Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement Thursday reiterating what he described as his longtime belief that the implementation of the controversial Common Core education reform by the State Education Department “has been deeply flawed,” announcing it “must be fixed,” and calling for the creation of a “comprehensive review” of the program.His remarks kicked off a fresh firestorm of criticism from longtime anti-Common Core activists and opposition groups, who deem the governor’s recent comments little more than politically motivated backpedaling and an ill-fated attempt at appeasement.“A growing chorus of experts have questioned the intelligence of SED’s Common Core program and objective educators across the state have found the implementation problematic, to say the least,” Gov. Cuomo declared in his Sept. 3 statement. “The new Commissioner of Education has inherited this problem and I understand has been meeting with parents, educators and students, and has heard the same concerns. Recently, SED has made comments about organized efforts to have parents choose to opt out of standardized tests. While I understand the issue and SED’s valid concern, I sympathize with the frustration of the parents.“The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working, and must be fixed,” the governor continues. “To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.”Officially adopted in New York State in 2010, Common Core—the Obama administration’s education reform policy—has been a lightning rod of complaints from scores of parents, teachers and students alike. These critics have been extremely vocal about their concerns, too, flooding public forums across the state to discuss ways to both cope with its practices and mobilize political opposition to fight back and eventually have it repealed. Their loudest protest culminated in the Opt-Out Movement, in which record-breaking numbers of parents throughout the state refused to have their children even take the exams. Last spring, 225,000 students “opted out” of state mandated tests, with that number expected to grow next year.Created by the National Governors Association and the Council of State School Officers, Common Core aims to make American students globally competitive, with skills that promise college and career readiness, accomplished through standardized testing in English Language Arts and Math beginning at grade three. Its dual purpose is to hold teachers accountable for students’ achievement, using high-stakes test scores to determine teachers’ effectiveness.Some local education advocates, who have been on the frontlines in the battle for quality education in New York State and against what they perceive as a punitive and punishing Common Core-based new teacher evaluation law Cuomo passed as part of the 2015-16 state budget, are questioning the sincerity of the governor’s latest positioning on the effects of Common Core.“The blame game continues in NY,” blasts Jeanette Deutermann, a Long Island mother who co-founded New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE)—a coalition of 50 parent and teacher organizations who oppose the standardized tests—and created the popular “Long Island Opt-Out” Facebook page. “Governor Cuomo, the mastermind behind the evaluation system tied to Common Core assessments that is ripping our schools apart, now claims to want to play the role of hero.“What Governor Cuomo doesn’t understand is that that role has already been filled: by the hundreds of thousands of parents that have taken a stand against the high-stakes testing machine built upon Cuomo’s corporate reform agenda,” she slams. “As more talk of commissions and committees continue, our children, who have already slogged through four years of a reform nightmare, are facing yet another year of test prep, countless hours of assessments, and this failed CC experiment.“If the Governor was truly intent on saving our children, he would reverse his own laws immediately, and put the brakes on before another class of students is subjected to this insanity,” adds Deutermann.As for a commission review of the current system, Carol Burris, former principal of Southside High School in Rockville Centre and current executive director of the Network for Public Education Fund, is not convinced.“It is laughable,” she tells the Press via email. “Does the governor not remember that he had a Common Core Commission in 2014? It issued a preliminary report in March after meeting twice. His commission never issued a final report; and after those two meetings, the governor shut it down.“This is political posturing to try to curry favor with parents who are fed up with his education reforms,” continues Burris. “It is shameful. He is as responsible as any member of SED for the mess we are in today.”Mark Naison, professor of history and chair of African and African-American Studies at Fordham University and co-founder of the anti-Common Core coalition Badass Teachers Association, aka BAT, views Cuomo’s latest stance as a testament to the strength of the parent-led Opt-Out Movement.“The Cuomo statement reflects a sober recognition that the parent-led Opt-Out Movement is not only too strong to suppress, but that it is response to serious inequities, inequities and injustices surrounding testing in New York State,” he explains. “While the governor recognizes that some of these issues arise from the content of the Common Core standards, it is deeply troubling that he never mentions the toxic influence of using testing for the purposes of teacher evaluation.“The statement is therefore both incomplete and designed to drive a wedge between parents and teachers,” adds Naison. “Nevertheless, it is a testimony to the power of the Opt-Out Movement. It is a response to serious inequities, inconsistencies and injustices.”The battle for an efficient and effective education system in New York is far from over, the anti-Common Core activists warn.“On to the great Opt-Out 2016,” Deutermann proclaimed to “Long Island Opt-Out” members on the group’s Facebook page.
More and more often these days, I find myself reflecting on the lyrics of Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them.”“Down and out, it can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about; with, without, and who’ll deny that’s what the fighting’s all about; get out of the way, it’s a busy day and I’ve got things on my mind; for want of the price of tea and a slice, the old man died.”We find ourselves in a painful political cycle hell bent on pitting us against one another. And as if this political maelstrom isn’t challenging enough, I frequently find myself having to explain the pitfalls of “Us and Them” thinking to credit union folks. Personally, it’s frustrating, because I view credit unions as the original source of financial inclusion. After all, it was credit unions that championed providing access to affordable credit to the little guy.The topic usually surfaces during strategic planning conversations, and it’s usually with credit unions that are growth- (and identity-) challenged, and trying to find a target market where they can compete and win. Many credit unions define “us” as the people with good credit, good incomes – well-established prime consumers. Past strategies to compete with the best services and rates in very competitive markets have not been as successful as hoped. It’s usually at that point in the conversation that I bring up opportunities for serving emerging and underserved markets, like credit-challenged, lower-income, and Hispanic consumers. Then follow the “Us and Them” questions: “Do we really want to serve ‘those people?’ Why would we want to serve ‘them?’”Stephen Covey said, “seek first to understand, then to be understood”Covey has it right. It’s amazing how quickly barriers come down when well-intentioned people take a few minutes to first understand. When they do, they realize that not all credit-challenged consumers are deadbeats, and not all low-income people are waiting for a free handout. Many good credit union people are shocked when I share the average incomes or credit scores of the communities they currently serve. Nationally, more than half of all consumer credit scores are considered subprime, and 51 percent of all consumers make less than $30,000 annually. It’s time for a wake-up call: there are now more of “them” than of “us.” Now is the time for more “we.” After all, isn’t that why not-for-profit financial cooperatives were chartered? It’s a time for less judgement, and more innovation to figure out how we can more fully leverage our charters. It’s been my experience that “financial inclusion” nets greater results and is more rewarding than “convenient, friendly service and great rates.”My understanding of the complex issues surrounding modern-day poverty began in 2004, when my credit union brought in consultant Sandy Maynard to discuss poverty and income class-issues. She helped us break down walls, creating empathy and understanding among the staff. Hearing her words and personal experiences influenced me greatly. It was from that moment on that my credit union career focus shifted to one of greater financial inclusion. Sandy’s training and mentorship helped me understand why income classes make very different financial decisions. Having a better understanding of each group’s life experiences and values helped me identify areas of opportunity to reach out and serve more people. It’s been among the most rewarding work of my career, and it’s helped many of my credit union clients, many of whom are now among the fastest-growing and most profitable credit unions in the country. “We” is better. If your team could use more understanding, I highly recommend Sandy’s poverty workshop and group facilitation. It’s the perfect place to begin your understanding of the serious and complex economic issues currently facing our nation.Why it mattersPurpose – Real people’s lives improve when we begin to understand, and then we boldly act. When we extend credit to someone who is overlooked and underserved, accompanied by some type of development (training, coaching, education), they make their payments on time, and their credit score improves. When their credit score improves, they can get a better job, get better rates, pay less in insurance premiums, build assets, and buy a home. This is a much stronger brand-value proposition than better rates and fees. Is there a better explanation for our not-for-profit cooperative financial model? Our movement is founded on our acting to teach and lend to people the banks wouldn’t serve. Our model wasn’t built around having the lowest rate in town. I wonder when that mindset changed? Access to credit (and thrift) was our chartering cry. It’s in our roots, and it should still be in our DNA. It’s all about social purpose. “We” is better!Profitability and growth – The market is flooded with financial service providers who want over-served prime borrowers. That’s why so many credit unions are having a difficult time growing and thriving. So called “prime” consumers can go wherever they want to – and they do. It’s usually to the organization that has the greatest scale to leverage convenience, technology, and rate. Small and medium credit unions lack the scale to consistently and effectively compete in this type of market. To survive, they have to find a space or market where they can compete and win. Marketing 101 will tell you that you want to be number one, or at worst number two in your market. Being number 20 gets you nowhere. Today, there are hundreds of credit unions that have figured out how to profitably serve underserved markets, reaching lower-income, credit-challenged, and immigrant communities. No charity offered here. Remember, “not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” My perspective on service is more about access than being friendly and perky. The cool thing about these credit unions is that they are extremely relevant in their communities; they are thriving. Why? The communities and the people they serve need them.Preserving our charters – I believe the best path to greater legislative advocacy and victories is through financial inclusion. We’ll win more with “we,” meaning we should more closely align ourselves with the people others don’t want to serve and focus less of drawing a line between “us” and “them.”If you’re the least bit worried about the long-term growth and/or relevance of your charter – I recommend you take a closer look at any underserved or overlooked communities within your marketplace. If your organization has an “Us” and “Them” mentality – I highly recommend you first “seek to understand” and invite someone like Sandy to visit your team to share some insights and challenge your assumptions in this area. If you are truly committed to becoming more “We” focused, but are unsure how to be more inclusive and maintain profitability – send me an email and I would be happy to share with you best practices and references to assist you in this process. 81SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Details
46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Trae Turner As Marketing Director at Geezeo, Trae Turner (@creativetrae on Twitter, turner.trae on Instagram) oversees adoption marketing for Geezeo clients as well as manages Geezeo’s daily marketing projects, including driving … Web: https://geezeo.com Details Your credit union spends a lot of time and energy making sure your website and online banking presences are integrated and updated with the latest solutions your fintech partners can offer. After all, your primary goal is providing members with the best experience possible.But that’s just the first step to developing a powerful online experience for you and your members. Once you’ve integrated your digital solutions, it’s time to introduce the new product and its potential to your members.Everyone understands the benefits of great loan rates — that’s why they’re front and center on your new website — but showcasing or demonstrating the benefits of your new digital solution requires a different approach.The Importance of Adoption MarketingAdoption marketing is a powerful tool for marketers and it’s especially helpful when you’re launching a new online service or product. It’s the best way to get your members to experience and adopt a new way of working with you.And the best thing is, you’re not selling them anything – you’re actually giving them something that should make their lives easier and deepen the relationship between them and you.What you’re asking them to adopt are all benefits for them – even the fact that the better you know them, the better you can understand their needs and better target offers to them.As a financial institution, it’s extremely helpful to partner with fintechs that can provide adoption marketing support. You are not only hoping they can provide a platform and services that will be valuable to your members, but they should also be able to help you get those members excited about using their product. Look to them for resources like scenarios and case studies to help you create a successful adoption marketing strategy.You need an open, trustworthy relationship with your fintech partners, because if they’re not offering you help to attract your members to your site, then you’re going to be learning how to do this on your own. And that’s not really offering you the value that a fintech partner should provide.Your digital solutions are meant to reinforce your position of advocacy. When you empower members to be financially successful, your credit union is a partner in their success. And every part of the team needs their hands on the rope and pulling in the same direction.Create a successful adoption marketing program by following 3 simple steps.AwarenessStart by developing messages that illustrate how well you understand your members’ unique challenges, and how your digital solution directly addresses their needs by reducing friction in their financial life. This sets you apart from other FIs. Work with your fintech partner to find messages that will resonate with your members.Create a plan for all your marketing channels, including social images and copy, website messages, emails, in-branch merchandising, lobby monitor videos, and even print pieces like postcards or statement stuffers. Your fintech partners should be able to help with graphics and copy that you can adapt.Cross-sell your digital services by showing how they’re related. For example, your savings account page is the perfect place to insert a link to learn more about your personal financial management (PFM) solution. Demonstrate the value of your digital solutions by illustrating the direct results of using them. For example, a message in your PFM directed at members with outside auto loans — offering better loan rates — conveys that you understand their financial life and can bring useful, insightful offers to save them money.MotivationDevelop a blend of benefits and education about your new platform. Plan how front-line staff will show an online demo for members, and how you can include demos as part of your community financial literacy events. Your fintech partner should be able to provide a set of benefits and educational materials like videos, as well as web and social media content for outreach.Train your staff to become champions of your digital platform. Look for staff training resources and scenarios from your fintech partners that you can tailor to your credit union’s needs. You need to show that your most powerful tool – your people – are providing a new tech tool that adds value to their entire experience; it’s not a replacement, but an enhancement.Present a blend of benefits along with easy steps for them to get started. Provide links from online banking, social, or emails that lead users to a web page offering video and step-by-step instructions.EngagementEngagement is the fuel that keeps your digital solutions running. Consistency is key.Plan a year-round education and promotional strategy that highlights the unique reasons for members to explore your new online tools. Choose a specific feature or benefit of your digital platform each quarter, and focus your messages on that topic to keep your members educated and motivated.Use each opportunity to promote the benefits of your digital banking experience by reminding your members that all of these solutions help them be more financially empowered and successful.On your own, and in collaboration with your fintech partners, create member-focused marketing resources that demonstrate your credit union’s unique value proposition, so you can successfully build a flourishing adoption marketing program.If you want more information on how adoption marketing programs can work, please feel free to contact me.
A panel of credit union CEOs weighed in on the value human resources (HR) leaders provide when they step into the role as executive coach during the 2019 CUNA Human Resources & Organizational Development Council Conference Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif.Andrea Brewer, president/CEO at PremierOne Credit Union in San Jose, Calif.; Brandon Riechers, CEO of Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis.; and Mike Valentine, CEO of Baxter Credit Union in Vernon Hills, Ill.; shared their experiences using HR leaders as executive coaches.The three CEOs stress the importance of confidentiality the HR leader provides in a coaching role. But they also note their familiarity with the credit union, its executives, how the organization works, and what individuals need. continue reading » From left: Andrea Brewer, Brandon Riechers, and Mike Valentine. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
“I think of this as a dimmer switch, not an on-and-off light switch,” she said. “I think we need to close only those things that really are contributing to the spread, and really try to … as much as possible remain open, like schools, if they’re not contributing to the spread.”A handful of states and cities have started to implement tighter restrictions, including curfews, mask requirements and limits on group gatherings, ahead of the winter as scientists warn that the U.S. is entering what will likely be the “darkest days of the pandemic.”The U.S. has reported three consecutive days of record-breaking daily new Covid-19 cases, reaching a weekly average of 131,445 cases a day, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.Many infectious disease experts, including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, have tried to distance themselves from the term “lockdown,” suggesting the U.S. doesn’t have to resort to the widespread stay-at-home orders it adopted in the spring when the coronavirus first hit U.S. shores.When it comes to lockdowns, Biden has previously said he would listen to suggestions from scientists such as Fauci. The Biden-Harris Covid-19 plan, however, calls for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide communities with evidence-based guidance on when to close some businesses or schools depending on the degree of viral spread.“I don’t think a full lockdown is necessary nor would it be useful,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” on Thursday evening, saying he doesn’t agree with Osterholm’s call for a full lockdown.It would be beneficial to curtail some activities to wrestle coronavirus outbreaks, Jha said. Indoor dining at restaurants, gyms and casinos has become “a real problem,” though other activities, especially if they’re outside and people are wearing masks, can continue, he said.“A full lockdown is not what I would recommend at all,” Jha said. Osterholm later clarified his comments in an interview with NBC News, saying, “It was not a recommendation. I have never made this recommendation to Biden’s group. We’ve never talked about it.”A Biden transition official told NBC News that a shutdown “is not in line with the president-elect’s thinking.”Rather than adopting a comprehensive lockdown approach, Gounder told CNBC that state officials should focus on implementing tighter restrictions in regions of the country where there’s a high risk for the virus to spread, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, and aim to keep their schools open for students.- Advertisement – Two of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisors pushed back Friday on the idea of a national lockdown to suppress the coronavirus pandemic.“As a group, really the consensus is that we need a more nuanced approach,” Dr. Celine Gounder, who sits on the panel and is an infectious disease specialist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” adding that it was “not the opinion” of the group to institute such widespread restrictions across the U.S. “We can be much more targeted geographically. We can also be more targeted in terms of what we close.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to help lead the group, said national lockdowns were recommended in the spring when scientists didn’t know as much about how the disease spreads and people were less fatigued from the pandemic.“We’re not in a place where we’re saying, ‘Shut the whole country down,”‘ Murthy said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” advocating for a more targeted approach. “If we don’t do that, what you’re going to find is that people will become even more fatigued, schools won’t be open to children and the economy will be hit harder.”Their comments come after another Covid-19 advisor to Biden, Dr. Michael Osterholm, who serves as director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Yahoo Finance in an interview Wednesday that shuttering businesses for four to six weeks while paying people for lost wages could help suppress cases and hospitalizations to a manageable level.- Advertisement –
See also: At the University of California, Irvine, Alan G. Barbour, MD, will head a consortium that includes four other University of California campuses and 11 other regional universities and research institutions, the NIAID said. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said today that the two schools have been named “Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research (RCE).” Each school will receive about $10 million a year over the next 4 years to lead a regional research consortium. Barry J. Beaty, PhD, of Colorado State will lead a consortium that includes five other universities along with small-business partners. The consortium will also collaborate with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases operates in Fort Collins. The NIAID set up the biodefense research network in 2003 with grants to eight institutions: Duke University, Harvard Medical School, the New York State Department of Health, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston), University of Washington, and Washington University in St. Louis. The network’s mission includes developing and testing vaccines and “therapeutic and diagnostic concepts” and providing facilities and scientific support to first responders in case of a national biodefense emergency, the NIAID said. “The addition of these two new RCEs expands the networks scientific reach to cover some poorly understood diseases and new research needs,” the NIAID said. “For example, researchers in the new centers have expertise in equine encephalitis and other viral diseases that can be transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The centers also add expertise in hantaviruses, as well as in the development of diagnostics and animal models of disease.” Jun 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) A federally funded network of academic centers that do research on bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases has been rounded out with the addition of the University of California, Irvine, and Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Jun 1 NIAID news release
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Images from the scene showed a shallow body of water, thick with scores of the large slick-black creatures maneuvering for space, and rescuers wading in as they worked to refloat the whales in deeper passages.About 60 people — including volunteers and local fish-farm workers — are involved in the rescue attempt. Government marine biologist Kris Carlyon said “about a third” of the 270 animals were dead by late Monday, and that rescuing survivors would be a challenging task likely to take several days.But there were hopes Tuesday that efforts were already paying off, with at least 25 rescued and escorted to open ocean by boats, according to the official leading the operation. Topics : ‘Notorious whale trap’ Most of a 30-strong group of whales on a nearby beach were found dead Monday, though two were saved and released.About 60 others on the sandbar are also believed to have since died and Carlyon said it was “inevitable that we’ve lost more”, but a detailed assessment using infrared cameras from the air was planned for Wednesday.Once the whales are returned to deeper water, Carlyon said, the biggest challenge is herding the social creatures out of the sandbar-riddled harbor — and hoping they don’t swim back to the remaining pod.Scientists said it was unclear what caused the latest stranding, but Carlyon suggested the pod may have gone off track after feeding close to the shoreline or by following one or two whales that strayed.Karen Stockin, an expert in marine mammals at New Zealand’s Massey University, said Tasmania was a “particular hotspot” for pilot whale stranding in large pods.”It seems to be a notorious whale trap… you do tend to get these mass stranding events there,” she told AFP.Stockin said that while pilot whales were typically more resilient than other whale species, rescuers faced a race against the clock as the mammals can overheat, their muscles deteriorate and their organs become crushed outside their natural environment.”Time is never your friend,” she said. “So without doubt, the more expedited rescue missions are, the more likely there is an increased [chance] of survival.”Mike Double, the head of the Tasmania-based Australian Marine Mammal Centre, said it was “tragic” that such a massive pod had become stranded, but other whales had previously been saved from the same location.”The state team responsible for responding are extremely experienced and they’ll be absolutely working incredibly hard to get the best possible outcome,” he said. “We have now freed a small number successfully that appear to have stayed out at sea, and are now scaling up that approach,” Parks and Wildlife Service manager Nic Deka said.Though mass whale strandings occur relatively often in Tasmania, such a large group has not been seen in the area for more than a decade.The animals are only accessible by boat, limiting the number of rescuers who can reach them.They are battling chilly and rainy conditions as well as the harbor’s unusual tides, which are dictated by barometric pressure.”In terms of mass whale strandings in Tasmania, this is up there with the trickiest,” Carlyon told reporters in the nearby town of Strahan.However, Carlyon said many of the partially submerged whales should be able to survive for the several days it would take his team to complete the task, in part due to the inclement weather.”It’s pretty ugly for people on the ground but as far as the whales go its ideal — it’s keeping them wet, it’s keeping them cool,” he said.Carlyon said rescuers would still have to “triage” the whales, prioritizing the healthiest and most accessible. Rescuers raced to save nearly 200 whales stuck in a remote Australian harbor on Tuesday, hoping to minimize the death toll of a mass stranding which had already killed 90.Officials said at least 25 of the mammals had been freed so far.A large pod of long-finned pilot whales is currently stuck on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbor, on Tasmania’s rugged and sparsely populated west coast, scientists said.
The House of Representatives Legislation Body (Baleg) and the government have agreed to pass into law the controversial omnibus bill on job creation in the next plenary session on Oct. 8, despite mounting opposition from members of the public – particularly labor groups – in recent months.“[The bill] has been approved for the next stage of the deliberation,” said Baleg chairman Supratman Andi Agtas during a meeting with members of the government on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com.Supratman said seven House factions had conveyed their approval of the bill during the meeting: the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar, Gerindra, NasDem, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP). Two other factions – the Democratic Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) – objected to the bill, he said.Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, who was among the government representatives present during the meeting, said the government appreciated the speedy and “transparent” deliberation of the bill.He said the bill would improve bureaucratic efficiency and cut unnecessary red tape, particularly in regard to business permits and investments.Read also: Guide to omnibus bill on job creation: 1,028 pages in 10 minutesFurthermore, he claimed the bill would also be beneficial to the country’s workers, saying that the regulation would ensure safety nets for employees, such as new severance terms in the event of layoffs.Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia said last month the government had been preparing the implementing regulations for the articles in the bill that had been agreed upon by lawmakers.The government is trying to revise 79 prevailing laws and more than 1,200 articles with the omnibus bill. The bill, which is more than 1,000 pages long and contains 174 articles in 15 chapters, has faced a backlash from labor unions, observers and NGOs that argue it will jeopardize labor rights and weaken environmental protection, among other issues. (rfa)Topics :
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter December 20, 2019 Governor Wolf Announces $5.8 Million to Prepare Youth Reentrants for Good Jobs Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Workforce Development Governor Tom Wolf is investing nearly $5.8 million to provide young adults who were in the justice system with educational, training and skills-building opportunities to better prepare them for good jobs and successful careers that we need in Pennsylvania.“This investment will help those who have interacted with the justice system to get the skills they need for a good job and to build a career,” said Governor Wolf. “Education and job training are crucial to removing barriers to work so people can put their lives back on track and build a stronger workforce in Pennsylvania.“Expanding educational and vocational programs for reentrants is the smart thing to do and a priority for my administration. These grants are a step in that direction.”The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded $5.8 million for Youth Reentry Demonstration Project grants to 10 local workforce development boards (LWDBs). These programs blend academic and job training, provide connections to area employers in high-priority jobs, support mentorships, and forge connections to education and training.L&I Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today highlighted the $988,925 grant award for the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley (WBLV) at a press conference in Allentown, where she was joined by Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure, and local workforce, education and county judicial representatives.WBLV’s grant program will integrate the PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley workforce system into the justice systems of Northampton and Lehigh counties that provide referrals of incarcerated youth to re-engage into education, training and employment. Post-secondary education partners Northampton Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College will coordinate the education and training needs of participants, and the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance will provide expertise in employability and soft skills.“As Lehigh county executive, I am pleased that a coordination process has already been established for this grant, which will expand, enhance, and streamline connections between the justice and workforce systems to reengage young adults who were incarcerated or were subject to the justice system,” said Lehigh County Executive Phillips M. Armstrong. “Lehigh County fully supports the Lehigh Valley Youth Reentry Demonstration Grant.”The Youth Reentry Demonstration Projects will operate through March 31, 2022. The program supports engaging young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, who were incarcerated or subjected to the justice system, in a career path leading to postsecondary education, job training and gainful employment.“Northampton County and the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley already have a strong connection through the Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release program, a workforce system within the Northampton County Jail that prepares soon-to-be released inmates with career readiness skills,” said Northampton County Executive Lamont G. McClure. “This coordination process will be enhanced through the Youth Reentry Demonstration Grant, which will engage youth ages 18-24 into education, training, and employment.”“Reentry and reintegration are priorities for Governor Tom Wolf, who is focused on removing employment obstacles to help young adults overcome barriers to post-incarceration success,” said Deputy Secretary Cipriani. “Criminal justice reforms like the Clean Slate Law, coupled with the Wolf Administration’s workforce development initiative PAsmart, are part of the bold, innovative plans that Pennsylvania needs to build the strongest workforce in the nation.”The following 10 LWDBs received Youth Reentry Demonstration Project funds:The Berks County Workforce Development Board (Berks WDB) – A $500,000 grant was awarded to provide educational, social, and cognitive supports to reentrant and justice-affected young adults to prepare them for success in the registered pre-apprenticeship program to Berks Connections: Rebuilding, Reentrants and Reading (R3) Prep for Young Adults.Lackawanna Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant was awarded to the Lifeline to Success program to provide intensive, one-on-one case management services; adult mentoring; GED preparation and testing; occupational skills training; work experience; on-the-job training (OJT) opportunities and additional supportive services to increase employment opportunities for 75, 18 to 24-aged young adults in Lackawanna County.Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board (WBLV) – A $988,925 grant was awarded for the Lehigh Valley Youth Reentry Demonstration Project, to provide referrals of youth who were incarcerated or subject to the justice system, to re-engage them into education, training and employment.Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant was awarded forProject REAL (Reconnect, Engage, Advocate and Lead) to provide one-on-one mentoring and individualized services designed to alleviate barriers to employment to a minimum of 50 reentry young adults referred from the courts and other justice-involved organizations.South Central Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant was awarded to implement a Youth Reentry program that uses staff, mentorship, technology and post-release engagement to serve 24 incarcerated youth between the ages of 18-24.Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board – A $492,509 grant was awarded to the reSTARt Youth program to provide a platform for collaboration between workforce development services, the juvenile justice system, and service providers necessary for strategic removal of barriers faced by youth reentrants, and the vital continuum of care for successful, sustainable, gainful employment.Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant was awarded to the Youth Reentry Cooperative Network (YRCN), a collaborative project between the Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board and the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board. The program will provide post-secondary education, soft-skills training, and advanced training and will serve youth ages 18-24 from Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties who were incarcerated or were subjected to the justice system.Three Rivers Workforce Development Board – A $527,464 grant was awarded to create a partnership between Partner4Work, Allegheny County DHS, Auberle, Allegheny County Jail Collaborative and local programs targeted at foster care young adults. The program will provide young adults with justice system involvement opportunities for targeted workforce training programs that are tied directly to employers.Tri-County Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant was awarded for a youth reentry program for 30 young adults, ages 18-24 who were incarcerated or were subjected to the justice system to engage in a career path that leads to postsecondary education, advanced training, or meaningful employment.West Central Workforce Development Board – An $800,000 grant was awarded to a youth reentry program that will conduct needs assessments to determine skill sets and training gaps, need for supportive services, and training options, as well as literacy instruction, career exploration, and mentoring. Youth participants will be placed in paid work experience or on-the job training.The governor’s criminal justice reforms that help reentrants enter the workforce include Clean Slate, a first of its kind initiative helping those who have committed low-level offenses by removing potential roadblocks to jobs, housing, health care, and education. The Wolf Administration has also introduced A Fair-Chance hiring policy, “banning the box,” for state agencies that removes the criminal conviction question from non-civil service employment applications for agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction and eliminating driver’s license suspensions for non-driving infractions.Specific to youth, Gov. Wolf recently announced a bipartisan initiative with the General Assembly and the Pew Charitable Trusts to establish a Juvenile Justice Task Force to assess and report on the current justice system in the state as it pertains to serving youth. As well, Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order for the Protection of Vulnerable Populations engages state agencies and stakeholders to look at how we best serve youth in the juvenile justice system.Governor Wolf is also strengthening job training through his groundbreaking PAsmart program with a focus on skills for in-demand jobs. The governor has secured $70 million for PAsmart over two years, including $40 million for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and computer science education and $30 million for apprenticeships, career and technical education, and other job training programs.The Youth Reentry Demonstration Project is 100 percent funded through federal money made available from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.For more information about the Youth Reentry Demonstration Project awards, visit the Department of Labor and Industry website.To learn more about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit the PAsmart website.