Monday, March 14, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: March 14, 2011

The thoughts and concerns of all of us at PathWaysPA are with those suffering from the devastation in Japan. To find ways to help, please visit this website listing organizations providing aid.

Federal Policy Update

WORKFORCE DAY OF ACTION

Join the National Skills Coalition and thirteen other national organizations in a Workforce Day of Action on Thursday, March 24, 2011.

 
Workforce development programs are an important part of the nation's economic recovery and job creation effort, yet the House Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations bill (HR 1) zeroes out all funding for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) state and local employment and training programs, a cut of over $3.6 billion for the coming year (beginning this July).

 
Sign up today to participate in the Workforce Day of Action and stand united with NSC and other national workforce organizations on Thursday, March 24 in support of adequate funding for workforce education and training programs.

 
Join NSC for a quick planning call on Monday, March 14 at 2:00 pm ET to prepare for the Workforce Day of Action. Learn how to contact your Members, how to schedule a meeting or invite them to visit your program, and how to talk about the importance of job training in this difficult fiscal climate.

 
Members of Congress will be in their home districts the week of March 24. Call today to schedule a meeting with your Senators and Representative at their in-district offices to let them know where you stand on cuts to workforce training. Let them know that you oppose any cuts, much less the elimination of, funding for workforce development and related programs in this and future appropriations measures.

 
This past year, the WIA system served over 8.4 million jobseekers; helped over 4.3 million get jobs; and placed hundreds of thousands into education and training to prepare them for new careers. Now is not the time to eliminate the nation’s primary system for getting people back to work. Let’s work together to make sure Congress listens.

 
Learn more at www.nationalskillscoalition.org/WorkforceDay.

 
State Policy Update

 
STATE BUDGET UPDATE

 
Governor Corbett unveiled the 2011-2012 state budget last Tuesday.

 
Pennsylvania, like every other state, saw a steep decline in revenue collections in the wake of the recession. While the economy of 2011 is on the mend, with tax revenue running ahead of projections and unemployment continuing to drop each month, collections still have not returned to pre-recession levels.

 
The proposal calls for a 3.1 percent reduction in spending, with 103 line items zeroed out. Notable adjustments include a return to 2008-09 spending levels for basic education funding, and roughly 50% cuts to the State System and State Related higher education lines. Correctional institutions are to receive an 11 percent increase, or $186 million.

 
Among the actions taken to balance the budget, $154 million in Tobacco revenue and programs will be shifted to the General Fund, along with Moving Violation surcharges. According to the Budget Office, the state will wind up with a preliminary ending balance of $5 million at year-end, based on current revenue predictions. The proposal also reinstates the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax phase-out, maintains a variety of tax credit programs, including the Film Tax credits, and addresses tort reform. Various DCED business incentive programs are proposed to be consolidated into a single tool called the Liberty Loan Fund.

 
To learn more about this year’s state budget see information about an upcoming budget briefing below.

 
Information/Events

 
2 OUT OF EVERY 5 WORKERS IN PHILADELPHIA DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE PAID SICK DAY - TELL CITY COUNCIL THAT YOU SUPPORT EARNED SICK TIME!

 
On March 1st, Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Public Health and Human Services unanimously passed a bill supporting earned sick days for all workers in Philadelphia. With this passage, the bill now moves to consideration by the full City Council.

 
Members of City Council are already hearing from people opposed to the bill. If you support earned sick days, they need to hear from you as well!

 
In Philadelphia, two in every five workers have no opportunity to earn paid sick time, meaning they must "choose" between the jobs they need and the families they love. When people have no choice but to work sick, they risk infecting others, especially since the people most likely to be without earned sick days are those that handle our food and those that work with vulnerable populations (like children, the elderly, and the sick).

 
If you support sick time for all workers, please let City Council know.

 
What else can you do?
To learn more about this issue please visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplace’s Blog. There you can read worker’s stories, see those who support paid sick days, and read a response to the opposition’s arguments.

"DAY OF RECKONING" STATE BUDGET BRIEFING

 
What will the budget cuts include? How will these cuts affect the services you rely on? What can you do to prevent cuts that will have a long-term negative effect on Pennsylvania's families? Attend the "Day of Reckoning" State Budget Briefing to find out.

 
This briefing, which will feature Sharon Ward from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, will discuss the budget cuts and advocacy steps to address those issues. Please come to learn and to share information as Delaware County prepares for the impact of this budget and how to mitigate it.

 
WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 10:30 AM
WHERE: 301 North Jackson Street, Media, PA

 
Sponsored by PathWays PA, Family and Community Services of Delaware County, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition.

RSVP at http://2011delcobudget.eventbrite.com/ or (610) 543-5022 x 255.

 
VOTER REGISTRATION TRAININGS

 
Learn how to register voters and about voting rights for people who are homeless, in recovery, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders

 
WHEN: Wednesday, March 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
WHERE: 1515 Fairmount Ave. Philadelphia PA

 
Snacks will be provided!

 
For more information visit: http://www.voteforhomes.org/.

Please RSVP to Anna Murphey at 215-232-7272 x3106 or annamurphey@projecthome.org.

 
HALF IN TEN’S ONLINE TRAINING: HOW TO USE PERSONAL STORIES FOR ANTIPOVERTY ADVOCACY

 
Half in Ten will host “Stories behind the cuts: practical tips for effective storybanking.” This online training is for advocates across the country interested in using personal stories to put a human face on the budget cuts and impact the policy debate. Click here to register.

 
WHEN: March 14, 2011 - 2:00-3:00 p.m.

 
With vital programs like affordable housing, job training, and home energy assistance under fire, it is more important than ever to show the consequences of deep funding cuts in human terms.

 
Storybanking, or collecting stories from affected individuals, families, congregations, and businesses across the country, has proven to be a useful and effective advocacy tool in past policy debates.

 
Storybanking is especially relevant today as advocates work to demonstrate the impact of irresponsible funding cuts on real people, jobs, and communities in the ongoing deficit reduction debate.

 
Want to do your part to fight back against these reckless, devastating cuts to human needs programs? Join Half in Ten and national storybanking experts for a training on:
  • The fundamentals of storybanking (including do’s, dont's, and practical tips)
  • Best practices for collecting and submitting stories to the Half in Ten-Coalition on Human Needs storybank
  • Tips for leveraging stories with members of Congress and the media
  • Help us elevate stories of programs supporting families and children across the country.


Special PathWays PA Information/Events

PROJECT PEACE FOR TEENAGERS

Do you need help with education, childcare, welfare benefits, parenting or support? We can help!
The Project Peace Teen Parent Program provides one-on-one support for pregnant adolescents and teen parents.

Project Peace services are available at the MacDade Goodwill Store, 2137 MacDade Boulevard, Holmes PA, from Tuesdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Services provided will help you:
  • Complete high school and plan for higher education
  • Become a better parent
  • Obtain appropriate community resources, such as childcare, supportive services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Parents (TANF), life skills training and employment
  • Get in home support
For more information call 610-543-5022 or visit http://www.pathwayspa.org/.

PATH$ TO BENEFITS

Last week, PathWays PA, in collaboration with PA CareerLink, officially launched Path$ 2 Benefits, our federally funded financial education and counseling program.

The PathWays PA Path$ 2 Benefits program provides access to counseling and workshops on banking and budgeting assistance, credit and debt management counseling, identity theft repair, financial goal planning, financial crisis management, college planning, housing assistance, and free tax preparation. Clients can also be screened for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and many other services. Even unemployed and dislocated workers can take part in programs that improve their credit without costing money.

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