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Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $460,000 in grants will boost industries, apprenticeship programs in Northwest Pa.

(Feb 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – More than $460,000 in state grants will expand job training opportunities for Erie County residents, while helping regional industries become more competitive, according to state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie. Five grants – all part of the PAsmart initiative – will connect students and other area job seekers with regional employers in the advanced manufacturing, plastics, and building and construction industries. Apprenticeships are a major focus of the initiative. “Apprenticeships in high-tech industries are especially exciting because they introduce students to jobs in a real-world setting that teaches real-world skills,” Bizzarro said. “For example, students doing a pre-apprenticeship program in the plastics industry will get both an overview of the industry and specific training on working with injection-molding machinery.” “Programs like these are incredibly valuable because they offer young Pennsylvanians an opportunity to earn as they learn,” Merski added. “Students gain skills and confidence while working under the guidance and encouragement of a mentor, which is the ideal setting for developing career and technical skills.” Harkins agreed, saying, “There’s no replacement for on-the-job training, particularly where high-skill careers are involved. Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are a win-win for everyone Read more

 

Harkins: Governor’s budget a bold approach

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Reacting to Gov. Tom Wolf’s address this morning on his proposed 2019-20 budget, state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, said: “I was encouraged by the governor’s emphasis today on education and workforce development. In many ways, I think his address reflects a bold approach. A number of his proposals include measures that I’ve been pushing for during my 12 years in the House and in my work as Democratic chairman of the House Labor Committee. “A number of the governor’s proposals can make a positive impact, not only in the areas of education and labor, but in addressing the everyday problems facing Pennsylvania’s working families.” Read more

 

Harkins appointed Democratic chairman of House Labor & Industry Committee

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – As he begins serving his seventh term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, will take on new duties as Democratic chairman of the House Labor & Industry Committee. Harkins, a longtime advocate for workers’ rights, said the appointment will allow him to assume a greater role in shaping legislation to protect Pennsylvania’s workers. “I’m excited because this position will allow me to be an even stronger voice for workers’ rights, both in Erie and throughout the commonwealth,” Harkins said. “Our state’s workers are the backbone of our economy. It’s critical that we do all we can to ensure that they enjoy fair pay, proper benefits and a safe workplace, especially as there are powerful interests on the other side that would try to subvert those interests.” Harkins has been active in pushing for legislation that would provide on-the-job safety protections to public employees by establishing OSHA-equivalent safety rules for public employers, including the commonwealth, political subdivisions, public schools, transit systems and nonprofit organizations currently exempt from OSHA standards. The Labor & Industry Committee reviews legislation on issues such as the state’s minimum wage, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, building and construction codes, and workplace health and safety. The committee is Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: $70,000 in grants will bring computer science to the classroom

(Jan 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – The Erie County school curriculum is about to become broader and more tech-oriented thanks to $70,000 in grants that will introduce computer science into the classroom, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The Erie City School District and the Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School will each receive a $35,000 grant to fund the training and equipment needed to ready teachers and students to embrace the new, tech-oriented classes. “As a former educator, I’m really excited to hear about these grants,” Merski said. “Although many people automatically think of coding when they hear the phrase ‘computer science,’ it’s actually a subject that goes far beyond programming. With studies and exercises that teach kids how to think critically, it’s a discipline that introduces concepts of logic, problem solving and creativity – lessons for which kids of all ages are ready.” Harkins agreed, noting, “The skills computer science teaches cut across so many different fields. CS teaches students how to attack problems in a computational way, by breaking them down into smaller parts, and it helps older students become comfortable working with large amounts of data. It also gives them a chance to create technology, not just use it. It readies them for the modern workforce.” Merski noted that the grants are targeted at schools with little or no Read more

 

Harkins elected secretary of Northwest Delegation

(Jan 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 16 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, will continue his leadership role in the House Democrats’ Northwest Delegation after being elected secretary of the group today. Harkins previously served as the delegation’s treasurer. “I’m excited to continue in a leadership role with the delegation,” Harkins said. “While Pennsylvania’s working families share the same overall interests – a vibrant economy that offers good jobs, strong schools that prepare our kids for the future, affordable health care – there are specific challenges and needs that are unique to each region of our state. The delegation provides a way for us to work together as we shape a legislative agenda to meet those needs. It also provides a common, united voice for the residents of the Northwest.” Harkins added that he is looking forward to working with other leadership team members, including chairman Rep. Frank Burns, of Cambria County; vice chairman Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Erie County; and treasurer Rep. Bob Merski, also of Erie County. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins: Grant will help preserve region’s rich Civil War history

(Jan 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – A $1,500 grant will help the Erie County Public Library permanently preserve the region’s rich Civil War history, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The library will use the Historical & Archival Records Care grant to digitize two volumes of books containing handwritten biographical sketches of Erie County Civil War veterans. “Documents like these tell the stories of our local heroes,” Bizzarro said. “The people and events they chronicle are part of the fabric that connects us as a community and gives us a common identity. It’s essential to preserve this history, and the funding announced today is going to do that for generations to come.” Harkins agreed, also noting the importance of document preservation for educational purposes. “Biographical sketches, first-hand accounts and similar documents are essential for preserving our region’s unique history and allowing us to corroborate information from other sources" he said. "Beyond that, they can provide something for students that textbooks can’t – a unique look back from a historical perspective that can make history come alive.” The grant – one of 16 approved by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission – is administered by the Pennsylvania State Archives, a bureau of the PHMC. More information about the commission – the commonwealth’s Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: $157,160 grant will allow students to explore career pathways in manufacturing, health care

(Jan 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – Students from low-income families will have a chance to explore career pathways in the manufacturing and health care industries, thanks to a $157,160 grant to a local workforce development board, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The funding to the Students in the Workplace project will offer about 400 low-income middle and high school students a real-world look at jobs in manufacturing and health care through programs such as job shadowing and career tours. “This grant is going to open doors for area students by bringing them into a real-world setting and letting them envision the possibilities,” Harkins said. “When it comes to career planning, there’s no better way to stimulate kids’ minds than to let them see and experience the real working world beyond the classroom.” Merski agreed, noting, “As essential as classroom learning is, there’s no substitute for letting kids interact with employers and employees in the field. This grant is going to provide for experiences such as job shadowing, soft-skills training and career tours, which will allow students to determine what careers truly excite them and how their own skills match up with real-world opportunities.” Harkins and Merski noted that in addition to providing students a real-world look at manufacturing and health care careers, the project aims to help area businesses and schools partner to Read more

 

Harkins: $141,900 grant will help working families with transportation needs

(Jan 09, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – Working families needing transportation assistance to maintain employment will benefit from a $141,900 grant to a northwest Pennsylvania employment and training program, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. The funding to the Northwest Workforce Investment Act for transportation barrier remediation will help St. Benedict Education Center Employment, Advancement and Retention Network participants by removing transportation-related problems that can make it difficult for them to retain jobs. “Our region’s hardworking families are doing everything they can to provide for themselves and their kids,” Harkins said. “But sometimes, the lack of reliable transportation is a huge obstacle to maintaining a job. The funding announced today will help EARN participants with the costs associated with license reinstatement, car repairs or other transportation-related expenses. By breaking down transportation-related barriers, we can help make sure these families have every opportunity to succeed.” Under the program, participants become eligible for transportation assistance once they obtain a minimum 20-hour-a-week job. The grant is part of a package of more than $1 million the Department of Human Services is dispersing to provide greater support to people using locally run Employment, Advancement, and Retention Network or EARN programs. The funding comes from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Read more

 

Harkins takes oath to begin seventh term

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, was sworn in today to a seventh term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 203rd legislative session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. Harkins said this session he will renew his push for legislation to provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration job safety protection to public workers. The need for this legislation was inspired by Jake Schwab, a mechanic with the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, who lost his life due to a workplace incident in 2014. "This is a battle I’ll keep fighting on behalf of our public employees while they are on the job," Harkins said. "It is unbelievable to me that public employees have less protection than private employees. "I will also continue to work with state Representatives Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Curt Sonney to remain vigilant in our continued quest to monitor and assist the Erie School District with its many challenges, including funding. We have had extensive discussions with House Republican leadership and have communicated with the governor about the dire situation facing our students." Additionally, the representative will renew his push for solutions to the heroin and drug issues in the communities, while seeking revenue streams via his involvement on Read more

 

Erie area revitalization projects to receive nearly $2 million in funding

(Dec 17, 2018)

Two dozen community redevelopment projects in the Erie region will benefit from nearly $2 million in tax credits. Read more

 

Rep. Harkins' 2019 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 03, 2018)

Click on the link above to download Rep. Harkins' 2019 Capitol Scenes Calendar. Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 05, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Harkins: Erie City, Iroquois school districts receive safety grants

(Nov 01, 2018)

Both Erie City and the Iroquois school districts have been chosen to receive $25,000 state safety grants. Read more

 

$182,000 to fund coastal projects along Lake Erie

(Oct 19, 2018)

Lake Erie’s coastal region will benefit from five educational and environmental projects thanks to more than $182,000 in state grants. Read more

 

Harkins: Constituent from 1st Legislative District to be recognized for contribution to intellectual disability and autism community

(Oct 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – A constituent from the 1 st Legislative District will be recognized on Monday, Oct. 22 by the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability for her contribution to the intellectual disability and autism community, announced state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie. Hope Noblit, an Erie resident, will be recognized and will receive an award Monday at the organization’s “We Are Worth It” awards ceremony taking place in Harrisburg. Noblit was nominated by Erie Homes for Children and Adults and will receive the Western Region Self Advocate Employee of the Year award. “I’m happy to announce that a resident in our district is making leaps and bounds in contributing to the intellectual disability and autism community,” Harkins said. “The 1 st Legislative District is filled with wonderful, amazing people. Hope Noblit is a testament to that statement, and I’m glad to know she is a positive, hard-working member of our community. Congratulations, Hope!” PAR serves and supports Pennsylvania’s children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. They are the largest and most active association of intellectual disability and autism service providers in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Harkins: More than $450,000 in state funding awarded to 1st Legislative District

(Oct 12, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 12 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, today announced that the 1 st Legislative District was awarded a $459,217 Recycling Development and Implementation Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The grant can be used for a number of things. Funding eligibility is allocated for expanding recycling processing facilities, installing data collection systems on recycling vehicles, continuing or creating curbside recycling programs, developing educational materials or operating leaf compost facilities. “Keeping our communities clean is key to ensuring a healthy environment,” Harkins said. “Our region has always made an effort to support recycling programs and initiatives, and this funding will only enhance our ability to do so. I’m grateful the commonwealth awarded our district this crucial funding that will in part lead to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle in the 1 st Legislative District.” Harkins said the funding will be shared by two municipalities in his district. Erie City was awarded $350,000 . Wesleyville Borough received $109,217 . Nearly 200 county and municipal governments were awarded grants for recycling collections, education and leaf litter pickup. Up to 90 percent of approved recycling program costs are eligible under the grant program. For more information on the grants, visit the DEP’s website . Read more

 

Harkins, Bizzarro announce more than $120,000 in Safe Schools Targeted grants awarded to Erie County

(Oct 04, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – State Reps. Pat Harkins and Ryan Bizzarro, both D-Erie, today announced $122,000 in state funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s competitive Safe Schools Targeted Grant program was awarded to a number of Erie school districts. The funding, geared toward creating a safer environment for students, will be used for numerous initiatives covered under the grant program, including funding for programs to prevent and reduce violent incidents; purchasing security/safety-related equipment; training and compensation for school resource officers; and training and compensation for school police officers, who are directly employed by school districts. “The awarding of these grants to our Erie schools is much-needed, especially during an unfortunate time when schools no longer are viewed as a safe haven for students,” Harkins said. “This funding will help reverse that mindset, providing our schools with the needed resources to ensure students are able to learn in a safe, controlled environment.” Bizzarro added: “School safety is of the utmost importance to the Erie Delegation and legislators across the state. Our students should have the freedom to thrive in an academic setting without the worry of a horrendous event taking place within the school. I’m happy to see the initiative taken on behalf of the commonwealth to provide this crucial funding that will play a large role in protecting our Read more

 

Harkins: $150,000 awarded to 1st Legislative District

(Sep 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A state grant totaling $150,000 was awarded to the 1 st Legislative District, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. The funding, granted by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, was requested on behalf of Erie City for the renovation of Bayview Park. “I’m happy to announce the funding that will go toward the renovation of Bayview Park,” Harkins said. “The upgrades to the park that will come by way of this funding will not only benefit those who regularly utilize the park’s equipment, but also will leave a lasting impression on first-time visitors.” The project will consist of constructing a walking path; purchasing and installing benches; trash and recycling receptacles; a bike rack; repairing and resurfacing basketball courts; resurfacing the existing tennis court as a multipurpose court; and replacing and moving existing playground equipment to a more central location within the park. Harkins thanked the Commonwealth Financing Authority board for approving the grant. The CFA is a seven-member board created to administer and fund projects from programs that are part of the Economic Stimulus Package passed by the General Assembly in 2004. The entity falls under the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Read more

 

8/15/18 – Technical Education and Career Readiness – Erie

(Aug 15, 2018)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Pat Harkins. Read more

 

Harkins, Policy Committee explore tech ed and career readiness

(Aug 15, 2018)

ERIE, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss how students can better prepare themselves for their future through technical education and career readiness at the Erie County Technical School. Harkins, who served as Democratic chairman of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, helped to review secondary career and technical education programs and postsecondary institutions throughout the state, and later developed recommendations in order to enhance programs to meet the needs of future employers. He was joined by state legislators from across the state. “Talking about career and technical education is important because it provides students with skills they need in order to be successful should they chose to attend college or take a different route,” Harkins said. “More than 120 school districts throughout the commonwealth offer career and technical education because they realize it’s imperative in the 21 st century.” The committee heard testimony from Dr. H. Fred Walker, director, Erie County Technical School, Joe Tarasovitch, principal of the Erie County Technical School and Pam Mackowski, the director of career and technical education/adult education from Erie’s Public Schools/Erie High School. Testimony, photos and video from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . The meeting is one in Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $460,000 in grants will boost industries, apprenticeship programs in Northwest Pa.
Feb 07, 2019

Harkins: Governor’s budget a bold approach
Feb 05, 2019

Harkins appointed Democratic chairman of House Labor & Industry Committee
Jan 28, 2019

Harkins, Merski: $70,000 in grants will bring computer science to the classroom
Jan 17, 2019

Harkins elected secretary of Northwest Delegation
Jan 16, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins: Grant will help preserve region’s rich Civil War history
Jan 11, 2019

Harkins, Merski: $157,160 grant will allow students to explore career pathways in manufacturing, health care
Jan 10, 2019

Harkins: $141,900 grant will help working families with transportation needs
Jan 09, 2019

Harkins takes oath to begin seventh term
Jan 01, 2019

Erie area revitalization projects to receive nearly $2 million in funding
Dec 17, 2018

Rep. Harkins' 2019 Capitol Scenes Calendar
Dec 03, 2018

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open
Nov 05, 2018

Harkins: Erie City, Iroquois school districts receive safety grants
Nov 01, 2018

$182,000 to fund coastal projects along Lake Erie
Oct 19, 2018

Harkins: Constituent from 1st Legislative District to be recognized for contribution to intellectual disability and autism community
Oct 18, 2018

Harkins: More than $450,000 in state funding awarded to 1st Legislative District
Oct 12, 2018

Harkins, Bizzarro announce more than $120,000 in Safe Schools Targeted grants awarded to Erie County
Oct 04, 2018

Harkins: $150,000 awarded to 1st Legislative District
Sep 18, 2018

8/15/18 – Technical Education and Career Readiness – Erie
Aug 15, 2018

Harkins, Policy Committee explore tech ed and career readiness
Aug 15, 2018