PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 13, 2010

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

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.


Organizations: Sign letter to support the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act

On July 28, the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (H.R. 5894) was introduced in the House of Representatives. This legislation is aimed at improving high school graduation rates and access to postsecondary educational and career opportunities for pregnant and parenting students.

The legislation will set up a grant program to provide needed funds to states and local school districts. Among other things, grantees will be expected to offer academic support and related services to pregnant and parenting students, to designate a coordinator to oversee the education of pregnant and parenting students, and to revise school policies to remove barriers, some of which discriminate based on pregnancy in violation of Title IX.

If your organization supports this bill, please sign a letter to help ensure that pregnant and parenting students have equal access to educational opportunity.

Sign On: Support Funding Increases for Child Care, Head Start, and Early Learning

Investing in child care, Head Start, and early learning supports the well-being of women and their families as well as the successful development of young children. Over the past few months, the National Women’s Law Center has had some important victories in the House and Senate appropriations processes. But they have not quite crossed the finish line yet. The full support of the early learning community is needed in the final stretch.

If you represent an organization, please join their group sign-on letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and urge your networks to sign as well.

The letter urges the Committees to preserve critical child care and early learning supports by including increased funding for these initiatives in the final FY 2011 appropriations measure. These programs help families work, give children access to stable child care arrangements and early learning opportunities, and keep classrooms open. Yet, these programs fall far short of reaching all of the children and families who could benefit due to inadequate funding.

Please sign on by September 20 to make sure your voice is heard on the Hill.


Support Earned Sick Time in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia

Over 2.2 million Pennsylvania workers have no earned sick time, and a majority of employees without this benefit work in food service and care giving positions. When workers without earned sick time are sick, they have to choose between going to work – where they could potentially infect co-workers or customers – and staying home – where they will lose pay and possibly their jobs.

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces has come together to advocate for legislation in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia that would provide workers with a minimum number of paid sick time that employees can earn. The Coalition has a number of ways you can be involved:

To learn more about this issue please visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces’ Blog at


PA Fair Care – Still Accepting Applications

As part of the national health insurance reform, Pennsylvania now has an insurance program for uninsured individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions. The program has been accepting applications since August 5th and there is still room for more applicants.

PA Fair Care offers a broad range of benefits that include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services and prescription medications. Subsidized premiums are $283.20 a month, plus additional co-pays and coinsurance.

To be eligible for PA Fair Care, applicants must:
  • Be a US citizen or lawful resident
  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Have a pre-existing condition
  • Be uninsured for the previous six months

For info, visit or call, toll-free, 1-888-767-7015.

How to Talk about the Budget

Do you want to learn how to talk about the state budget? Come to a lunch hosted by Sharon Ward and the Better Choices Coalition.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 22, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The lunch will feature nationally-recognized experts on budget messaging from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Analytics Institute, a research institute affiliated with the federal AFL-CIO.
  • Get tips and practice talking about your own organization's work effectively
  • Share in a dialogue about how to shift the political climate around budget issues
  • Lay the groundwork to head off deep cuts next year

Before the lunch, come to a Rally in the State Capital Rotunda that will begin at noon. The lunch will immediately follow the Rally and will be held across the street at Pennsylvania State Education Association office, 400 N. Third Street, Harrisburg.

Please RSVP by Monday, Sept 20 to Kate Atkins at or (215) 563-5848 x 16.

Register Now for the Building Bridges to Economic Security Regional Meetings

Wider Opportunities for Women's (WOW) invites you to register now for the Building Bridges to Economic Security regional meeting nearest you. 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.
We encourage you to spread the word and register today! If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Stellrecht.


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