HARRISBURG, April 17 – Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced today that a workforce development board serving Centre County will receive a $135,240 Strategic Innovation grant to expand digital communications in the region. “This grant will improve access to skills-based learning and job opportunities in our region by enhancing online resources that connect job seekers with training programs and employers,” Conklin said. “I’m encouraged that this will open more doors for Pennsylvanians seeking to join the workforce. Creating jobs and putting people first is all part of our Democratic Plan for PA.” The funds, made available through the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, will permit development partners in the region to expand digital communications and enhance community engagement through: An online regional Career Hub promoting work-based learning, A website for the region’s CareerLink® offices, An update to the Central PA Workforce Development Corporation’s website, and Additional outreach materials The grant is one of 16 projects receiving a total of $3.5 million. Such grants are made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry through local workforce development boards across the state. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 17 – At a Capitol news conference today Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, highlighted his package of “good government” bills aimed at increasing political transparency and expanding voter rights throughout the commonwealth. DeLuca also expressed his frustration that the bills have been sitting in the House State Government Committee for more than a year with no action. “My bills are about accountability and accessibility,” DeLuca said. “Earning and keeping the public trust are a public official’s most important responsibilities. The citizens of Pennsylvania deserve to know that their concerns are the number-one priority in the minds of lawmakers. "At the same time, Pennsylvania voters deserve the broadest possible access to the polls to make their voices heard. Both of these are important components of our Democratic Plan for PA, which puts people first. Unfortunately, my bills that would further these objectives have been stuck in committee for more than a year without a vote.” DeLuca’s package of “good government” bills includes the following: H.B. 94 5 , which would allow for same-day voter registration; H.B. 946 , which would establish an early voting process in the commonwealth; H.B. 947 , which would require a candidate holding one office to resign from that office before running for a new elected position; H.B. 948 , which would limit Read more
EBENSBURG, April 17 – Seeking to provide up-to-date information on a frequently asked question, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is sharing the latest news regarding Pennsylvania’s reciprocity agreements with other states concerning concealed carry handgun licenses. Burns said that according to state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a former Democratic colleague of his in the state House, Pennsylvania has entered into updated, written reciprocity agreements with 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Negotiations are ongoing to update out-of-date reciprocity agreements with additional states, to ensure consistency with the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, Burns said. “It’s a confusing situation for many law-abiding citizens in the 72nd Legislative District when it comes to understanding in which other states their concealed carry licenses are valid and where they are not,” Burns said. “I’m hoping that by sharing this information, it will provide them with a useful resource to navigate this maze.” Burns said the current reciprocity status of each state can be easily viewed using a map by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov , clicking “Resources” on the navigation bar at the top of the page, then clicking “Concealed Carry Agreements” under the “General Resources” tab. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 17 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced that her recent Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Seminar was a success. Attendees learned more on how to successfully launch a business, what funds are available to assist in launching the business, as well as how best to prepare for the future in terms of budgeting, paying off student loans, as well as making wise investments. “Small businesses are the foundation of a healthy and thriving community,” McClinton said. “I’m proud to support businesses and people that invest back into our communities. When local businesses flourish, so do our communities. That’s why we must continue to provide these businesses with the resources they need to thrive and continue their growth.” Guest panelists and vendors included: the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, Office of Business Services; FINATA; the Enterprise Center; the Student Loan Doctor; Budget Me; The Ivy Investor; Clarifi; Community Solutions CDC; and the Maintenance Lady. McClinton also honored two entrepreneurs in the 191st Legislative District with certificates of recognition for their outstanding leadership, hard work in establishing their business and commitment to the community. These entrepreneurs include Ribhi Mustafa of Sunshine Markets and Jamilah Thompson of Common Ground Realtors. ### Read more
SCRANTON, April 17 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, will sponsor a free shredding event for residents of the 113th Legislative District from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28 at his district office in Jay’s Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. Read more
Since I was sworn into office, I pledged my commitment to establish a pipeline for young people from high school into stable, well-paying jobs in their communities, and help employers fill much-needed job vacancies that, if left unfilled, hamper productivity and profitability. Today, I celebrate the passage of H.B. 25, which would create CareerBound, a program to strengthen the connection between Pennsylvania’s students and the next generation of high-priority careers. I commend my colleague Rep. Ryan Mackenzie for his leadership and hard work to get this legislation passed. This strategy would unveil the potential of strong partnerships between businesses and schools, help students develop critical skills for success in the workplace and expose students to career options, including possibilities they might not have otherwise encountered. Under CareerBound, local workforce investment boards, businesses and schools would work together to develop innovative school-to-work programs. These joint ventures would expose students to an array of career opportunities, including career expos, job shadowing, internships and other career-education integration initiatives. Read more
State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement on H.B. 2050, which would prohibit the abortion of any child solely due to a diagnosis of possible down syndrome: Today the House is considering H.B. 2050, yet another unconstitutional attempt to limit a woman’s right to choose, which has been ruled unconstitutional in many states. I am of the belief that this is a decision that should be made between the health care professional and the family. This bill is disguising itself as a measure of protection for people with Down syndrome. This is far from the truth. Amendments that would have ensured protection for individuals with Down syndrome were blocked by a party-line vote, along with all measures to provide support and protection for individuals with disabilities. The intent of this bill is clear. It is not about protecting those with disabilities. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – A bill that would require Pennsylvania schools to assess students’ competency in U.S. history, government and civics at least once between grades seven and 12 passed the House today, according to the bill’s co-prime sponsor, Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. House Bill 564 would require schools to administer the assessment to ensure that students understand the nature, purpose and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy, the structure and operation of the U.S. government and its most important documents, and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. “At the end of the day, we want our students graduating high school to have the basic knowledge they need to become engaged citizens,” Kortz said. “Ours is the greatest democracy in the world, and when we welcome new immigrants, we require them to have a basic understanding of our government. It’s essential that we ensure that our young people coming out of school here in Pennsylvania are equipped with the same basic knowledge.” Under the bill, the state Department of Education would be required to post links on its website to the 100-question test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services and any other materials the department considers useful for schools. The bill also would require the department to conduct an electronic survey of each school entity at the end of the 2020-21 school year, and every two years after, Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 16 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today released the following statement supporting Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s call to vacate the conviction of Philadelphia rapper Robert Williams, better known as Meek Mill, and Krasner's announcement of his support for Mill to receive a new trial: “Meek Mill is just one of the countless Black men in our nation who are disproportionately impacted by our criminal justice system – despite the fact that they are not more likely to commit crimes. With the arresting officer’s credibility being under question, it’s time that we include this into evidence and reassess the original charge," Harris said. “I hope that moving forward, Larry Krasner will implement policies that prevent misconduct among police officers through a stronger complaint review process. We must continue to speak up on behalf of the other ‘Robert Williamses’ who are victims of a broken justice system and who lack the capital and the resources to receive the justice they deserve. This is why the state Senate must immediately pass House Bill 1419 , to provide countless Pennsylvanians with a second chance.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that a package of bipartisan bills boosting Career and Technical Education today were approved by the House Education Committee. “I was pleased to vote for each of these proposals, which will go a long way toward closing the skills gap and helping students and workers become career ready,” said Longietti, a member of the House Education Committee. “There is a growing need for non-degree CTE credentials, which can lead to good-paying jobs and satisfying careers.” The bills include H.B. 2155 , a measure that would reform certification requirements for CTE teachers by emphasizing work experience in the field over additional course credits. “In eliminating redundant course credits while increasing hands-on work experience in the field, we can attract additional qualified CTE teachers while boosting quality,” Longietti said. House Bill 2156 would provide tax credits to businesses which invest in schools offering CTE programs to students. Schools may use these funds to purchase relevant equipment and create career training programs. Scholarships would also be made available to post-secondary students pursuing a CTE credential. “Mercer County business leaders have stressed to me the growing need for a skilled workforce,” Longietti said. “This tax credit program would allow local businesses to invest in area schools offering CTE and in the Read more
SCRANTON, April 16 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program next week at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, today announced that a workforce development partner in his district will receive two state Strategic Innovation grant awards surpassing $440,000. Partner4Work will use the first grant, totaling $190,926, to create a non-traditional pathway for low-income students and those facing other barriers to earn industry-recognized credentials leading to further education, training or work. The second grant, totaling $252,000, will be used by Partner4Work to prepare, train and place at least 30 low-income individuals in entry-level jobs in the construction trades and manufacturing sectors. “Securing these grants is a crucial step to ensuring the progression of younger Pennsylvanians and low-income residents in our region,” Readshaw said. “Additionally, the approval of both grants fulfills our Democratic Plan for PA, which puts people first, and it shows our commitment to investing in the future of workforce development across the commonwealth.” Partner4Work and other workforce development organizations throughout the commonwealth provide employers with resources to improve their businesses and connect job seekers with businesses in need of talent. Workforce boards also connect citizens looking for jobs with state, county and local organizations providing job training and other services. The Partner4Work programs are two of 16 statewide projects receiving a total of $3.5 million in Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, today announced that the House Education Committee approved his bill that would improve the delivery of career and technical education information in the commonwealth through the creation of a centralized, online career resource center. “Although there are agencies in the commonwealth providing career and technical educational resources, there’s no central location for all of this information,” Harkins said. “My bill would require agencies offering these resources to develop and maintain a central database so that students making key decisions about their future would have the information they need at their fingertips. Helping young Pennsylvanians find and secure good jobs is part of our Democratic Plan for PA.” House Bill 2203 — part of a bipartisan CTE legislation package — would call on the departments of Education, Labor and Industry, and Agriculture to participate in developing and maintaining the career resource database. Among other things, the database would provide students, parents and educators with information on educational and career options, available CTE resources, and data and statistics on employment opportunities and compensation. “Students considering career choices face so many confusing questions and decisions,” Harkins said. “My bill would help make that process a little easier for students and the people who support and Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, announced today that a workforce development partner located in Allegheny County will receive two Strategic Innovation Grant awards totaling $442,936. Partner4Work provides employers with resources to improve their businesses and connect job seekers with businesses in need of talent. It will use the first grant, totaling $190,926, to create a non-traditional pathway for low-income students and those facing other barriers to earn industry-recognized credentials leading to further education, training or work. The second grant, totaling $252,000, will be utilized by Partner4Work to prepare, train and place at least 30 low-income individuals in entry level jobs in the construction trades and manufacturing sectors. “I’m confident both grants will have a huge impact on our region,” Costa said. “These grants help younger Pennsylvanians, as well as those in low-income situations prepare for their future. These grants are a clear indication that we’re investing in the future of the Commonwealth by providing our state’s population with the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.” The Partner4Work grants are two of 16 projects receiving a total of $3.5 million in Strategic Innovation Grants. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awarded the grants through local workforce development boards across the state. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny will host a news conference highlighting his package of “good government” bills—aimed at increasing political transparency and expanding voter rights—which have been stuck in the House State Government Committee for more than a year. DeLuca will call on the committee chairman to move the bills out of committee so they can be considered by the full House. The event will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 17 in the Capitol Media Center. Joining DeLuca will be representatives from the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and Common Cause Pennsylvania, non-partisan organizations dedicated to enhancing citizens’ participation in government and making it more responsive to citizens’ needs. Media coverage is invited. Members of the media may also listen to the news conference by calling 717-787-9903 through 9910. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 16 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., today announced the approval of up to $1.16 million in tax credits to build 35 new low-income housing units and a community center. "I'm pleased the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority has approved these tax credits for the Nicole Hines Townhomes development on Wister and Rufe streets, including a community center. This is good news for meeting the housing needs in our communities," Youngblood said. The development is to be built in the 400 block of East Wister Street and at 5120 Rufe St. It will include 13 buildings plus the community center. The development will include 17 two-bedroom, 16 three-bedroom and 2 four-bedroom units. Seven of the units will be accessible, and 27 of the units will have a rental subsidy from the Philadelphia Housing Authority. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, April 16 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D- Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced that the Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Development Board has been awarded a $252,000 state grant from the Department of Labor and Industry to improve and increase employment opportunities. The grant will be used to extend work experiences for individuals who have barriers to employment in nine counties, including Armstrong and Indiana. It also will be used to help create a larger pool of trained technicians for manufacturers and assist in curriculum. “Job training is essential to sustaining a healthy economy,” Petrarca said. “I am pleased that workforce training and opportunities will be offered to individuals in our region who may need it the most to succeed in today’s job market.” The Department of Labor and Industry awarded nearly $3.5 million from the Reemployment Fund for 16 Strategic Innovation projects across the state. The grants were given to local workforce development boards. The Westmoreland/Fayette WDB is made up of representatives from community-based organizations, economic development agencies, education, and labor and public sector partners. Two of its PA CareerLinks are located in Westmoreland County; one in New Kensington, and the other at the Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood. Click here for a full list of 2017-18 Strategic Innovation grant awardees. Read more
Harrisburg – April 13, 2018 – CP Industries is set to receive a $140,050 grant to support the design and testing of pressure vessels, according to state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) and Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny). “These funds represent an important investment in our manufacturing infrastructure,” Brewster said. “It is critical to develop new products and provide a path that local businesses can use to grow their product line and address market changes. “The funding for CP Industries will help a local producer compete in the national and international marketplace.” The funding, approved through the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant program, was one of 19 projects approved statewide. There were more than $1.6 million grants distributed. “I welcome and support the advancement of renewable and alternative energy, especially when it’s within our own community,” Davis said. “Protecting our environment is an avenue that is necessary leading into the future.” The lawmakers noted that the grant dollars will be used for pressure vessels involved in the storage and transportation of alternative fuel gasses such as hydrogen and CNG. The vessels produced as a result of this grant involve the transportation of hydrogen to refueling stations. Read more
Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, today announced that the West Central Workforce Development Board was awarded $221,400 to help educate youth and young adults. Mercer County is among five counties that the West Central Workforce Development Board will use funding to provide six business and industry career fairs and 30 paid work experiences in targeted industries. Longietti was pleased the grant also includes funding for two educator-in-the workplace programs. “The face of modern manufacturing has changed dramatically with the use of technology,” said Longietti. “It’s important that educators have an opportunity to experience the 21 st century workplace so that they may translate these changes to the classroom and get students interested in the rewarding careers available in our local economy.” The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awarded nearly $3.5 million from the Reemployment Fund for 16 Strategic Innovation projects across the state. The grants were given to local Workforce Development Boards. “Providing high school students with real life career experiences is a plus for both young adults and potential future employers,” said Longietti. “Educating young people is one of the best investments that we can make.” Click here for a full list of 2017-18 Strategic Innovation Grant Awardees. Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said she voted Wednesday against a move that removed language from H.B. 722, the redistricting reform bill set to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission. Read more
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