Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PathWays PA Job Postings - July 2010

Residential Worker
Part Time positions currently available. 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: LP/LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Trauma-informed Therapists
PathWays PA 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: BD/LD 610-328-2807

Live-in Advisor
To provide guidance, direction and supervision to older adolescent teen mothers and teen girls residing in our Supervised Independent Living Program including conducting some life and parenting skill groups. Live in a house with 3 to 4 girls and their children. Must be available during critical hours-5:00 PM to 8:00 AM- can work part-time during off hours. Must be mature and have an understanding of teen parent and teen girl issues and must have knowledge of basic life skills. Rent and utilities paid by agency plus small stipend and scheduled time off. Location: Phila; Compensation: Stipend. Fax resumes to LD/SIL at 610-328-2807.

ESL Instructor
Part Time – PathWays PA is currently seeking English as Second Language (ESL) instructors with BA/BS degree and 2 + years of teaching experience. Knowledge of ESL in healthcare field preferred. Must travel independently in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties. Lesson-planning and attendance record-keeping, and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Bilingual a plus. Classes forming now, anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

Math Instructor
Part Time – PathWays PA in Delaware County is looking for a math instructor to work with adult workers preparing for skills building and college-level entrance exams. The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in math or education, and would be responsible for teaching class in different locations, potentially in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties. Lesson-planning and attendance record-keeping, and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Classes forming now; anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Monday, July 26, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 26, 2010

Federal

Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act

On July 28, the Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act, a bill that will help create a more stable, valued direct care workforce and increase the quality of care for millions of Americans, will be introduced.
This legislation will bring a solution to some of the most pressing issues facing the direct care workforce by:
  • extending wage and overtime protections to home care workers
  • improving data collection and workforce monitoring; and
  • providing grants to states to improve direct care workforce recruitment and retention.
Please contact your Representative and ask that they become an original cosponsor of this exciting new bill today. Learn more about the Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act at Direct Care Alliance, Inc's website.

Unemployment Benefits Extension Passes

Last week, Congress passed a bill that restores unemployment benefits to 2.5 million jobless Americans that have been out of work for more than 6 months. The bill extends the deadline to file for unemployment benefits until the end of November.

Federal unemployment payments, which last up to 73 weeks, begin after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. Federal benefits are divided into tiers, and individuals receiving benefits must apply each time they move into a new tier.

Many without jobs stopped receiving unemployment benefits in June. The benefits will be retroactive but it may take states up to a month to start sending checks again.

Act Now: Pennsylvania Could See an $850 Million Hole in the Recently Passed State Budget

While the state budget has been passed and signed, there is unfortunately still work to do as the budget includes $850 million in federal funding that Congress has yet to approve. Without the funding, layoffs at all levels of government, as well as teachers and emergency workers, and additional cuts to programs are likely.

This funding would come from the extension of the federal percentage of matching funds for state Medicaid expenditures, known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enhanced the FMAP contribution for states through December 2010. Legislation now before Congress would extend the enhanced FMAP funding to states through June 2011, but the bill has stalled.
If Congress fails to approve the FMAP funding, the Governor and legislators will have to find another way to balance the budget, which will likely require cuts in funding for critical human services.

If you believe this funding is important, please contact your federal legislators today and urge them to extend FMAP. Below is a sample message. Please feel free to add your own stories and thoughts about why this funding is so important.

Dear

As a member of your district, I am writing today to urgently ask you to continue the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states in the coming year. Pennsylvania recently passed a state budget that included $850 million in FMAP funding that has not yet been passed by Congress. With the additional funding, the General Assembly was able to limit the cuts that were made to programs that truly help Pennsylvanians during this particularly difficult time, such as adult literacy and education, job training, child care, health care, and other supports vital to success in this economy.

Please continue to support workers, families, and children by passing the FMAP extension and ensuring critical programs are available for Pennsylvanians.

 Information/Events

adultBasic Still In Danger

adultBasic is an affordable health care option for adults who have recently lost health coverage and meet certain income guidelines. Participants pay $36 a month and co-pays ranging from $10 to $50 for doctor and hospital visits. In Pennsylvania, more than 40,000 are receiving the full benefits of the program, while the waitlist stands at over 380,000.

This program will end on December 31,2010, when a law requiring financial support from insurance providers will expire.

Help save adultBasic by signing a petition or send a letter to the editor.

Have an Idea for the Older American’s Act? Add it to The Exchange.

The National Council on Aging has developed a Web site called The Exchange and is inviting everyone in the aging field to post ideas to help shape the next Older Americans Act, due for reauthorization in 2011.

Congress passed the Older Americans Act in 1965. The Act established the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and a network of state and local agencies dedicated to providing services to America's older population. The mission of the OAA is to help older adults age in their own homes and communities. The OAA funds critical services that keep older adults healthy, independent, and engaged. The services include meals, job training, senior centers, transportation, health promotion, and more.

The Exchange provides an opportunity to make your voice heard, and to share your innovative ideas on a national stage. Please go to The Exchange and post an idea, and/or comment and vote on the existing ideas.

Voter Registration and Train the Trainer Trainings

The Pennsylvania General Election will take place November 2nd 2010. The deadline for voter registration is October 4th.

Vote for Homes! is a nonpartisan coalition registering thousands of people who are living on low incomes, including those who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders. They are excited to announce their Train the Trainer and Voter Registration Trainings.

Train the Trainer Session - 1515 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia PA

Thursday, August 19, 1-4 pm
  • Learn how to conduct Voter Registration trainings with your organization
  • Practice group facilitation skills
Voter Registration Trainings, 1515 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia PA

Monday, August 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
Sunday, September 12, 3-5 pm
Thursday, September 16, 4-6 pm
  • Learn about voting rights for people who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders
  • Learn how to register voters  
If you would like to attend either event, please RSVP to Jennine Miller (215-232-7272 x3042, jenninemiller@projecthome.org) or Anna Murphey (215-232-7272 x3106, annamurphey@projecthome.org). Feel free to call if you need help with transportation.

Ask a Working Woman Survey 2010

Working women know the importance of a good job in a just economy, one where their pay keeps up with prices.

Working American and the AFL-CIO have put together a short survey that asks questions about the work place and work environment. This survey is a chance for working women to be heard and an opportunity to tell decision-makers about the challenges they face and their hopes for the future. Please take the time to complete this short survey.

Health Care Reform and Maternal and Child Health

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act positively impacts maternal and child health in a number of ways.

Key provisions of health care reform include: adequate time for working women to express breast milk, funds for teen pregnancy prevention, home visiting programs, post-partum depression services, competitive grants for states to assist pregnant and parenting teens, and continuity of coverage and preventive benefits to promote preconception and inter-conception care.

Maternity Care Coalition has put together a chart to show what some of the benefits are and when they go into effect.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
  • Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment
  • Clean criminal background check
  • No back problems or physical restrictions
  • The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet
  • Willingness to working with and touch all people
  • A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training)
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant
  • Willingness to work different shifts and weekends
If the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
  • 6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • 50 hours of First Responder Training
  •  77 hours of EMT training over 7 weeks
  • Career coaching support 

Please feel free to share this information with your clients and networks.  For more information please call 610-543-5022 and ask for  Jennifer Oglesbee at extension 256 or joglesbee@pathwayspa.org or Barbara Lewis at extension 228 or blewis@pathwayspa.org

Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011

PathWays PA is proud to announce that we released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011.  The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.
Some ways the Standard can be and has been used include:
  • Funding - When applying for funding, the Standard promotes a new way to measure need and success
  • Eligibility - When creating or evaluating programs, using the Standard as an eligibility limit opens the programs to new populations
  • Reference - When discussing financial needs with board members, staff, or clients, the Standard establishes a new measure of reference
If you would like to receive a copy or have any questions about the Standard please contact policy@pathwayspa.org or call 215-543-5022 X255.

Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool

The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET) is an online tool that allows staff and clients to determine their personal Self-Sufficiency Standard and benefits eligibility for their own families. 
This is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including LIHEAP, food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP.  Once eligibility is determined, link are provided to connect staff or client to COMPASS and other programs that clients may find useful. 

PathWays PA Resource Library Blog

The VISTA members at PathWays PA have developed a Resource Library Blog in order to facilitate the sharing of resources online.  The Resource Library is a compilation of financial education and asset development resources, public benefits information and career tools for agency staff and community members.

The blog covers topics including:
If you come across a good resource that you think should be a part of the blog, you may send an email to pathways.pa.vistas@gmail.com.  Be sure to reference the resource library in the subject line. 

We encourage you to use this resource to your benefit, and welcome any feedback regarding topics you would like to see addressed in the blog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unemployment Benefits Extension Passes the Senate

After being stalled for weeks, yesterday the Senate voted for a bill that will restore unemployment benefits to 2.5 million jobless Americans that have been out of work for more than 6 months. The bill extends the deadline to file for extended unemployment benefits until the end of November.

Federal unemployment payments, which last up to 73 weeks, begin after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. Federal benefits are divided into tiers, and individuals receiving benefits must apply each time they move into a new tier.

Many without jobs stopped receiving any unemployment benefits in June. The benefits will be retroactive but it may take states up to a month to start sending checks again.

The bill now moves to the House where they are expected to vote on it today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this Summer

Women still earn on average 77 cents for every dollar earned by men performing substantially the same work. That means that the average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher. Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House, would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women and men to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and national origin. In addition, the bill would improve the collection of pay information by the Department of Labor and the EEOC to enable those agencies to evaluate pay disparities, facilitate class actions in Equal Pay Act claims, and spark the development of salary negotiation skills training.

Please contact your Senators and urge them to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act this summer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Victory in the House: SECTORS Act Passes

House of RepresentativesThere is tremendous urgency to help workers impacted by the recession reenter the labor market. However, many workers lack the specific skills employers require, leaving employers to struggle to find skilled workers in certain industries, even in times of economic slowdown.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act (HR 1855). The SECTORS Act creates partnerships of businesses, unions, the public workforce system, and education and training providers to come together to develop and implement plans that target job training at the current and anticipated skill needs of industries within a geographic region. These partnerships improve worker training, retention and advancement by developing skill standards, career pathways, job redefinitions, and shared training and support capacities.
Now that this bill has passed the House, it will move onto the Senate.

Please contact your Senators and urge them to support economic recovery by supporting the SECTORS Act.

For more information about the SECTORS Act please visit the National Skills Coalition website.

Monday, July 19, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 19, 2010

Federal

Act Now: Pennsylvania Could See an $850 Million Hole in the Recently Passed State Budget


While the state budget has been passed and signed, there is unfortunately still work to do as the budget includes $850 million in federal funding that Congress has yet to approve. Without the funding, layoffs at all levels of government, as well as teachers and emergency workers, and additional cuts to programs are likely.

This funding would come from the extension of the federal percentage of matching funds for state Medicaid expenditures, known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enhanced the FMAP contribution for states through December 2010. Legislation now before Congress would extend the enhanced FMAP funding to states through June 2011, but the bill has stalled.

If Congress fails to approve the FMAP funding, the Governor and legislators will have to find another way to balance the budget, which will likely require cuts in funding for critical human services.

If you believe this funding is important, please contact your federal legislators today and urge them to extend FMAP. Below is a sample message. Please feel free to add your own stories and thoughts about why this funding is so important.

Dear


As a member of your district, I am writing today to urgently ask you to continue the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states in the coming year. Pennsylvania recently passed a state budget that included $850 million in FMAP funding that has not yet been passed by Congress. With the additional funding, the General Assembly was able to limit the cuts that were made to programs that truly help Pennsylvanians during this particularly difficult time, such as adult literacy and education, job training, child care, health care, and other supports vital to success in this economy.



Please continue to support workers, families, and children by passing the FMAP extension and ensuring critical programs are available for Pennsylvanians.

Restrictions on Abortion Coverage in High-Risk Pools

One of the initial steps in health care reform is the creation of high-risk pools by either the federal government or the states. The high-risk pools will provide health care to individuals with pre-existing conditions who have been unable to afford or find coverage (for more information about the high-risk pool in PA please see below).

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced information about the federal high-risk pool, including news that coverage for an abortion will only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or danger to the woman’s life.

This will mean that thousands of women with serious medical conditions will lack coverage for abortions they may need because of risks to their health or the health of a developing fetus. These women will not even be permitted to use their own premium dollars to buy this coverage through the new federal and state high-risk pool plans.

Please urge the Department to reconsider this decision.

City

Additional Cuts to Philadelphia’s Budget

Last week, Mayor Nutter announced $47 million in additional cuts to Philadelphia’s budget. While the City Council passed a budget, the Mayor is permitted to reduce spending for any departments in order to balance the budget.

The additional cuts include:

  • Reduction of police overtime ($6.3 million)
  • Cancellation of two police academy classes ($4.5 million);
  • Rolling closure of fire departments ($3.6 million);
  • Cuts to programs targeting at-risk children in the Department of Human Services ($1.8 million);
  • Cuts to the new tree planting program in the Department of Parks and Recreation ($2.5 million);
  • Reduction in the city’s contribution to Philadelphia’s Community College ($1 million); and
  • 10 city workers from the Office of Supportive Housing will be laid off.

Despite the additional cuts, the Mayor did restore funding for libraries, which will now remain open five days a week. Now the revised budget will need approval from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, a state agency responsible for overseeing the city budget.

Information/Events

High-Risk Pools

Thank you to our friends at the Pennsylvania Health Access Network for the information below.

As a result of health care reform, Pennsylvania will soon be setting up a high-risk pool, which will provide health care for about 5,100 people. To be eligible for the high-risk pool an individual must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Is a citizen or national of the United States or is lawfully present in the United States, as required by the federal Affordable Care Act.
  2. Has not been covered under creditable coverage during the six-month period prior to the date the individual is applying for coverage under the program.
  3. Has evidence that the individual has one of the following:
  • A pre-existing condition, as listed by the state Department of Insurance.
  • Denial of health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
  • Coverage available only with the exclusion of a pre-existing condition.
  • Health insurance coverage quoted at a substandard rate due to a pre-existing condition.

If eligible, the benefits include:

  • Prescription drug and serious mental health coverage,
  • Preventive care is 100 percent covered in network. This includes annual physical examinations, annual mammograms and gynecological exams,
  • For in-network use, there is a $5,000 annual out-of-pocket maximum and no lifetime limit,
  • 80 percent of emergency room visits are covered after the yearly deductible, and
  • $1,000 yearly deductible.

The average premium will be about $283.20 a month and enrollment is scheduled to open July 21st.

For more information please visit the Approved State Proposal to Operate a High Risk Pool which is available under “Health Care Reform & You” on the Department of Insurance website. If you have question the Department’s consumer hotline number is 1-877-881-6388, email ra-in-consumer@state.pa.us.

New Foreclosure Guides

The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition has published two publications aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure can be a stressful and complicated process. These guides were produced to help homeowners understand the process so that they can take control.

GPUAC’s Summer/Fall 2010 Foreclosure Prevention Guide was developed to assist professionals such as housing counselors, attorneys, and lenders. It was created by the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, a group of bankers, housing advocates, government officials, and community leaders working to combat the foreclosure crisis. Another guide is Navigating the Slippery Slope of Foreclosure, which is a brochure that provides step-by-step instructions homeowners should take, based their individual circumstances, to avoid losing their homes.

Both guides can be used by social workers and case managers when homeowners at risk of foreclosure turn to them for help.


PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
  • Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment
  • Clean criminal background check
  • No back problems or physical restrictions
  • The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet
  • Willingness to working with and touch all people
  • A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training)
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant
  • Willingness to work different shifts and weekends


If the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
  • 6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • 50 hours of First Responder Training
  •  77 hours of EMT training over 7 weeks
  • Career coaching support 

Please feel free to share this information with your clients and networks.  For more information please call 610-543-5022 and ask for  Jennifer Oglesbee at extension 256 or joglesbee@pathwayspa.org or Barbara Lewis at extension 228 or blewis@pathwayspa.org

Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011

PathWays PA is proud to announce that we released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011.  The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.
Some ways the Standard can be and has been used include:
  • Funding - When applying for funding, the Standard promotes a new way to measure need and success
  • Eligibility - When creating or evaluating programs, using the Standard as an eligibility limit opens the programs to new populations
  • Reference - When discussing financial needs with board members, staff, or clients, the Standard establishes a new measure of reference

If you would like to receive a copy or have any questions about the Standard please contact policy@pathwayspa.org or call 215-543-5022 X255.

Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool

The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET) is an online tool that allows staff and clients to determine their personal Self-Sufficiency Standard and benefits eligibility for their own families. 
This is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including LIHEAP, food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP.  Once eligibility is determined, link are provided to connect staff or client to COMPASS and other programs that clients may find useful. 

PathWays PA Resource Library Blog

The VISTA members at PathWays PA have developed a Resource Library Blog in order to facilitate the sharing of resources online.  The Resource Library is a compilation of financial education and asset development resources, public benefits information and career tools for agency staff and community members.

The blog covers topics including:


If you come across a good resource that you think should be a part of the blog, you may send an email to pathways.pa.vistas@gmail.com.  Be sure to reference the resource library in the subject line. 

We encourage you to use this resource to your benefit, and welcome any feedback regarding topics you would like to see addressed in the blog.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attention First-Time Homebuyers!

Cross-posted from PathWays PA's Resource Library Blog.

You may still be able to claim the first-time homebuyer credit! The recently enacted Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010 extends the closing deadline for first-time homebuyers from June 30 to September 30, 2010.

What does this mean? It means if you entered into an agreement to purchase your home on or before April 30, 2010, and are set to close on the purchase of the home before September 30, 2010, you can still receive the credit.

Special filing and documentation requirements still apply. In order to receive the credit, eligible taxpayers must complete Form 5405 and provide one of the following documents:
  • A copy of the settlement statement;
  • A copy of the executed retail sales contract (for mobile home purchasers only); or
  • A copy of the certificate of occupancy (for newly constructed homes that do not have a settlement statement).
There are 3 options for claiming the credit on a qualifying 2010 purchase:
  • If you haven't filed your 2009 taxes yet, you can claim the credit on Form 1040 for the 2009 tax year. You can use IRS Free File to prepare the return, but you must print the return and mail it to the IRS with a copy of the required documentation described above;
  • If you have already filed your 2009 taxes you can claim the credit on an amended return using Form 1040X; or
  • Regardless of whether or not you have filed your 2009 taxes, wait until next year and claim the credit on your 2010 taxes using Form 1040.

More details on claiming the credit can be found in the instructions to Form 5405, as well as on the First-Time Homebuyer credit page on the IRS.gov website.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Act Now: Pennsylvania Could See an $850 Million Hole in the Recently Passed State Budget

While the state budget has been passed, there is unfortunately still work to do as the budget includes $850 million in federal funding that Congress has yet to approve.

This funding would come from the extension of the federal percentage of matching funds for state Medicaid expenditures, known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enhanced the FMAP contribution for states through December 2010. Legislation now before Congress would extend the enhanced FMAP funding to states through June 2011, but the bill has stalled.

If Congress fails to approve the FMAP funding, the Governor and legislators will have to find another way to balance the budget, which will likely require cuts in funding for critical human services.

If you believe this funding is important, please contact your federal legislators today and urge them to extend FMAP. Below is a sample message, please feel free to add your own stories or thoughts about why this funding is so important.

Dear

As a member of your district, I am writing today to urgently ask you to continue the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states in the coming year. Pennsylvania recently passed a state budget that included $850 million in FMAP funding that has not yet been passed by Congress. With the additional funding, the General Assembly was able to limit the cuts that were made to programs that truly help Pennsylvanians during this particularly difficult time, such as adult literacy and education, job training, child care, health care, and other needs vital to success in this economy.

Please continue to support workers, families, and children by passing the FMAP extension and ensuring critical programs are available for Pennsylvanians.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Raising Women’s Voices: Contraception is Preventive Care

Nearly half of all women have delayed or avoided preventive care due to the cost. The new health care reform law addresses this problem by requiring all new private insurance plans written after mid-September to cover several categories of preventive services without any cost sharing (including co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for all expenses that must be met before coverage kicks in). The categories of services to be covered include preventive care and screenings for women as recommended by guidelines to be developed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Raising Women’s Voices is urging individuals to contact Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to ask her to make sure comprehensive contraceptive care is included in the list of preventive services for which there will be no co-pays or deductibles. Her agency will release this list later this year in the form of guidelines for implementation of the Women’s Health Amendment to the new health reform law.

Ensuring women’s unimpeded access to comprehensive contraceptive care would offer tremendous benefits to women and families. Women would no longer be forced to forego needed services because they cannot afford them and would not have to choose the cheapest form of contraception, rather than the one that best meets their current reproductive health needs.

If you believe this is an important issue for women please contact the Secretary at Healthreform@hhs.gov or 202-205-5445.

New Foreclosure Guides

Cross-posted on PathWays PA's Resource Library Blog

The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition has published two publications aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure can be a stressful and complicated process. These guides were produced to help homeowners understand the process so that they can take control.

GPUAC’s Summer/Fall 2010 Foreclosure Prevention Guide was developed to assist professionals such as housing counselors, attorneys, and lenders. It was created by the Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, a group of bankers, housing advocates, government officials, and community leaders working to combat the foreclosure crisis. Another guide is Navigating the Slippery Slope of Foreclosure, which is a brochure that provides step-by-step instructions homeowners should take, based their individual circumstances, to avoid losing their homes.

Both guides can be used by social workers and case managers when homeowners at risk of foreclosure turn to them for help.

Image courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/respres/2539334956/

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 12, 2010

Federal

Help Move the Paycheck Fairness Act

Currently, women working full-time, year-round make an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make. This means that the average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher. Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already passed the House, would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. The bill also allows women and men to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and national origin. In addition, the bill would improve the collection of pay information by the Department of Labor and the EEOC to enable those agencies to evaluate pay disparities, facilitate class actions in Equal Pay Act claims, and spark the development of salary negotiation skills training.

Please sign onto a letter urging the Senate to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act this summer.

State

Support Adult and Family Literacy

While the State Budget for 2010-11 was passed and signed by the Governor, there may be insufficient revenue in the budget to fund all the programs listed. To balance the budget it is likely more cuts will have to be made and programs, like adult and family literacy, are in jeopardy.

Funding cuts to adult and family literacy would result in fewer learners served and fewer learner transitions to post-secondary education, training, or the workforce. Moreover, any cuts would result in growing unemployment as educators, administrators, and support staff would inevitably lose their jobs.

What can you do?
  1. Sign a petition and forward the petition to everyone you know.
  2. Contact your state legislators. Here is a sample message: “Adult literacy is critical for your constituents. It is the needed first step toward getting a job or training for today’s economy. Revenue needs to be increased so your constituents can receive needed services. In the past year, the budget has been cut by almost 50%.”
  3. Contact your federal legislators and urge them to extend the FMAP funding, as Pennsylvania relied on $850 million from the federal government. Here is a sample message: “PA needs the Medicaid Funds (FMAP) in order to balance the state’s budget. Please vote for this appropriation in order to save vital education and human services including adult literacy.”

For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education.

Information/Events

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
  • Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment
  • Clean criminal background check
  • No back problems or physical restrictions
  • The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet
  • Willingness to working with and touch all people
  • A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training)
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant
  • Willingness to work different shifts and weekends

If the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
  • 6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • 50 hours of First Responder Training
  •  77 hours of EMT training over 7 weeks
  • Career coaching support 
Please feel free to share this information with your clients and networks. For more information please call 610-543-5022 and ask for Jennifer Oglesbee at extension 256 or joglesbee@pathwayspa.org or Barbara Lewis at extension 228 or blewis@pathwayspa.org.

Backpack Challenge: Supports Teens in Foster Care

Young people in foster care who are members of the Achieving Independence Center (AIC) have issued the Backpack Challenge, asking organizations and businesses to collect a minimum of 20 laundry baskets, backpacks, or storage bins filled with school and dorm supplies to help AIC youth prepare for the upcoming school year.

The AIC is a one-stop center designed to help young people from the Philadelphia area who are ageing out of the foster care system achieve a future of self-sufficiency. The goal of the AIC is to help youth escape homelessness, poverty, and delinquency by increasing employability, graduation rates, and enrollment in post-secondary or vocational institutions and assisting youth in making a successful transition into a healthy, productive adulthood.

The AIC’s goal is to collect 150 college care package kits before August 11th. If you would like to help please email challenge@aicenter.us with the organization or company name, contact person, and best way to contact them.

Want to Learn More About Health Care Reform?

Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is holding a number of calls on different aspects of the health care reform bill. Below is a list of upcoming topics and call times:

Small Business and Health Care Reform - Wednesday, July 14th 6:00 PM-7:00 PM - with Marc Stier, Executive Director of PennAction.
This call is especially geared for small business owners, with information on tax credits included in the health care bill and how it will affect them. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Exchanges and Subsidies - Tuesday, July 20th 6:00-7:00 PM - with FamiliesUSA

adultBasic - Monday, July 19th - 6:00 PM Are you on adultBasic or the waiting list? Have you sent PHAN your story? They need to hear from you again on this call! The program is in jeopardy and PHAN has a report coming out soon.

Call for Health Care Providers - Thursday, July 22nd 7:30 PM - Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, President of the National Physician's Alliance will be joined by an SEIU nurse to host a call geared for health care providers.

To participate in any of the calls, please email aford@pahealthaccess.org.

Happy Hour for Her

Save the date for the next Happy Hour for Her! Join WOMEN’S WAY’s Young Women's Initiative (YWI) and the coalition Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania for a fun, casual night of conversation and networking.

Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a broad-based coalition formed by WOMEN'S WAY to ensure women's voices were heard and concerns were addressed during the health care reform debate. This coalition is now advocating for implementation policies that support and protect the full-range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women. During the event, you will have the opportunity to learn about the coalition's important work and how you can get involved.

WHEN: Monday, August 9, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
WHERE: Vango, 116 South 18th Street, Philadelphia

To attend the event, please RSVP to Cate Galbally at cgalbally@womensway.org or 215-985-3322.  This event is hosted by YWI but men and women of all ages are welcome. A suggested donation of $5 is encouraged.

Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania's coalition members include: African Family Health Organization, Black Women's Health Alliance, Bucks County National Organization for Women, ACLU of Pennsylvania- Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project, Cherry Hill Women's Center, CHOICE, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Family Planning Council, Health Care for America Now, HepTREC, League of Women Voters of Philadelphia, Lutheran Settlement House, Maternal and Child Health, Consortium in Chester County, Maternity Care Coalition, Medical Students for Choice - Temple Chapter, Nancy's House, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Omega Omega Chapter, PathWays PA, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Philadelphia National Organization for Women, Philadelphia Nurse Family Partnership, Philadelphia Women's Center, Planned Parenthood Bucks County, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Women's Law Project, Women's Medical Fund, and WOMEN'S WAY.
PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011

PathWays PA is proud to announce that we released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011.  The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.
Some ways the Standard can be and has been used include:
  • Funding - When applying for funding, the Standard promotes a new way to measure need and success
  • Eligibility - When creating or evaluating programs, using the Standard as an eligibility limit opens the programs to new populations
  • Reference - When discussing financial needs with board members, staff, or clients, the Standard establishes a new measure of reference
If you would like to receive a copy or have any questions about the Standard please contact policy@pathwayspa.org or call 215-543-5022 X255.

Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool

The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET) is an online tool that allows staff and clients to determine their personal Self-Sufficiency Standard and benefits eligibility for their own families.
This is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including LIHEAP, food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP. Once eligibility is determined, link are provided to connect staff or client to COMPASS and other programs that clients may find useful.

PathWays PA Resource Library Blog

The VISTA members at PathWays PA have developed a Resource Library Blog in order to facilitate the sharing of resources online. The Resource Library is a compilation of financial education and asset development resources, public benefits information and career tools for agency staff and community members.

The blog covers topics including:

If you come across a good resource that you think should be a part of the blog, you may send an email to pathways.pa.vistas@gmail.com. Be sure to reference the resource library in the subject line.

We encourage you to use this resource to your benefit, and welcome any feedback regarding topics you would like to see addressed in the blog.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

PathWays PA Special Budget E-Alert - July 7, 2010

Since Governor Rendell has signed a budget, this will be our last Special Budget Alert of this budget season. Please see this Policy Blog and sign up for our E-Newsletter for information regarding the severance tax and other issues affecting Pennsylvanians. 

PathWays PA like to thank all of our readers for their support and feedback on our alerts. In an effort to improve future alerts, we have created a brief survey. Please take a few minutes and let us know what you thought of our Budget Alerts and how we may be able to improve them. Also, please stay turned, as next year's budget is already right around the corner while revenue for this year’s budget has not been fully determined.

State Budget Signed

Earlier this week, the Governor signed a $28.05 billion spending plan. The budget includes a $250 million increase in funding for basic education and a severance tax on natural gas extraction to go into effect in January 2011. The General Assembly has until the fall to work out the details surrounding the severance tax. The budget does not include other taxes that had been discussed, such as an excise tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco or a plan to do away with the sales tax vendor discount. Legislation to close the Delaware loophole and reduce corporate income tax rates also failed to make the final cut.

There are still some questions around the budget, particularly the extension of FMAP, which has yet to be approved by Congress. Pennsylvania created a budget based on receiving $850 million from the FMAP extension. The Governor has stated that if Congress fails to approve the FMAP funding, he and legislative leaders will have to identify additional cuts in the budget.

For more information about the budget, please see the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s Details on 2010-11 Budget Agreement.

Action Alerts

FMAP Meeting

The state budget has passed, but there still remains the potential for an $850 million budget gap if the federal government does not extend the Federal Medicaid Matching Assistance Program (FMAP). During the recession, the federal government gave states additional money to pay for their Medicaid expenses but this additional money is set to expire at the end of this year. Without an extension, Pennsylvania will be facing an additional $850 million hole in the budget.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition is holding a meeting to plan next steps and hear from local Congressional offices about FMAP.

WHEN: Thursday, July 8, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
WHERE: United Way Building, 1709 Ben Franklin Parkway. Philadelphia PA

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to sepabudget@gmail.com.

Call to Discuss SSP Cuts

After last year’s budget, disabled, blind, and elderly Pennsylvanians receiving State Supplemental Payments (SSP) faced a cut of 19 percent – 24 percent to their SSP grant. To qualify for the SSP, individuals must receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal benefit for the very poor administered by the Social Security Administration. Due to budgetary shortfalls, the state reduced the SSP for an individual by $5.30/month (down 19 percent) and by $10.40/month for a couple (down 24 percent). A reduction of $5.30 per month may seem small, but it equals a missed meal, a medical co-pay that cannot be met, or a paratransit ride that cannot be taken.

The 2010-2011 budget did not remove the SSP cuts. To talk about what is next for SSP, Community Legal Services is holding a conference call.

WHEN: Thursday, July 8, 10:00 am

To join the call dial (424) 203-8400 and the participant access code is 362486#.

They will discuss what happened with SSP and what might be done in the coming months to try to get the SSP cuts restored.

Monday, July 5, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - 5 July 2010

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

State

Industry Partnerships - Out of Committee and on to the Senate

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

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

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

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

Federal

July 7 is National Juvenile Justice Call-In Day

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

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

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

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


Information/Events

PathWays PA Resource Library Blog

The VISTA members at PathWays PA have developed a Resource Library Blog in order to facilitate the sharing of resources online. The Resource Library is a compilation of financial education and asset development resources, public benefits information and career tools for agency staff and community members.

The blog covers topics including:


If you come across a good resource that you think should be a part of the blog, you may send an email to pathways.pa.vistas@gmail.com. Be sure to reference the resource library in the subject line.

We encourage you to use this resource to your benefit, and welcome any feedback regarding topics you would like to see addressed in the blog.

PathWays PA Offers Expedited Career Path to First Responders and EMT

PathWays PA is offering eligible job seekers free education and training to achieve certification as a First Responder followed by Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.

Successful candidates will have:
  • Achieved qualifying scores on WorkKeys® Assessment
  • Clean criminal background check
  • No back problems or physical restrictions
  • The ability to lift 125 pounds 33 inches off the ground and carry for 10 feet
  • Willingness to working with and touch all people
  • A valid drivers license (or the ability to obtain one during training)
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and flexibility to change course as circumstances warrant
  • Willingness to work different shifts and weekends
If the above qualifications are met, then an individual may be eligible for the training, which includes:
  • 6 weeks of Math/English Skills building classes
  • CPR Training and Certification
  • 50 hours of First Responder Training
  •  77 hours of EMT training over 7 weeks
  • Career coaching support 
Please feel free to share this information with your clients and networks. For more information please call 610-543-5022 and ask for Jennifer Oglesbee at extension 256 or joglesbee@pathwayspa.org or Barbara Lewis at extension 228 or blewis@pathwayspa.org.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get the Scoop on the Commonwealth Workforce Development System

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

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

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

Please RSVP to Sarah Twomey.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives
Self Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011

PathWays PA is proud to announce that we released the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011.  The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.
Some ways the Standard can be and has been used include:
  • Funding - When applying for funding, the Standard promotes a new way to measure need and success
  • Eligibility - When creating or evaluating programs, using the Standard as an eligibility limit opens the programs to new populations
  • Reference - When discussing financial needs with board members, staff, or clients, the Standard establishes a new measure of reference
If you would like to receive a copy or have any questions about the Standard please contact policy@pathwayspa.org or call 215-543-5022 X255.

Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool

The Online Training and Benefits Eligibility Tool (OTBET) is an online tool that allows staff and clients to determine their personal Self-Sufficiency Standard and benefits eligibility for their own families.
This is an easy to use tool that determines eligibility for multiple programs including LIHEAP, food stamps (SNAP), child care assistance, and CHIP. Once eligibility is determined, link are provided to connect staff or client to COMPASS and other programs that clients may find useful.

Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges

PathWays PA is proud to announce the release of a new paper that examines the impact that community colleges and other workforce development can have on the earnings of Pennsylvanians.

While many students enter college straight from high school, a growing number of students need access to higher education after they have already entered the workforce. Nationally, 2/3rds of the 2020 workforce has already graduated from high school, but they have not all gone on to higher education. Pennsylvania ranks 3rd highest in the country for the number of adults (age 18-64) whose formal education ended with a high school diploma or GED.

By 2014, 51 percent of all jobs in Pennsylvania will require some college, though not a four-year degree (also known as "middle skills" education). As of 2008, only 22 percent of Pennsylvanians age 25 and over fit into the middle skills category.


Pennsylvania's Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges examines the needs of adult workers in Pennsylvania and the part that community colleges can play in serving those needs.

Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia! Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. You can support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia. Support both!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Get the Scoop on the Commonwealth Workforce Development System

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

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

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

Please RSVP to Sarah Twomey.

Help Support 2-1-1

Currently available in 80% of the country, 2-1-1 is an information and referral line that connects people to vital social services provided by a range of nonprofit and government agencies. This number saves time and frustration by eliminating the need for callers to navigate a maze of agencies and help-lines. When a person calls 2-1-1, specially-trained information and referral personnel analyze what services are needed and provide the appropriate resource and related information.

Today, 2-1-1 service is available to 80 percent of the U.S. population with 240 active 2-1-1 call centers in 46 states; however, because of the expanding reach and increasing visibility of 2-1-1, many 2-1-1 call centers lack the resources needed.

Please take a moment today to contact your Representative and Senators and ask for their support of the Calling for 2-1-1 Act (H.R. 211 in the House, S. 211 in the Senate). The Calling for 2-1-1 Act would provide funding necessary to meet these needs.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Insurance Coverage and Information About Insurance Options

Starting today, new insurance coverage and information is now available to most people throughout the country.

  • New Information: Starting today, a new website, www.healthcare.gov, is available to answer questions about insurance coverage options by state as well as information on prevention, care quality, and understanding health care reform.

Industry Partnerships - Out of Committee and on to the Senate

Pennsylvania State Capitol House ChamberYesterday, Industry Partnership (IP) legislation passed unanimously out of committee and is now on its way to debate on the state Senate floor.

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

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

Please take a moment today to call your senators and ask them to support the bill, which has already passed unanimously in the House.

Script: Hello, my name is ______, and I am (your job title and business/organization- e.g. Human Resources Manager at Important Corp./Administrator at Terrific Nonprofit). I live/work in the Senator’s district, and I am calling to ask Senator (name) to vote for the Industry Partnerships bill (SB 1409). (If you are a member of an IP, please let the legislative staffer know.)

You can also add:  The Industry Partnerships program is important to my business/organization because....
Some additional information on Industry Partnerships is below. Please call today!




  • Industry Partnerships have been remarkably successful in addressing the needs of both businesses and workers in the Commonwealth. More than 5,000 businesses have reported significant improvements in productivity and more than 70,000 workers have benefited from training, with average wage gains of 6.6% in one year.





  • Industry Partnerships deliver a high return on investment by achieving economies of scale in the design and delivery of training and increasing the effectiveness of other public and private investments in training





  • Industry Partnerships have strong business support with over 500 businesses signing a letter endorsing Industry Partnerships in the 2009-10 budget debate.