Friday, July 31, 2009

The Classes Are Full, The Wait List is Long, yet Budget Proposals Cut this Successful Program

It’s not too often that business owners, workers, educational leaders, and respected advocates can join together on behalf of an inexpensive program that benefits everyone, but that is what happens every day through the Industry Partnership program. Industry Partnerships bring together employer consortiums that promote opportunities to improve and expand the workforce, something that is particularly important during a recession.

PathWays PA convenes the Delaware County Healthcare Partnership, comprised of employers, educators and workforce development entities dedicated to working with low-wage healthcare workers to develop career paths and increase their earnings while improving the competitive position of healthcare providers. The Partnership’s multi-faceted training approach raises workers’ skills and credentials to meet employers’ needs while creating opportunities for low-wage healthcare workers to learn the tools necessary to advance in their earnings and careers.

In the past year, this Industry Partnership has trained more than 550 workers. Of these individuals:
  • Over 250 took the Math/English Preparation course to prepare for the Nursing Entrance Exam;
  • 191 were connected to college-credit skills classes at Delaware County Community College;
  • More than 70 workers and supervisors completed Workplace Communications and other skills classes to improve effectiveness and workplace productivity;
  • 42 participated in site-based Workplace English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

This program remains in high demand in Delaware County, but could disappear without state funding.

  • 143 individuals are currently on the waiting list to participate in our Math/English classes.
At least two nursing schools in the Delaware County region require students who did not pass the test on their first try to participate in the Math/English course before taking the exam.

Currently, the capacity of our training programs is unable to meet the large demand, forcing many students to delay their plans to pursue an education until they are able to gain entrance into the class.
  • A fourth Delaware County healthcare employer, which employs over 500 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and trains more than 550 new CNAs each year, has requested to take part in the Workplace ESL classes.
Despite the importance, effectiveness, and obvious need for the Industry Partnerships, some budget proposals eliminate this program. Cutting this program will not help Pennsylvania get out of this recession - it will only hurt workers and employers.

Please call your legislators now and ask them to support the Industry Partnership program and related training activities. Talking points are available from Workforce PA, as is a sample letter to send to legislators (please email wib@papartners.org with any legislators you contact as well).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mayor Nutter on the State Budget

Today at 2 P.M. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter held a rally at City Hall to urge the General Assembly to act on the budget, which would allow the city to raise the sales tax.

Philadelphia passed a budget in May 2009, but Nutter explained that if Philadelphia is not able to raise revenue than that the city budget would require revision and potentially more cuts, such as the loss of:
  • 3,000 jobs
  • 972 police officers
  • 196 fire fighters
  • At least 1 fire house
  • 2 health clinics
  • Numerous other services, including trash pickup, which would be limited to twice each month
In Nutter’s words: "we are not asking for a handout, we are just asking for a hand." In order to protect essential services the city needs the General Assembly to act. The Mayor reminded everyone to be in touch with their representatives.

Budget Rally Tomorrow!

PCCY will be holding a budget rally to urge Senators not to cut key programs.

WHEN: Friday, July 31 at 12:00
WHERE: State Senator Pileggi’s Office, 415 Avenue of the States Chester, PA 19013



Feel free to bring signs!

For more information, contact Colleen McCauley at colleenmccauley@pccy.org or 215-563-5848, ext. 33

Update: Pennsylvania Raises Income Limits for SNAP (Food Stamps)

As we mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania has raised the income limit under which a family can apply for SNAP. Below is the gross yearly income a family can earn:

If you are not sure if your family qualifies, or if you want to apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits, please call an organization in your area to learn more.

  • In Delaware County, call PathWays PA at 610-543-5022
  • In Philadelphia County, call PathWays PA at 215-387-1470
  • For other parts of the state, check the last pages of our Financial Resource Guide to find your county.

Budget Rally at Philadelphia City Hall 2PM Today!

The Mayor is calling on all Philadelphians to join him at a Rally at City Hall July 30 at 2:00 p.m. to send a message to Harrisburg that we need our legislators to work without a recess until we have passed a budget with revenue that will ensure that services are still available for our city.

Mayor Nutter is personally leading the charge to encourage everyone to make their voices heard in Harrisburg. Please come to City Hall today and make your voice heard!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Please Make Calls NOW for Industry Partnerships!

The Good News: Legislators have been talking recently about the number of local businesses they are hearing from that support the Industry Partnerships program.

The Bad News: Even though there is support for IP's, some versions of the budget eliminate them entirely.

Please call your legislators now and ask them to support the Industry Partnerships program and related training activities. Specifically, funding needs to be restored for:
  • Training Activities $11,754,000 (Listed under the Department of Labor and Industry-Section 217, page 100, lines 4-5)
  • Industry Partnerships $3,613,000 (Listed under the Department of Labor and Industry-Section 217, page 103, lines 14-15)
Industry Partnerships link higher education with workforce needs to ensure that workers receive training to fit the high-demand occupations found here in Pennsylvania. They deliver a high return on investment from both public and private dollars, with nearly $9 million in funds leveraged by private firms and another $30 million in in-kind contributions.

Please call your legislators now and ask them to support the Industry Partnerships program and related training activities. Talking points are available from Workforce PA, as is a sample letter to send to legislators (please email wib@papartners.org with any legislators you contact as well).

Health Reform Townhall in Philadelphia on Sunday

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be at the National Constitution Center at 3:00PM on Sunday for a town hall on Health Reform. Senator Specter and Congressman Fattah will also be there.

This event is free and open to the public.

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Health Care Reform – On a District Level

Health care reform legislation is moving through Congress. A report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that the bill in the House of Representatives would add health coverage for 23 million people in 2013, the first year of implementation, and 37 million by 2019, the last year for which the CBO provided data.

For Pennsylvania, this means that an additional 957,000 individual will have health care coverage by 2019.

The House bill accomplishes this in several ways.
  • It stops insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing health conditions.
  • It offers substantial, sliding-scale subsidies so people can afford health coverage.
  • It limits the out-of-pocket costs families pay when a loved one gets sick.
  • It strengthens the safety net for our most economically vulnerable families.
  • It will lower health premiums for those people who currently have insurance. It will do this by reducing the so-called “hidden health tax” that gets tacked on to insurance premiums to pay for the care received by the uninsured – a hidden surcharge that averaged $1,017 for family coverage in 2008.
Many people are concerned as to how these changes will affect them. The Committee on Energy and Commerce completed an analysis on the impact of the legislation on small businesses, seniors in Medicare, health care providers, and the uninsured for each legislative district. Click on your representative’s name below to see how this legislation would affect your district. If you are unsure of which district you are in please click here. For an analysis of districts outside Pennsylvania, please click here.

Pennsylvania Raises Income Limits for SNAP (Food Stamps)

Good Food Display - NCI Visuals OnlineEffective immediately, the Department of Public Welfare has increased the Gross Income Limit for families eligible for food stamps from 130% of the Federal Poverty Level ($28,665 for a family of four) to 160% of the FPL ($35,280 for the same family).

Additionally, all one or two person households under the Gross Income Limit (160% FPL for most families, but 200% FPL for senior and disabled households) are eligible for at least $16/month in food stamps, even if they are above the Net Income Limit.

Thanks to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger for this information. You can learn more and find updated materials at their website.

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 29, 2009

It’s week five of the fiscal year and there is still no budget for the Commonwealth. As of now, it appears the only thing all sides can agree on is that the budget proposals are far apart.

As the proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. In recent weeks, legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But, too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our families, our health, and our economy at a time when we can’t afford to do without.

For more information throughout the week on the budget and other issues, be sure to check out the PathWays PA Policy Blog.


Budget Update

On Monday, the Senate voted again for its amended version of the House Budget Bill, taking the final formal step to create a Conference Committee, which will address the disputed state-spending plan. The members of this Committee include Senators Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), and Representatives Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), Todd Eachus (D-Luzerne), and Sam Smith (R-Jefferson).

The Committee is expected to meet this week to begin negotiations over the proposals. It will produce a version of the budget that must be voted up or down by both the House and the Senate. No amendments will be permitted.

While negotiations continue, Governor Edward Rendell stated that he will consider a “stop-gap” budget to pay state workers and vendors until a budget agreement is reached; however, no details on this plan have been released.


The Local Effect of Budget Proposals

As the budget process moves on, we decided to look at how the delay and some of the budget proposals truly impact different parts of the state.

State workers have been experiencing payless paydays as a result of the budget impasse. Once the budget is resolved, depending on how it is resolved, 600 to 800 of those employees may also be facing unemployment

Harrisburg may have to layoff firefighters and close at least one of the city’s fire stations. One budget proposal would eliminate 15% of the city’s annual fire budget, which covers the salaries and benefits of more than a dozen firefighters. This cut would lead to further under-staffing and potential slower response times.

In Adams County the repercussions of no state budget is having wide spread effects:
  • Seven food pantries in the county have no money to buy food.
  • Sixty percent of kindergarten students are eligible for subsidized lunches in the Gettysburg Area School District, without funds that program could be cut back or stopped altogether
  • Child care facilities are being told not to spend anything. Without funding from the Child Work Subsidies, the facilities can no longer pay their suppliers or their staff.

The Hospital and HealthSystem Association of Pennsylvania recently said that the proposed budget cuts would result in reduced access to trauma centers, burn centers, and obstetrical and neonatal services due to significant job losses. The state normally funds hospitals to help subsidize services and pay for care for the poor and uninsured.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, if eliminated, would result in the lose tens of thousands of jobs and would leave Pennsylvania the only state without an arts council. The Council makes it possible for organizations to expose their communities - including poor families - to artistic experience.

In the Warren County area, there are 11 Industry Partnerships that work with approximately 26 businesses, all of which will be eliminated under some budget proposals. In Warren County alone 1,000 employees have been trained through this program. That training will end for those in Warren County and others if the Industry Partnership program is cut.


CHIP – Cover All Kids

Take Action! During the past three years, CHIP has provided comprehensive health insurance coverage for thousands of children throughout Pennsylvania who would not have been eligible without the Cover All Kids program.
  • However, current budget proposals rescind this CHIP provision, which could result in up to 12,000 kids being cut from the program.
  • Even during an economic crisis, it is important to pay attention to the long-term effects of short-term cuts.
  • A recent report from Rice University puts the cost of health insurance through age 18 at $7,451, while the benefits equate to as much at $15,000.

Industry Partnerships

Take Action! Industry Partnerships are consortiums that allow employers to improve and expand their workforce by bringing together companies committed to the development of their workforce.
  • This program provides workers with access to training that gives them the skills necessary to maintain jobs and obtain employment with sufficient wages so workers can adequately support their families.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 6,300 businesses are involved with more than 70 Industry Partnerships across the state. More than 70,000 workers have been trained since 2005.
  • On average, those workers have seen their wages rise by 6.62 percent within the first year after receiving the training.
  • Read more about how the Industry Partnership program is helping in one county


Child Care Work Subsidies

Take Action! The Child Care Works Subsidies allow parents to afford to work by assisting them with the expense of child care.
  • For many parents the cost of child care may be more than they bring home in a paycheck.
  • Currently in Pennsylvania, over 16,000 are eligible for the child care subsidies but are currently on the waitlist, where some families remain for months.
  • In the meantime, they must pay more than they can afford for child care, provide childcare through an unreliable patchwork of friends, family, or substandard facilities, or risk losing their jobs at a time when employment is hard to find.
  • For more information please see a new report from PCCY, “Child Care Works, A Program with a Growing Need


Adult Education and Family Literacy

Take Action!
Adult education and family literacy are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to be or become self-sufficient. In Pennsylvania, the Senate proposal cuts adult literacy by 29% and the House is considering a 12% cut. Please contact your representatives today to let them know the importance of this program!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Rally for Women

On July 27, Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, spoke on the impact the state's proposed budget would have on women and children in Pennsylvania. Please read the Pennsylvania Commission for Women's press release on the event and take action on the state budget!

Monday, July 27, 2009

PathWays PA Job Postings - July 27, 2009

Tax and Public Benefits Outreach Manager

This position is based in Delaware County (Holmes). Strong organizational and interpersonal skills, fluency with data management and reporting required. Need strong written and oral communication skills, staff management experience and familiarity and commitment to helping low income/TANF recipients. Requires management of an established and growing EITC/VITA

Program. Masters Degree required. Fax resumes to: 610-543-6483, attn: LK/SS


Financial Paths Case Manager

Innovative program that promotes economic well-being of low-income families seeks a BS/BA level Financial Paths Case Manager. Must be comfortable with people, computers and TANF system and able to work some evenings and Saturdays. Ability to discuss basic financial planning and budgeting. Independent transportation required; bilingual a plus. 4 year degree required – no exceptions – prefer BSW, background in education, or related field. Counseling experience also preferred. Fax resumes to: JLM/LK 610-543-6483 or e-mail.


Senior Associate, Healthcare Sector Project

Position entails management of an education and training program aimed at low income direct care workers. Master’s degree in public health, management, social work, education, or related field required with 2-3 years of project management. Supervisory experience a must. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills. Must have computer skills in MS Office applications, as well as database and internet programs. Knowledge of healthcare industry and non-profit management experience preferred. Some travel required. E-mail or fax resumes to: 610-543-6483, attention: JL/SS/LK


Information Systems Manager

Two years hands-on experience with emphasis on information systems and development; experience with the support of PC and server hardware & MS Windows software; knowledge of WAN, network and intranet structure, internet e-mail and web page maintenance. Experience in training PC users and providing customer service to users; proven ability to liaison with Agency Management to problem solve and recommend solutions to technical issues. Experience providing support, service and training to users at various skill levels; capability to find practical solutions and resolve IT issues. Bachelor's Degree plus two years of supervisory experience in an IT environment required. Fax resumes and cover letter to 610-543-6483 attn: JL/IT


Full and Part-Time Residential Worker

Need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Includes nights and weekends. Fax resumes to 610-543-6483, attention: JL/CFF/ES


Trauma-informed Therapists

PathWaysPA is seeking quality therapists to provide trauma-informed therapeutic services to women, teen mothers and teen girls in their homes. Must be trained-in trauma-informed services and be familiar with the S.E.L.F. model; must also be comfortable addressing sexual abuse and domestic violence issues. Flexible hours required. LSW and credentialed/eligible to be credentialed to provide services to CBH members required. Philadelphia and some DELCO area. Full time and Part time position available. Fax resumes to JL/BD at 610.543.6483


PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

PathWays PA E-Alert - July 27, 2009

PA Budget

We are currently in the fifth week of the fiscal year and the Commonwealth is still unfortunately without a budget. While budget proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

Today at 12:30, PathWays PA's President/CEO, Carol Goertzel, will be joining other state leaders at a rally in Harrisburg to discuss some of these cuts.

The two proposals that made their way through both chambers are:

* House Bill 1416, which moved the higher education line items out of the General Fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund. It also made cuts to the Governor's proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting.

* Senate approved Amended House Bill 1416. The amendment reincorporates the higher-education funding that was set aside in the House Bill and calls for $1.7 billion in one-time revenues to be taken from the Rainy Day Fund, the Health Care Provider Retention Account, and the tobacco endowment fund, to name a few. The amendment then makes additional cuts, similar to those in the Senate's original budget proposal, Senate Bill 850. These cuts include the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, severe cuts to Adult and Family Literacy programs, CHIP, Child Care Assistance, and other critical programs.

* A comparison of the bills has been compiled by the House Appropriations Committee.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: "If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support..."

During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our families, our health, and our economy at a time when we can't afford to do without.


Federal Issues

New Federal Early Childhood Education Funding

A bill currently in the House, H.R. 3221, creates the Early Learning Challenge Fund. Under the legislation, a total of $1 billion in competitive matching grants would be made available to states to help improve and expand early learning systems.

Pennsylvania has made great strides in recent years to improve access to and quality of early learning programs. The programs are working to make the Commonwealth's youngest learners ready for school and ready for success. Pennsylvania would be a strong candidate for such funds and they would go a long way to expand our current efforts.

Please urge your Representatives to support this bill.


Transitional Jobs Program Passes House Committee

On July 17, 2009, funding for Transitional Jobs programs passed in the House Appropriations Committee mark-up. This is a major step forward in securing dedicated funding for Transitional Jobs programs.

The Senate Subcommittee mark-up is quickly approaching. Please reach out to your Senators and urge them to support Transitional Jobs in the FY2010 budget. You can use this template letter and 1 page fact sheet to guide your efforts.

If you have any question please contact Melissa Young.


National Call-In Day for Health Reform - July 28

On July 28, 2009, please commit to calling your U.S. Representative and be part of the thousands of health care advocates from around the country calling Representatives to tell them to support the House's health care reform bill (H.R. 3200). Remind your representative that real health care reform needs to include:

  • Affordable coverage;
  • Comprehensive benefits, including reproductive health coverage for women;
  • Choice of a private or public health insurance plan; and
  • Fair insurance practices.

State Issues

Extend Unemployment Compensation

Last weekend, more than 20,000 individuals in Pennsylvania receiving unemployment benefits exhausted those benefits, the first large wave of individuals to do so. State lawmakers are working on legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits another seven weeks, but until then those 20,000 individuals will have to go without.

On July 7th, the House passed legislation, H.B. 1770, that would temporarily change the way Pennsylvania pays its extended unemployment benefits. By doing so, the state could draw down $145 million in federal stimulus money to offer seven weeks of additional emergency unemployment benefits.

Please contact your Senator today to urge them to extend these benefits.


News and Information

Budget Impasse Puts Women and Children at Risk!

Join Leaders, including Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, at

A Rally for Women
Monday, July 27 at 12:30
Main Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg

The Proposed Budget Severely Cuts These Critical Services:

* Childcare Services
* Childcare Assistance
* Medical Assistance- Obstetric and Neonatal Services
* Accessible Housing
* Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
* Maternal and Child Health
* Public Library Subsidy
* Adult and Family Literacy
* Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood Education, cut 100%
* PA Commission for Women, cut 100%
* Governor's Advisory Commission on African American Affairs, cut 100%
* Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Cut 100%
* Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs, cut 100%

For more information about this event, please contact the Pennsylvania Commission for Women or call Barb Warner at 1-888-615-7477.


July 30: Health Care Panel

Democracy Unplugged will be hosting a panel discussion on health care reform.

WHEN: Thursday, July 30, 2009 7:00 PM

WHERE: Providence Friends Meeting, 105 N. Providence Road (Rt 252), in Media, Pa.

As the summer heats up, so does the fight for quality, affordable health care. We know that we are going to get health care reform this year; the question is what is it going to look like?

The panel will include three perspectives:

* John Karr of the Libertarian Party will be advocating against health care reform,
* Jerry Polikoff of Health Care for All PA is in favor of a single-payer system and the
* Marc Stier, State Director for Health Care For America Now, will be speaking in favor of the Public Option Plan, which will allow people to choose whether they want to keep their private insurance or subscribe to a public plan if they are uninsured or underinsured.

Please contact Athena at aford@philaup.org with any questions.


Working Families Resource Summit

WHEN: Saturday, August 1 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

WHERE: Interboro High School, 16th and Amosland Road, Prospect Park PA

The summit will feature a panel discussion and a question and answer session that will be followed by a service fair meant to connect community members with government agencies, non-government organizations, and local resources.

To RSVP and for more information please click here. If you have any question please contact Eve Massa at 610-892-8623 or eve.massa@mail.house.gov.


Support Earned Sick Days in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. Visit this link to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania, and visit this link to support earned sick time in Philadelphia. Support both!

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.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

PathWays PA Letter to the Editor - Beaver County Times


To the Times:

In a recent editorial entitled "Hard Times", your paper pointed out the staggering amount of American children living in poverty, 18 percent in 2007.

As a Philadelphia area nonprofit organization serving over 6,000 women and families striving to reach self-sufficiency, PathWays PA is constantly working with individuals and families who are working toward economic independence.

In a recent study, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, our organization found that 21 percent of all households in Pennsylvania are living with inadequate incomes.

That means in Pennsylvania, there are over 700,000 households that do not make enough money to put food on the table every night, cover all housing expenses, pay for transportation, child care, or health care.

In looking only at Beaver County, over 8,000 households are unable to meet their basic needs.

As we found in our study, poverty is an issue that affects all counties, all races, all genders, and all family types across Pennsylvania.

For people to move out of poverty and become self-sufficient, they need access to such services as affordable education, training, good jobs, and work supports. As we continue to work towards these goals, we appreciate that The Times is drawing attention to such an important issue.


Very truly yours,

CAROL GOERTZEL

President/CEO

PathWays PA

Friday, July 24, 2009

Restore the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Today, the federal minimum increased to $7.25 an hour; however, not all workers will enjoy a raise. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees - waitresses, nail salon workers, car wash attendants, to name a few – has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991.

The result has been to drag down the pay for tipped workers, the overwhelming majority of which are adult women, many supporting families. They are hurt the most by the frozen minimum wage, which is an under-appreciated factor in the unequal pay that working women continue to receive.

Thirty-two states have preserved or adopted stronger protections for tipped workers, and by 2010 over half of those will guarantee tipped workers 60% of the full minimum wage. This is the level of protection that the federal minimum wage provided tipped workers until 1989.

Pennsylvania is one of that states that requires stronger protections for tipped workers. In the Commonwealth, tipped workers receive $2.83 an hour and an employer must make up the difference if the employee’s tips with the $2.83 per hour do not meet the federal minimum wage.

Congress and the remaining states need to restore protections for the millions of tipped workers by:

  • Raising the tipped worker minimum wage
  • Making the tipped worker minimum wage increase automatically when the full minimum wage increases
  • Strengthening protections against "tip stealing" to ensure that managers or employers do not skim off a portion of workers' tips
  • Fighting attempts to roll back tipped worker minimum wages in states that already provide strong protections for these workers.

For more information please see that National Employment Law Project’s new report, Restoring the Minimum Wage for American’s Tipped Workers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Budget Impasse Puts Women and Children at Risk!

Join Leaders, Women and Men, at

A Rally for Women
Monday, July 27 at 12:30
Main Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg


The Proposed Budget Severely Cuts These Critical Services:

  • Childcare Services
  • Childcare Assistance
  • Medical Assistance- Obstetric and Neonatal Services
  • Accessible Housing
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Public Library Subsidy
  • Adult and Family Literacy
  • Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood Education, cut 100%
  • PA Commission for Women, cut 100%
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs, cut 100%
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Cut 100%
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs, cut 100%

For more information about this event, please contact the Pennsylvania Commission for Women or call Barb Warner at 1-888-615-7477.

PathWays PA Center for Families Open House Today!




PathWays PA’s Center for Families is a supervised group residence located in Delaware County that serves women and their children referred by the child welfare system. 50 or more persons reside at the Center at any given time. The Center for Families staff promotes education, teaches parenting and life skills, fosters self-esteem and moves women towards attainment of their life goals, family well-being and self-sufficiency. The Center also promotes the healthy physical, emotional and social development of children through early childhood development programs; enrollment and maintenance of school aged children in the local school system; an after-school homework club and summer activities.

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 23, 2009

PathWays PA Budget Alert!

We are currently in the fourth week of the fiscal year and yet the Commonwealth is still unfortunately without a budget. While budget proposals now head to a House-Senate Conference Committee, important programs are especially at risk of being cut. Legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our families, our health, and our economy at a time when we can’t afford to do without.

For more information throughout the week on the budget and other issues, be sure to check out the PathWays PA Policy Blog.


The Local Effect of Budget Proposals

As the budget process moves on, we decided to look at how the delay and some of the budget proposals truly impacts different parts of the state.

The Altoona Area School District is planning to reduce its full-day kindergarten program in response to the proposed budget cuts. Under Senate and House proposals, a 26 percent cut in an Accountability Block Grant is possible. The effects of this reduction could be widespread. In the short term, this could impact the ability of parents to afford to work because of child care costs. In the long term, high school dropout rates could increase and the number of graduates going to college could decrease because students were not able to receive proper early-childhood education.

Philadelphia will be delaying payment to thousands of vendors and suppliers ranging from firms that outfit City Hall with pencils and staplers to nonprofits that run summer programs and camps. Depending on the final budget, other effects include:
  • Philadelphia relies on state dollars for much of its municipal budget, so if lawmakers slash spending, it will reverberate throughout city government.
  • The Department of Human Services relies on state dollars for 60 percent of its budget. If state lawmakers cut that spending, the city will be forced to scale back services for at-risk youth. That could mean major cuts in programs that help prevent crime and keep kids safe from abuse.
  • Philadelphians will probably have to deal with thousands of city employee layoffs, including police and firefighters. It is likely that hours at city facilities, like libraries and recreation centers, will be drastically cut or eliminated. Trash collection may even be reduced to twice a month or less.

Lancaster County government cannot pay its network of 400 social service providers. By not having a new budget by the June 30 deadline, funding normally transferred to counties for programs such as drug and alcohol treatment, troubled children, and mental health care have stopped flowing.

Blair County government is implementing employee furloughs and a local nonprofit agency is shutting a housing assistance program for seniors in order to deal with anticipated budget cuts.

Montgomery County Commissioners have created a Budget Review committee tasked with avoiding tax increases through the elimination of full-time staff, and other budget cuts despite increased public demand for government services.


CHIP – Cover All Kids

Take Action! During the past three years, CHIP has provided comprehensive health insurance coverage for thousands of children throughout Pennsylvania who would not have been eligible without the Cover All Kids program.
  • However, current budget proposals rescind this CHIP provision, which could result in up to 12,000 kids being cut from the program.
  • Even during an economic crisis, it is important to pay attention to the long-term effects of short-term cuts.
  • A recent report from Rice University puts the cost of health insurance through age 18 at $7,451, while the benefits equate to as much at $15,000.

Industry Partnerships

Take Action! Industry Partnerships are consortiums that allow employers to improve and expand their workforce by bringing together companies committed to the development of their workforce.
  • This program provides workers with access to training that gives them the skills necessary to maintain jobs and obtain employment with sufficient wages so workers can adequately support their families.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 6,300 businesses are involved with more than 70 Industry Partnerships across the state and more than 70,000 workers have been trained since 2005.
  • On average, those workers have seen their wages rise by 6.62 percent within the first year after receiving the training.
  • Read more about how the Industry Partnership program is helping in one county


Child Care Work Subsidies

Take Action!
The Child Care Works Subsidies allow parents to afford to work by assisting them with the expense of child care.
  • For many parents the cost of child care may be more than they bring home in a paycheck.
  • Currently in Pennsylvania, over 16,000 are eligible for the child care subsidies but are currently on the waitlist, where some families remain for months.
  • In the meantime, they must pay more than they can afford for child care, provide childcare through an unreliable patchwork of friends, family, or substandard facilities, or risk losing their jobs at a time when employment is hard to find.
  • For more information please see a new report from PCCY, “Child Care Works, A Program with a Growing Need


Adult Education and Family Literacy

Take Action! Adult education and family literacy are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to be or become self-sufficient. In Pennsylvania, the Senate proposal cuts adult literacy by 29% and the House is considering a 12% cut. Please contact your representatives today to let them know the importance of this program!


Budget Update

Over the weekend, the House passed House Bill 1416, which moved the higher education line items out of the general fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund. It also made cuts to the Governor's proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting.

On Monday, the Senate approved an amended House Bill 1416. The amendment reincorporates the higher-education funding that was set aside in the House Bill and calls for $1.7 billion in one-time revenues to be taken from the Rainy Day Fund, the Health Care Provider Retention Account, and the tobacco endowment fund, to name a few. The Amendment then makes additional cuts, similar to those in the Senate’s original budget proposal, Senate Bill 850. These cuts include the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, severe cuts to Adult and Family Literacy programs, CHIP, Child Care Assistance, and other critical programs.

On Tuesday, the House voted to defeat the Senate Amended House Bill 1416. The budget discussions will now be sent to a House-Senate Conference Committee where negotiations will continue.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Unemployment Compensation Being Exhausted

Over the weekend, more than 20,000 individuals receiving unemployment benefits exhausted those benefits, the first large wave of individuals to do so. State lawmakers are working on legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits another seven weeks, but until then those 20,000 individuals will have to go without.

One major reason individuals are exhausting their benefits, is due to the unavailability of jobs. For the few individuals who are able to find a position, many of them do not pay a self-sufficient wage, leaving some with a difficult decision of whether they pay their mortgage or put food on the table.

With so many individuals unable to find work it is crucial that job training, education, and support programs, like Industry Partnership, Adult and Family Literacy, and the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, remain funded in next years budget. These programs not only provide a stable and skilled workforce but such a workforce will bring new business, and therefore more job opportunities, to Pennsylvania.

Please contact your representative today and let them know that cutting these programs will only lead to more individuals on and likely to exhaust their unemployment compensation.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 20, 2009

PA Budget

It is late July and the Commonwealth is still without a budget. Currently, there are four proposals on the table, Senate Bill 850, the Governor’s revised proposal, House Bill 1461, and the Amended Senate Bill 850. The House recently passed House Bill 1461, which would move $1.2 billion of higher education line items out of the general fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund. It will also cut $500 million from the Governor’s proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting.

Below is a summary of how House Bill 1461, and the other proposals, will affect key programs:

  • Industry Partnerships: The Governor’s revised proposal and House Bill 1416 cut roughly 30% from Industry Partnerships and Training Activities. The Amended Senate Bill 850 eliminates all funding for both programs.
  • Child Care Services for Working Families: The Governor requested funding child care services at $171.7 million, the same as the 2008-09 appropriation. The Amended Senate Bill would allocate $160 million. House Bill 1416 restores the proposed $171.7 million allocation.
  • CHIP: The Governor proposed $103.3 million in state funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which would draw down $305.9 million in federal funding. The Amended Senate Bill would flat fund CHIP at $86.9 million. House Bill 1416 would fund the program at the same level as the Governor’s plan.
  • adultBasic: The Governor has proposed using $251.7 million in state, federal and other funds to expand the state’s adultBasic program in order to provide an affordable basic health care plan for up to 50,000 additional uninsured adults. There are currently 45,500 people enrolled in adultBasic and 272,200 on the waiting list.

If you are upset about these and other potential cuts, which range from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators today.


Federal Issues


Tell your Members of Congress – Health Reform Must Advance, Not Set Back, Children’s Health Coverage

While health reform holds great promise in providing more children and adults with affordable and comprehensive health coverage, certain legislative proposals could result in some children ending up with fewer benefits.

One proposal is to end the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and move those 7 million children into a new health insurance exchange created as part of the health reform. We must ensure that this change does not mean that children will have fewer benefits, limits on their benefits, or higher cost sharing.

Please send a letter to your members of Congress to remind them to make sure any health reform will insure all children from head to toe!


Support the Hunger Free Schools Act!

The Hunger Free Schools Act, S.1343, would enable more low-income children to participate in school meals. It would create a program similar to the one currently in use in Philadelphia, which was recently saved through a campaign by both legislators and the public.

This legislation would:
  • Expand access to child nutrition programs by requiring school districts to utilize data from Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to directly certify more students that are eligible for free school meals;
  • Allow schools or districts serving a high proportion of low-income children to serve free meals to all students and be reimbursed based on socioeconomic data rather than individual applications; and
  • Improve state performance in directly certifying eligible children by setting a performance standard (95 percent of eligible students should be directly certified for school lunch programs) and providing incentives to high performance States.
Please contact your Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation.


Funding Alert: Ask Your Members of Congress to Fully Fund the Corporation for National and Community Service


The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. CNCS is the nation’s largest grant maker that supports service and volunteering.

Please urge your legislators to adequately fund the CNCS programs and America`s intergenerational service opportunities. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 strengthened and expanded programs for intergenerational service in America. Congress needs to fully fund these initiatives so the country can fully benefit from these new opportunities.


News and Information

Free Women’s Health Information!

Women now have a new, easy to access tool to help them live healthier lives: Free Women’s Wellness Guide Kiosks are now available.
The Women’s Wellness Guide kiosk provides information on diseases and conditions common to women. They can be found across Pennsylvania including in grocery stores, county assistance offices, Women Infant and Children (WIC) offices, health care clinics, and prison waiting rooms. All of the information on the kiosk is available in English or Spanish.
For kiosk locations, please call 1-888-615-7477 or visit the Pennsylvania Women’s Commission’s website.


Financial Advice and Assistance – Get Help Now!

"Get Help Now PA!” is a volunteer initiative to connect Pennsylvanians facing financial difficulties with advice and assistance from professionals in their communities.
Starting July 7, volunteer professionals will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at locations across the Commonwealth to provide free assistance and referrals on issues related to credit, finance and bankruptcy.
For more information, call toll-free 1-888-799-4557 or visit the Get Help PA website.


The Help is Here Express Bus

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has announced that its ‘Help is Here Express’ bus, sponsored by their Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program, is scheduled to crisscross Pennsylvania the week of July 27th. The bus helps uninsured and financially struggling patients obtain the medicines they need. It usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes to determine if someone may qualify for free or nearly free medicines.

Patients seeking help can also call a toll-free number, 1-888-4-PPA-NOW, to talk to a trained operator, or they can access the PPA Web site.


Temple University is Seeking Science and Math Mentors

Temple University’s Experience Corps and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) are collaborating on a project that will bring together retired professionals and high school science and math teachers to design experiential activities and instructional projects.
There are several ways to get involved in this project:
  • Using your experience and knowledge, you will learn how to collaborate with a classroom science or math teacher to prepare experiential activities that will engage students
  • Working with students, either individually or in small groups, to help them understand math and science concepts and increase their awareness of math and science related careers
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, come to an Information Session on Wednesday, July 29 at noon at Temple University Center City at 1515 Market Street, Room 521, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Please visit us at www.mentors4stem.wordpress.com.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Contact Federal Legislators About Adult Education

While we are concerned about the state budget situation here in Pennsylvania, legislative life continues elsewhere in the country. At the federal level, Pennsylvania, along with many other states, has lost some money for adult education - $1.8 million in our case.

However, there is a chance to recover some of that funding. Joann Weinberger, the President/Executive Director of the Center for Literacy, has passed on this message that she sent to Senator Specter’s office. Please adapt the message to send to both Senators Specter and Casey to recover education funding today!

I am very concerned about the FY 10 Appropriations Bill which is scheduled for mark-up next week. Senator Specter has been extremely supportive of the need to make PA whole after the USDOE cut 10% of its adult literacy funds through its use of the American Community Survey census data. I am writing today to once again ask his support for adult literacy—both a hold harmless provision for states such as PA going forward into FY 10 as well as an increase in funding so that programs can serve the ever increasing number of adults who are knocking on their doors to increase their literacy skills so they can get a job or support their children’s education.

Pennsylvania lost $1.8 million in our adult education grant award from July, 08 to July 09 as a result of the US Department of Education change to using the American Community Survey census data. My request is for Senator Specter to support $17 million in the FY 10 appropriations bill specifically to make states like PA whole.

We know that the White House has proposed a $67 million hold harmless appropriation for FY10 that would deal with the issue of OVAE’s miscalculation from 2003-2007 for in-school youth in the funding formula. Cheryl Keenan has suggested that most, if not all, of that appropriation will go to the states that have received increases under the ACS change with very little going to those states that lost money in that action. So, we are asking for a second hold harmless which deals directly with the ACS change not the 2003-2007 miscalculations

We also want to go on record as supporting an increase to $750 million for FY10 for adult literacy and a continued appropriation of $66 million for Even Start.

Thank you for your consideration of these issues. If I can be of further assistance as you analyze issues related to adult and family literacy, please let me know.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Open Letter to Legislators Regarding the Budget

I am writing today to thank you for your support of working families, particularly the businesses and clients who work with PathWays PA, and to ask for your continued support of these businesses and families throughout the budget debate.

PathWays PA is an organization that serves more than 6,000 women, children, and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our programs endeavor to keep families together, to support parents and their children, and, most of all, to work with families so they can attain self-sufficient jobs and to work with businesses to create a strong workforce. But for strong families and strong businesses to continue making their mark on Pennsylvania, certain programs must remain.

One of the most important state programs is the Industry Partnership (IP) program, which uses a small amount of funding to create long-term benefits for businesses and employees. This program provides opportunities for workers to earn new skills and credentials, creating an employer-approved ladder to a more skilled workforce. Since 2005, more than 73,000 workers have been trained through the Industry Partnership program, with wages increasing 6.6 percent on average in the first year after training.

Opportunities for education and training such as IPs are among the most important in helping Pennsylvanians compete during and after the recession. Community college funding, Child Care Works, and adult literacy all join with IPs in leading to a more stable and educated workforce. For instance, in Pennsylvania, 38 percent of adults struggle with basic literacy skills, which means many have trouble filling out job applications or reading basic instructions. With literacy education, these adults can move on to achieving better jobs, higher wages, and more secure employment.”

From our perspective, if the choice is between cutting the programs families need most or increasing revenues, we prefer that you look at ways of increasing revenues responsibly through broad-based reforms. We hope that as you continue to support working families that you will be able to remove any devastating cuts before they take their toll on our businesses and workers.


Very truly yours,

Carol Goertzel
President/CEO, PathWays PA

Budget Alert - Next 24 Hours Key in House

Multiple reports are coming out of Harrisburg that after today’s budget debate in the House, members plan to vote tomorrow on a budget bill (perhaps not coincidently, the first of the “payless paydays” for state workers).

There are a number of budget bills, which makes it hard to keep track of who is proposing what. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has a spreadsheet showing some of the main funding across various bills. A longer overview of the budget is also available online.

Please take the time TODAY to call your representatives and remind them to invest in Pennsylvania’s families. Your message can be simple – just finish the line below:


“I am a constituent of Representative __________ and I would like to register my thoughts on the budget. If it comes down to making a choice between cutting or eliminating important programs such as Industry Partnerships, Child Care Works, and adult literacy education, or increasing revenues, I choose….”

Investing in Pennsylvania's Programs Leads to Growth in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Capitol StaircasePrograms such as Industry Partnerships, which increase wages by 6.6 percent, are integral to Pennsylvania's economic recovery


Throughout the current budget battle, many legislators seem to view important Pennsylvania programs as a budgetary problem when they are actually a means of helping the Commonwealth during this recession. Yesterday, leaders from local groups gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to remind legislators that investing in Pennsylvania's workers is the only way to foster future growth.

"The short-term fix of cutting important programs will lead to a future that requires even more spending to aid those who went without education, healthcare, and childcare when they needed it most," said Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA. "With 21 percent of all Pennsylvania households living with inadequate incomes, we need a budget that supports workers' progress towards self-sufficiency."

One of the most important state programs that invests in Pennsylvanians is the Industry Partnership program, which uses a small amount of funding to create long-term benefits for businesses and employees.

Programs like Industry Partnerships (IPs) provide opportunities for workers to earn new skills and credentials, creating a ladder that workers can climb to self-sufficiency. Since 2005, more than 73,000 workers have been trained through the Industry Partnership program, with wages increasing 6.6 percent on average in the first year after training. With opportunities for education and training such as IPs, many Pennsylvanians will gain the skills they need for jobs during and after the recession. This educated and skilled workforce can in turn lead to more jobs and higher incomes for Pennsylvanians, thereby increasing state revenue.


Industry Partnerships are not the only state program where small investments lead to larger gains. Other programs discussed at the press conference included community college funding, Child Care Works, and adult literacy, all of which lead to a more stable and educated workforce.

"In Pennsylvania, 38 percent of adults struggle with basic literacy skills, which means many have trouble filling out job applications or reading basic instructions," noted Goertzel. "With literacy education, these adults can move on to achieving better jobs, higher wages, and more secure employment."

During this recession, it is easy to ask for spending cuts without thinking about the bigger picture. However, when we eliminate essential programs and services, it is important to remember that we also eliminate the programs that provide opportunities for our population and workforce to help Pennsylvania while helping themselves.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Federal Grants Proposed for Community Colleges

Yesterday, President Obama announced new grant programs for community colleges. If Congress approves the funding (which is slated to come from subsidies formerly given to private lenders), it will be aimed at new programs for community colleges along with training opportunities and increased funds for tracking students. Some funding would also go towards repairing and replacing infrastructure. A final portion would go towards reducing or eliminating the cost of online education, an important prospect in a state like Pennsylvania, which includes five regions without access to community colleges.

Why are community colleges so important? To begin with, their alumni earn 30% more than high school graduates. State and local governments earn a 16% return on every dollar they invest in community colleges.

More importantly, at a time when workers need middle skills education (some college, though not necessarily a degree), community colleges are crucial to receiving that training. In Pennsylvania, where many residents lack the middle skills needed for the jobs of the future, community colleges will play an important role in the coming years.

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - July 15, 2009

PathWays PA Budget Alert!

We are currently in the third week of the fiscal year without a budget for the Commonwealth. While the Governor and General Assembly are in negotiations, important programs are still at risk of being cut. Legislators have expressed surprise at not hearing from their constituents on certain important issues. It is incredibly important to keep reminding your legislators of what programs Pennsylvania cannot afford to cut.

If you are upset about these budget proposals, which include cuts ranging from education to hospitals to the elimination of the Industry Partnership program, please tell your legislators how you would finish this sentence: “If the choice is between reducing/eliminating spending on hospitals, burn units, Industry Partnerships, and childcare, or increasing revenues, I would support…”

For more information throughout the week on the budget and other issues, be sure to check out the PathWays PA Policy Blog.



Today - Rally in Capitol Rotunda

Join workforce community advocates as they hold a rally urging legislators to fund critical programs to help people find and keep jobs, such as Industry Partnerships.

WHEN: July 15 -11:00 AM
WHERE: Main Capitol Rotunda

Carol Goertzel, President and CEO of PathWays PA, will be one of the speakers.

Workforce development programs are key investments in our future. Please join this rally to show your support and the need for continued funding to help workers.


A Personal Story Updated – Zee Hurst

Current PathWays PA client, Zee Hurst, along with many CHIP recipients, are concerned that under a new Pennsylvania budget individuals who are currently receiving CHIP may be disenrolled if funding is not continued into the current fiscal year.

During the past three years, CHIP has provided comprehensive health insurance coverage for thousands of children throughout Pennsylvania who have been ineligible without the Cover All Kids program. However, current budget proposals rescind this CHIP provision, which could result in up to 12,000 kids being cut from the program.

For single mom Zee Hurst, who recently lost her job and has two children with asthma, CHIP has been a lifesaver. Through CHIP she has been able to keep her children healthy, both physically and mentally. It has allowed her to keep her children out of the emergency room and find support for her son, so he could learn to cope with the lose of his father. He is now an outgoing honor roll student.

For more information on Ms. Hurst’s story please read The Delaware County Daily Times’ recent article, “Low Income Families Fear Children’s Health Care Cuts.”


CHIP – Cover All Kids

Take Action! During the past three years, CHIP has provided comprehensive health insurance coverage for thousands of children throughout Pennsylvania who would not have been eligible without the Cover All Kids program.
  • However, current budget proposals rescind this CHIP provision, which could result in up to 12,000 kids being cut from the program.
  • Even during an economic crisis, it is important to pay attention to the long-term effects of short-term cuts.
  • A recent report from Rice University puts the cost of health insurance through age 18 at $7,451, while the benefits equate to as much at $15,000.

Industry Partnerships

Take Action! Industry Partnerships are consortiums that allow employers to improve and expand their workforce by bringing together companies committed to the development of their workforce.
  • This program provides workers with access to training that gives them the skills necessary to maintain jobs and obtain employment with sufficient wages so workers can adequately support their families.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 6,300 businesses are involved with more than 70 Industry Partnerships across the state and more than 70,000 workers have been trained since 2005.
  • On average, those workers have seen their wages rise by 6.62 percent within the first year after receiving the training.
  • Read more about how the Industry Partnership program is helping in one county


Child Care Work Subsidies

Take Action! The Child Care Works Subsidies allow parents to afford to work by assisting them with the expense of child care.
  • For many parents the cost of child care may be more than they bring home in a paycheck.
  • Currently in Pennsylvania, over 16,000 are eligible for the child care subsidies but are currently on the waitlist, where some families remain for months.
  • In the meantime, they must pay more than they can afford for child care, provide childcare through an unreliable patchwork of friends, family, or substandard facilities, or risk losing their jobs at a time when employment is hard to find.
  • For more information please see a new report from PCCY, “Child Care Works, A Program with a Growing Need


Adult Education and Family Literacy

Take Action! Adult education and family literacy are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to be or become self-sufficient. In Pennsylvania, the Senate proposal cuts adult literacy by 29% and the House is considering a 12% cut. Please contact your representatives today to let them know the importance of this program!


Budget Update


Currently, the House is considering two budget proposals:

One, House Bill 1416 with amendment, builds on Governor Rendell’s February budget. This proposal would move $1.2 billion of higher education line items out of the general fund budget and into a new Higher Education Fund, which would be funded through some form of revenue increase. The amendment would cut $500 million from the Governor’s proposal by cutting funds from such programs as Pre-K Counts. Early Intervention, Maternal and Child Health, and Teen Pregnancy and Parenting. This proposal will add funding to Adult Family and Literacy, Library Services, Life Long Learning,

Another proposal, A02617, attempts to balance the budget through a combination of cuts and one-time revenue injections totaling an estimated $1.8 billion.

This proposal continues many of the eliminations and reductions found in SB 850, such as:
  • Elimination of the Commission for Women, Council on the Arts, and Juvenile Court Judges Commission
  • Reduction of Pre-K counts by 50%
  • Elimination of the Industry Partnership Program
  • Reduction of funding for Child Care Assistance
  • Elimination of Legal Services funding

As compared to other budget proposals, this House proposal increases funding for adult and family literacy, Community Colleges, and hospitals.
Additional funding will come from
  • Elimination of the 25 Cent Cigarette Tax Transfer
  • Rainy Day Fund Transfer
  • Health Care Provider Retention Account Transfer
  • Tobacco Endowment Account Transfer
  • Marcellus Shale Land Lease
  • Tax Amnesty Program
  • Additional Revenues Proposed by Governor Rendell

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Debate Over Screening for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a very real illness that affects many mothers following childbirth, and sometimes fathers too. Read this new blog posting by the Women’s Law Project to learn more about how postpartum depression is being debated on Capitol Hill.

Major Announcement on Community Colleges Expected Today

President Obama is expected to announce a major plan for community colleges sometime today. According to The Workforce Alliance, this plan will include $9 billion in competitive grants to colleges and states, $10 billion for community college expansion, and $50 million to expand online learning.

Check back with PathWays PA and The Workforce Alliance throughout the day for more information.