United Way applauds PPL
Patrick Ward, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Hazleton, said PPL and its local employees gave $106,397 to the United Way in the past year, including a $15,000 contribution through the Earned Income Tax Credit program.
“Once again, we’re gratified by the overwhelming support we received from PPL,” said Ward. “The employees and the company have been major supporters of our United Way going all the way back to our organization’s earliest days. … We could not continue to perform the important work we do without them.”
In Hazleton and Schuylkill counties, PPL consistently is among the United Way’s top contributors to the annual giving campaigns. Companywide, PPL, its employees and retirees give $2 million each year to the United Way agencies throughout PPL’s service territories.
In addition to monetary contributions, PPL employees volunteer hundreds of hours at the many agencies the United Way serves and also are involved in the agency’s Day of Caring, during which volunteers from organizations such as PPL visit United Way member agencies and other places throughout the community to offer their services.
School safety on agenda
Because a Feb. 13 joint state Senate hearing on school safety raised many questions about emergency planning in child care centers, buses and colleges, a second hearing will be held today to explore strategies for protecting infants, toddlers, college students and staff in these venues.
The first hearing included experts who discussed the benefits of armed guards, school resource officers and additional training and drills. The follow-up hearing will again bring together the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Sen. Lisa Baker, R- Lehman Township, and the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon.
The hearing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. in North Office Building, Hearing Room 1, Harrisburg, and can be viewed at www.senatorbaker.com and www.senatorfolmer.com.
Job Corps hearing held
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, released the following statement after holding a hearing Tuesday on the Job Corps budget shortfall:
“Jobs Corps plays a critical role in helping at-risk youth to be competitive in the workforce. … While the Department of Labor has provided some insight into the budgetary gap, more needs to be done to rectify the inadequate financial management of this valuable program. We should not allow bureaucratic mismanagement to prevent our qualified young people from getting the training they need to obtain good jobs. ”
Casey said he called for the hearing as a first step in providing a measure of accountability at the Department of Labor for recent shortfalls.
The department recently announced an enrollment freeze at Job Corps Programs around the country, which Casey said will cost 400 jobs in Pennsylvania and prohibit the ability of at-risk youth to receive critical job training skills.
Pennsylvania has four Job Corps sites in the state, including one in Butler Township, that provide disadvantaged youth with skills needed to secure a good job, enter the Armed Services or further their educations.