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Harkins to hold Policy Committee hearing on technical education and career readiness Wednesday in Erie

(Aug 10, 2018)

ERIE, Aug. 10 – In aligning with the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced that he will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss technical education and career readiness. The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Erie County Technical School’s cafeteria, located at 8500 Oliver Road. Harkins, who served as Democratic chairman of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, said he requested the hearing because expanding and improving career readiness education is needed in order to meet the demands of the future workforce. Harkins will be joined by a number of state representatives from across the Commonwealth, including Policy Chair Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 9 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 9:10 a.m. Panelists: Dr. H. Fred Walker , director, Erie County Technical School Joe Tarasovitch, principal, Erie County Technical School Pam Mackowski, director of career and technical education/adult education, Erie’s Public Schools/Erie High School 10 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit www.plan4pa.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Committee Read more

 

Harkins: Schools awarded grants for fresh fruits and vegetables

(Jul 31, 2018)

Grants have been awarded to the Erie City School District and the Iroquois School District, in order to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day, announced state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie. The 2018-19 grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, whose goal is to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables in schools by increasing consumption among students with the hope of impacting their present and future health. “When children eat healthy it benefits their overall well-being,” Harkins said. “These grants are essential in providing students with good nutrition that will hopefully lead them to make healthier choices leading into adulthood.” Below is a list of schools with the amount they received: Diehl Elementary School $27,639. Edison Elementary School$28,471.50. GECAC Community Charter School $18,648. Jefferson Elementary School $26,473.50. McKinley Elementary School $30,469.50. Iroquois Elementary School$38,073. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program first started in the commonwealth in 2004 and is now in every state. Schools must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more in order to qualify for the grants. Nearly 200 elementary schools across Pennsylvania were selected to receive the grants that total almost $5 million. Read more

 

Harkins: New state spending plan would bolster career training and workforce development without increasing taxes

(Jun 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, announced today that he voted in favor of the state’s new $32.7 billion spending plan, citing the bill’s emphasis on strengthening education and workforce development while also addressing school safety needs. “The bill the House passed today would fund educational, career training and workforce development resources while at the same time providing the critical funding needed to enhance school safety in the commonwealth,” Harkins said. “I have been emphasizing the importance of securing our schools for months, and now, with legislation and dollars, we can make that happen. “At the same time, the bill would accomplish key goals without imposing any new taxes or fees on residents, and it would allow us to replenish the state’s Rainy Day Fund so that we’re prepared to address future needs that may arise. “It may not be a perfect bill, but it would address some of the commonwealth’s most pressing needs without imposing the burden of added taxes, and for that reason, I voted for it. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Harkins: Qualified Opportunity Zones will breathe new life into Erie communities

(Jun 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 18 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, announced today that five areas in the 1st Legislative District, which he represents, have been approved by the U.S. Treasury Department as Qualified Opportunity Zones. The Erie communities were nominated under a federal program that gives private investors tax incentives for investing capital gains in distressed, low-income communities. “I’m excited by the prospect of better jobs and housing opportunities that private investment can bring,” Harkins said. “Infusion of capital can stimulate the kind of development that will breathe new life into these low-income communities and open doors for the hardworking families living there.” Under the program – which is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – states nominate a certain percentage of census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Private investors receive tax benefits for investing capital gains in these areas and adjacent tracts. Pennsylvania had 1,197 low-income census tracts eligible for Qualified Opportunity Zone status and was given the opportunity to nominate 25 percent, or 300 tracts. In April, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he had made the nominations after gathering input from various sources across the state and examining where areas of need intersected with investment opportunities. Read more

 

Harkins: Grant will help teachers bring industry insights to classroom

(Jun 15, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – A $50,000 “Teacher in the Workplace” grant will help Erie county educators strengthen their curricula with information about real-world business and industry trends, opportunities and needs, according to state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie. “This funding will allow teachers direct access to local businesses, where they can learn about the latest in-demand careers and the skills that will help students master them,” Harkins said. “Teachers can then carry this cutting-edge information back to students. When it comes to business and industry, there’s no substitute for learning based on real-world knowledge.” The grant, which was awarded to the NWPA Teacher in the Workplace workforce development board, is one of 48 grants, totaling more than $2 million, to programs statewide. The grants are funded through federal money made available from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. Read more

 

Harkins joins advocates for statehouse rally on workers’ rights

(Jun 12, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, today joined union leaders, advocates and fellow legislators for a rally at the state Capitol in support of workers’ rights, including Harkins’ bill that would ensure the state’s public employees are protected by the same workplace safety standards as private-sector workers. Harkins introduced H.B. 1082 – better known as Jake’s Law – after the death of Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority mechanic Jake Schwab, who was killed in a workplace accident in 2014. “Jake would be alive today and going home to his family if he had been protected by the same safety regulations that protect private-sector workers,” Harkins said. “It’s arbitrary and senseless. Public and private workers face the same dangers, but only private-sector workers are protected by adequate safety regulations. It’s time to say, ‘Enough is enough.’” Harkins’ bill would extend workplace protections under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act to the state’s public employees. Currently, those standards apply only to the private-sector and federal workers. Harkins said immediate action is needed on his bill, which has been sitting in the Republican-controlled Labor & Industry Committee since he reintroduced it in April 2017. The rally, which addressed workers’ pay, benefits and safety issues, was hosted by the Service Employees Read more

 

ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum awarded $8,073 grant

(May 11, 2018)

ERIE, May 11 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, announced today that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission awarded an $8,073 grant to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum located in downtown Erie. “I am excited to know that the expERIEnce Children’s Museum is receiving this grant because they do a tremendous job in reaching young minds through educational programs, exploration and in exhibits,” Harkins said. “Learning can be fun, and expERIEnce is a great resource for children, parents and teachers.” Grant monies for the program are intended to strengthen the commonwealth’s community by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. The expERIEnce Children’s Museum is a nonprofit organization that has been providing family-centered learning experiences to its visitors for over 20 years, according to its website. ExpERIEnce was one of 142 museums and county historical societies from 55 counties in Pennsylvania that were awarded a part of almost $2 million in grants. Grant amounts are determined using an equation based on a percentage of the eligible museum’s previous year’s operating budget. For more information about the grants, visit: PHMC or expERIEnce . Read more

 

Harkins introduces bill to allow more security drills in schools

(May 04, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 4 – In response to an increase in school shootings nationwide, state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, introduced a bill to allow school districts to decide on replacing up to five of their monthly fire drills each year with school security drills. “In the unlikely event that a shooting incident should occur, I would like our administrators and students to have a plan to ensure their safety,” Harkins said. “Fire drills remain a significant safety protocol, however, I want to additionally equip our students and teachers with the necessary response plans, fire and otherwise.” House Bill 2326 would amend the Public School Code as it relates to providing fire and emergency evacuation drills in order to allow for more security drills. From 2009-2011, there were five fatalities caused by school fires in the U.S., according to the United States Fire Administration. Also tragic is the number of school shootings that have occurred, Harkins said. Approximately 210,000 students at 213 schools have experienced gun violence at schools since 1999’s Columbine High School shooting, and this year alone there have been 13 school shootings, as reported by the Washington Post . “Protecting children is a top priority,” Harkins said. “This bill would provide administrators with the flexibility to prepare for another type of emergency. Unfortunately, school shootings are something we now have to consider.” Harkins Read more

 

House passes Harkins bill that would create online career resource center

(Apr 30, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – Students in the commonwealth would benefit from a new online career resource center under a bill the House passed unanimously today, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie. House Bill 2203—part of a bipartisan package of career training and technical education bills that passed today—would call on three state agencies to work together to develop and maintain a central clearinghouse of career and technical education information. “The commonwealth provides a wealth of career training and technical education information through its agencies,” Harkins said. “But there’s no central location that puts information about today’s high-tech, high-skill jobs in one place for easy access by students, their parents and educators. A one-stop concept would ensure that young Pennsylvanians making key decisions about their future have all the information they need at their fingertips.” Harkins’ bill would call on the state departments of Education, Labor and Industry and Agriculture to collaborate in developing and maintaining the online database. It would function as a clearinghouse of information on educational and career options, available career and technical education resources, and data and statistics on employment opportunities and compensation. “Students in today’s fast-changing career landscape need to keep up with the latest opportunities and Read more

 

Harkins announces ‘Qualified Opportunity Zone’ nominations

(Apr 24, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 24 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, announced today that five low-income communities in his district have been nominated as “Qualified Opportunity Zones” under a federal program that attracts private investors to distressed areas through tax incentives. “Attracting private investors would revitalize these communities in key ways,” Harkins said. “Investments in local businesses, real estate and other ventures can bring new job opportunities and improved housing, shopping and other benefits to the hardworking residents of these communities. That’s in line with our Democratic Plan for PA, which puts people first by focusing on the essentials that give Pennsylvania families a better life.” The nominations are part of a program administered by the U.S. Treasury Department under the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Under the program, states may nominate a certain percentage of census tracts as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Private investors receive tax benefits for investing capital gains in these areas and adjacent tracts. Pennsylvania was given the opportunity to designate 300 low-income community tracts as opportunity zones. Final approval from the Treasury Department is expected in May. Read more

 

Harkins: Grant will help senior center expand programs

(Apr 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 23 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, today announced that the John F. Kennedy Senior Center will receive a $56,551 grant from the state Department of Aging. “The grant will help this vital community center continue providing the programs and services our area seniors find so useful,” Harkins said. “The funds will also help the center revitalize and expand its programs to attract newcomers.” The John F. Kennedy Senior Center is one of 41 senior centers throughout the commonwealth that will receive a total of $2 million in 2017-18 Senior Community Center Grants. The funding, which comes from the Pennsylvania Lottery, helps centers provide programs and classes on nutrition, exercise, financial counseling and other areas. “Seniors are such an essential part of our community,” Harkins said. “This funding will help ensure that they have the resources they need to remain healthy, active and engaged.” Read more

 

House Education Committee advances legislation to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.

(Apr 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 18 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, today announced a bipartisan package of legislation that would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania. This nine-bill package aligns with House Democrats’ Plan4PA to give students throughout the commonwealth a quality education that would jumpstart their careers in vocational and technical job fields. “As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I am committed to improving the delivery of Career and Technical Education programs to those who need them most,” Roebuck said. “Just last year, more than 67,000 Pennsylvania high school students were able to participate in CTE programs. This bipartisan package of legislation – especially my two bills – would build upon the success we have already achieved, while also giving stakeholders a voice to make much-needed changes.” In 2015, the House unanimously adopted H.R. 102 to establish the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. The subcommittee, co-chaired by state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, made several recommendations that resulted in this package of legislation. “I’m encouraged by our bipartisan package of bills that would enhance secondary and post-secondary career training and technical education resources for young Pennsylvanians preparing to enter the Read more

 

Harkins bill would create online career resource center

(Apr 16, 2018)

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

 

3/22/18 – Improving Community Health – Erie

(Mar 26, 2018)

Materials from roundtable discussion hosted by State Rep. Pat Harkins. Read more

 

3/20/18 – House Bill 1082 – Erie

(Mar 26, 2018)

Materials from roundtable discussion hosted by State Rep. Pat Harkins. Read more

 

Harkins leads House Democratic Policy Committee community health roundtable

(Mar 22, 2018)

ERIE, March 22 – In efforts to improve quality healthcare access, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion with local stakeholders and community experts. Harkins hosted the meeting to build off the Blue Zones Project presentation last November in Erie to explore what more the state can do to help improve community health metrics and initiatives. Harkins was joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Blue Zones are areas where people live the longest. If we can make it easier and more affordable for people to live healthy lifestyles, we can reduce medical costs and improve health and wellness for our communities. I’m excited to have hosted the Policy Committee today and look forward to continuing the discussion on adopting the Blue Zone practices for the well-being of Erie and our commonwealth,” Harkins said. Sturla added, “House Democrats’ Plan4PA is focused on putting people first and access to quality healthcare is a key component. I thank Representative Harkins and Health Committee Chairman Flo Fabrizio for their leadership on this issue statewide. I think much of today’s discussion can benefit communities across Pennsylvania and look forward to further discussion.” Panelists included: Melissa Lyon, director, Erie County Department of Health; Bill McCarthy, recently retired CEO of a large Read more

 

Harkins, House Democratic Policy Committee discuss workplace safety

(Mar 20, 2018)

ERIE, March 20 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion on his H.B. 1082 that would improve workplace safety in Pennsylvania. Harkins requested the meeting to continue public discussion on “Jake’s Law” that he introduced in memory of Jake Schwab. State legislators from across the state, and Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, joined Harkins, local labor leaders and Schwab’s widow, Tiffany Schwab. “Extending safety standards that exist under OSHA regulations is a reasonable accommodation that should apply to public employees. I’m glad my colleagues from across the state could take part in today’s discussion on how we can help improve workplace safety to help avoid tragic incidents like the one that took Jake’s life,” Harkins said. Sturla added: “House Democrats' Plan4PA is focused on putting people first. Uniform safety standards would do just that. Accountability and prevention of future fatal incidents depend on it. Thank you to Representative Harkins for bringing awareness to the disparity in safety standards and I hope we can work together to move this legislation for the safety and well-being of workers across the state.” Panel participants included: Chad Trainer, legislative director, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Dave Henderson, director, AFSCME District Council 85; John Renwick, president, Amalgamated Transit Read more

 

Harkins to host House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable to discuss Workplace Safety Tuesday in Erie

(Mar 15, 2018)

ERIE, March 15 –State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion on his H.B. 1082 that would improve workplace safety in Pennsylvania. The public roundtable will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 20 at the Teamsters Local #397, 1344 East 11th St., Erie. Harkins requested the meeting to continue public discussion on “Jake’s Law” that he introduced in memory of Jake Schwab. State legislators from across the state, and Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will take part in the roundtable. The current agenda is: 3 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 3:10 p.m. Discussion with Panelists: Rick Bloomingdale , president, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Dave Henderson , director, AFSCME District Council 85 John Renwick , president, Amalgamated Transit Union-Local 568 Diane Stein , labor advocate Tiffany Schwab , widow of Jake Schwab Jack Lee, Jr ., treasurer/director of land development/assistant roadmaster, Summit Township Board of Supervisors 4:50 p.m. Closing Remarks The roundtable is one in a series of meetings all over the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit planforpa.pahouse.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Committee materials. The media and public are encouraged to attend. Read more

 

Harkins Studying Workforce Development

(Mar 06, 2018)

Pa. state Rep. Pat Harkins attended a roundtable discussion with the House Democratic Policy Committee in Lancaster, Pa. to talk about ways that area is attacking workforce development to help the unemployed and underemployed find good, family-sustaining jobs. Read more

 

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 18, 2017)

Click here and download Rep. Harkins' 2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar. Read more

 

Harkins to hold Policy Committee hearing on technical education and career readiness Wednesday in Erie
Aug 10, 2018

Harkins: Schools awarded grants for fresh fruits and vegetables
Jul 31, 2018

Harkins: New state spending plan would bolster career training and workforce development without increasing taxes
Jun 20, 2018

Harkins: Qualified Opportunity Zones will breathe new life into Erie communities
Jun 18, 2018

Harkins: Grant will help teachers bring industry insights to classroom
Jun 15, 2018

Harkins joins advocates for statehouse rally on workers’ rights
Jun 12, 2018

ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum awarded $8,073 grant
May 11, 2018

Harkins introduces bill to allow more security drills in schools
May 04, 2018

House passes Harkins bill that would create online career resource center
Apr 30, 2018

Harkins announces ‘Qualified Opportunity Zone’ nominations
Apr 24, 2018

Harkins: Grant will help senior center expand programs
Apr 23, 2018

House Education Committee advances legislation to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.
Apr 18, 2018

Harkins bill would create online career resource center
Apr 16, 2018

3/22/18 – Improving Community Health – Erie
Mar 26, 2018

3/20/18 – House Bill 1082 – Erie
Mar 26, 2018

Harkins leads House Democratic Policy Committee community health roundtable
Mar 22, 2018

Harkins, House Democratic Policy Committee discuss workplace safety
Mar 20, 2018

Harkins to host House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable to discuss Workplace Safety Tuesday in Erie
Mar 15, 2018

Harkins Studying Workforce Development
Mar 06, 2018

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar
Dec 18, 2017