer activities that serve communities to create measurable impact, benefit volunteers through the service experience, and create community capacity. RSVP volunteers serve with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week. Click here for RSVP Program Regulations.

Through this competition, the Corporation for National and Community Service seeks to increase the impact of national service in 270 specific communities across the country.

Applications are due September 10, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Successful applicants will be notified in February 2014.

Women's Bureau in Labor Department Has New Resources!

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The Women's Bureau is pleased to inform you of the following resources: "A Guide to Women's Equal PayRights" and "An Employer's Guide to Equal Pay". Translations of these resources can be found on the following site: www.dol.gov/equalpay/. Their resources are available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

The Women's Bureau strives to improve the working conditions of women through research and education. Their priorities are equal pay, workplace flexibility, higher paying jobs for women, and women veterans. Throughout the year, the Women's Bureau Region 3 office conducts outreach and research on these issues within the states they cover (PA, DE, MD, WV, VA, and DC).

PA Department of Public Welfare Name Change Moving Through Legislature!

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HB 993, legislation to change the name of Pennsylvania'sDepartment of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services, was voted on after the name change was stripped from Public Welfare Code Bill. 

The legislation passed the full House by a vote of 137 to 65. The vote on House Bill 993, authored by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) came after a series of parliamentary maneuvers related to the 2013-2014 state budget.

Changing the name of the Welfare Department has had broad support in the House and Senate, with 109 cosponsors in the 203-member House and 39 in the 50-member Senate.

The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate when they reconvene in the Fall. Continue to reach out to the Governor to voice your support for the name change!

Looking to Serve Your Country and the Community? Consider AmeriCorps VISTA!

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PathWays PA is excited to announce several openings for AmeriCorps VISTA positions among our partners across the state. If you are interested in serving your country and your community, please see if one of these positions is right for you.

PathWays PA/American Red Cross  VISTA 08/27/2013-08/26/2014  PA
Help the American Red Cross serve those who serve! We seek 2 VISTA members to develop programming related to direct and indirect services serving military and veteran families in Southeastern PA.PathWays PA/Boat People SOS HAPP  VISTA 08/27/2013-08/26/2014  PA
Join Boat People SOS to find creative solutions to longstanding health problems among the Vietnamese community! The VISTA will support work in health care outreach/education projects.PathWays PA/Boat People SOS ECO VISTA 08/27/2013-08/26/2014  PA
Support the Boat People SOS team to deepen and broaden work with the Philadelphia Vietnamese community! Help us plan community events, recruit volunteers, and sustain our media outreac…

Payday Lending Language in Fiscal Code

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As the Senate debates the final bills needed to pass for the state budget to be complete, several news agencies are reporting today of a small clause that was inserted into the House version - unbeknownst to the Senate.
Tucked at the bottom of page 55 of a 57-page bill, called the fiscal code, that is related to the budget bill that Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law on Sunday is a clause expressing legislative interest in passing a payday lending bill.

Specifically, it says, “it is the intent of the Senate majority leadership and House majority leadership to pass legislation … by October 31, 2013.”

Really? Senate Republicans said.

“We were not aware that this provision was being added,” said their spokesman Erik Arneson. Even if the code passes the Senate, as it is expected to do, the language remains nonbinding. However, if you have feelings about payday lending or the language inserted into the fiscal code, you can express your opinions to the Senate leaders.  You can also visit http:…

Thank Education Secretary Duncan for Title IX Enforcement!

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As you know, pregnant and parenting students face a lot of challenges in school. Educational barriers and discrimination often make it hard for teen moms to succeed in school.

But this week, things are looking up. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights just released guidance for schools on Title IX and pregnant and parenting students, for the first time in 22 years. To get the word out, the Department is sending pamphlets explaining the guidance to thousands of school districts as well as colleges and universities across the country. The pamphlets help clarify what the law says when it comes to pregnant and parenting students - and that's great news for teen girls.

Please thank Secretary Duncan and remind him of the next important step for pregnant and parenting students - enforcement.

Working-Family Tax Credits Make a Big Difference for Military Families

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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has examined how the EITC and CTC programs are utilized by veterans. With Congress considering overhauling the tax code this year, it’s worth noting that about one in four current or former armed forces families with children receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the low-income piece of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) — two key tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families. The Census and IRS numbers that our friends at CBPP examined show significant use of the tax credits by veterans.
Nationally, 1.5 million military families receive one of the credits, according to our analysis of Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data. In about 280,000 of these families, a parent now serves in the armed forces; in the rest, a parent is a veteran. Pennsylvania alone has 48,000 veterans and armed forces families with children that receive the EITC or low-income component of the Child Tax Credit annually. The 1.5 million families co…

Thank Education Secretary Duncan for Title IX Enforcement!

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As you know, pregnant and parenting students face a lot of challenges in school. Educational barriers and discrimination often make it hard for teen moms to succeed in school.

But this week, things are looking up. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights just released guidance for schools on Title IX and pregnant and parenting students, for the first time in 22 years. To get the word out, the Department is sending pamphlets explaining the guidance to thousands of school districts as well as colleges and universities across the country. The pamphlets help clarify what the law says when it comes to pregnant and parenting students - and that's great news for teen girls.

Please thank Secretary Duncan and remind him of the next important step for pregnant and parenting students - enforcement.

General Assembly Approves Budget-Signed by Governor Corbett

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The House and Senate approved a 2013-14 budget and the Governor signed it just after 10PM Sunday night. The $28.375 billion plan modestly increases basic education funding, but 81% of the classroom cuts enacted two years ago remain intact. Funding for prisons is increased, and a 10% funding cut enacted last year to county human services remains.

The bill only deals with appropriations in the budget. Other related issues, such as whether lawmakers will delay a planned a corporate tax cut next year, will be addressed in related bills that are still being negotiated. 

Click here for a complete list of department funded programs.

The Medicaid Expansion Fight is NOT Over! Join A Special Call Next Week to Learn More.

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From our friends at PHAN:
The Senate passed Medicaid Expansion (with huge bipartisan support, 40-10) in a code bill that accompanies our state budget, and sent the bill back to the House for final approval. Unfortunately, a small minority in the House stripped Medicaid Expansion back out, and blocked efforts to allow all members to vote on it. I want to be clear about 2 things: Most importantly, this is not a defeat. Just like the fight to pass health care reform -- which had many victories and defeats along the way -- it's a process. We will win.Take a minute to sign our thank you card to the 40 Senators who voted to advance Medicaid Expansion.

And that brings me to the 2nd thing - you have a lot to be proud of. We are set up to win. A plan of attack is already being discussed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That's because thousands of you went to rallies, made calls, sent emails, donated money, and showed your support in other ways.

PHAN will continue to mobilize both…

Medicaid Expansion and Dept. of Public Welfare Name Change Killed in the PA House!

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The House Rules Committee, chaired by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) voted to remove language forcing Governor Tom Corbett to create a Medicaid expansion plan. It went down on a party-line vote.

They also stopped a proposed name change in the same welfare code bill that would have switched the "Department of Public Welfare" to the "Department of Human Services."

Now that expansion has been stricken from the Welfare code bill it will still need to go before the House and then back to the Senate for concurrence. It is possible that Senators could put the expansion language back in the bill, but with no known leverage to change the minds of the Republicans on the House Rules Committee, it is highly doubtful that they will continue to push for Medicaid expansion.

Click here for updates and actions!

New Resources on Equal Pay Are Available!

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From our friends at the Women's Bureau.
The Women’s Bureau is pleased to inform you of the following resources: “A Guide to Women’s Equal Pay Rights” and “An Employer’s Guide to Equal Pay”. Translations of these resources can be found on the following site: http://www.dol.gov/equalpay/. Our resources are available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. The Women’s Bureau strives to improve the working conditions of women through research and education. Our priorities are Equal Pay, Workplace Flexibility, Higher Paying Jobs for Women, and Women Veterans. Throughout the year, the Women’s Bureau Region 3 office conducts outreach and research on these issues within the states we cover (PA, DE, MD, WV, VA, and DC). We hope you will use these resources to inform your network, especially women and girls, of their equal pay and compensation rights. If you have any questions or would like our agency to do a presentation at your school or organization, please do not hesitat…