This publication is your
opportunity to receive regular updates on
the work and the issues that I have been
involved with, both in Harrisburg and
throughout our community.
Please visit my website,
where you will find a comprehensive overview
of our work, various phone numbers and
contact information to assist you in solving
problems, opportunities to volunteer and
assist us in our programs and opportunities
to give your feedback.
Senate Democratic Members Add New Legislation to PA Works Now Plan
Job Ideas Must Reflect all of Pennsylvania's People
In an effort to reach more Pennsylvanians with our “PA Works Now” plan, several of my Senate Democratic colleagues – led by the five Democratic women senators -- recently unveiled supplemental legislation targeting adult and child day care, job training, school-to-work transition and green jobs.
Women Democratic Senators outline new additions to the PA Works Now Plan. Click here or above to watch.
As we continue to push forward on our jobs legislation, I applaud my colleagues on these initiatives aimed at helping more Pennsylvanian women, minorities, and our young men and women. We need to generate new employment opportunities, keep family-sustaining jobs and grow small businesses.
The plan focuses on 6 key areas:
Tax credit incentives to encourage employer supported day care alternatives
Sen. Judy Schwank’s measure would provide tax incentives to small businesses that help employees cover the costs of child care and adult day care. Working families should not be constrained because they can’t find day care services. It’s not good for their quality of life. And it’s not helpful to our economy.
Improve School-to-Work Transition
Successful careers in today’s knowledge based economy require most students to pursue some post secondary training. However, many of these experiences do not require a four-year baccalaureate degree. Community colleges, technical colleges, apprenticeship programs, direct employer sponsored programs, and the military services all have important roles in providing these education and training experiences. Unfortunately, many students fail to receive the necessary career advice in high school regarding alternative education opportunities.
Sen. Lisa Boscola’s legislation would require every local school district to develop an individual education plan to ensure that every student’s high school experience envisions and prepares them for a career path.
Youth Summer Job Program
Summer employment programs can provide a valuable public service while giving youth valuable training and career experience. Sen. Shirley Kitchen’s measure would focus exclusively on youth summer employment opportunities at state parks and municipal recreational facilities throughout the commonwealth.
PA Training Program for Marcellus Shale Drilling Operations
Marcellus Shale drilling has been a major economic boost for many areas throughout our state. Unfortunately, significant numbers of currently employed workers at these job sites continue to be people from outside of Pennsylvania. When we enact a drilling fee on Marcellus Shale operators later this fall, an annual set-aside of $5 million should fund specialized training programs, administered through local organized labor groups, to give Pennsylvanians the necessary skill sets to fill these jobs.
Plus, a portion of these funds should be earmarked specifically to develop and staff a call center, with preference for the disabled to fill these jobs. The unemployment rate among the disabled is nearly 50 percent higher than for the rest of the workforce.
Sen. Christine Tartaglione’s bill would set aside a portion of the revenue from a Marcellus Shale extraction tax to develop specialized training programs for jobs in the gas industry.
Incentives to Grow Women & Minority Owned Businesses
We are making a renewed push to encourage the growth of women, minority, or veteran-owned, or other disadvantaged small businesses by providing an array of incentives. Sen. LeAnna Washington’s Senate Bill 696, which was introduced as part of our original PA Works package, calls for a statewide bonding guarantee program, mentor-protégée support, a 10 percent reserve program for state contracts and other targets and incentives to increase employment opportunities for these businesses.
Green Jobs Employment & Training Program
Sen. Kitchen’s Senate Bill 687, which was also introduced as part of our original PA Works package, creates the Green Work Force Training Program. The program would provide $5 million annually for each of the next three fiscal years to the Department of Labor and Industry to provide grants to vocational technical schools, community colleges, public or private higher education institutions, labor organizations, or privately licensed
schools. The grants would be used to develop training programs for careers in emerging renewable energy or energy efficiency.
We will continue to offer innovative solutions to Pennsylvania’s jobs crisis. The Senate Democrats’ job plans seek to create jobs and generate new opportunities. It’s time to put Pennsylvanians back to work NOW!
You can find out more specifics about our PA Works Now proposal and provide your feedback on my website at senatorhughes.com
as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes