PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 2010 – – State Sens. Christine Tartaglione and Vincent Hughes today joined Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Sandi Vito, Department of Public Welfare Deputy Secretary Linda Blanchette, and several local business leaders in announcing a job creation and workforce development initiative, “Way to Work.”
The event was held at the Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School in Sen. Tartaglione’s district. Way to Work is a statewide, subsidized employment initiative that will help put an estimated 20,000 people to work this summer by covering 100 percent of gross wages for private and non-profit employers.
The Way to Work initiative will draw down federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) emergency funds that were allocated to Pennsylvania for job creation through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funds, set to expire on September 30, 2010, will be used to provide an estimated 20,000 adult and youth employment opportunities this summer.
The Way to Work program is just one facet of the Senate Democrats proposed JOBS program that would leverage state and federal funding to create more than 40,000 transitional jobs over the next two years. Legislation introduced by Sens. Tartaglione and Hughes would expand the proposed Way to Work program, run by the Department of Labor and Industry, to provide more job opportunities for Pennsylvania residents.
“If we want to kick-start the economy, and start to emerge from this recession, job creation needs to be our number one priority,” Hughes said. “We need to immediately draw down every penny that was allotted to Pennsylvania for job creation by the federal government and start to help our friends and neighbors pay their bills and put food on the table.”
“Despite signs that the economy is slowly improving, the unemployment rate remains steadily high,” Tartaglione said. “This initiative is intended to help bridge the gap between a stock market recovery and a job market recovery.”
Under the proposed legislation, the JOBS program would be funded by the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funding and by instituting a tax on the wholesale price of smokeless tobacco products. The JOBS program would be fully paid for through these funding sources and would not put anymore strain on the state’s General Fund.
The JOBS program would be created through Senate Bills 1234, 1235 and 1236, and Senate Resolution 307.
For more information, or to sign up for the Way to Work initiative, employers can visit www.paworkforce.state.pa.us or call 1-866-858-2753.
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