Representatives Call On State To Release Funding For Child Care Providers

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by New York State Senator George Borrello’s Office.IRVING – State representatives from Chautauqua County called on New York State Thursday to release millions in federal dollars the state received from Washington D.C. to support child care providers so parents can return to work.Joined by child care professionals at the Lake Shore Family Care Center in Irving, Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell said the decision by Albany to withhold aid from Washington is slowing the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19.“Child care workers are essential workers,” Senator Borrello said. “At the height of the crisis, despite the risk to their own families, registered child care providers continued caring for the children of front-line and emergency workers, so those workers could provide essential goods and services to us and our families.”In April, New York State received $164.6 million in federal CARES Act funding earmarked to support child care programs and providers. Beth Starks, is founder and Executive Director of Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center, Assistant Professor and Early Childhood Education Coordinator at Jamestown Community College, and a member of the Governor’s Child Care Availability Task Force.Image by New York State Senator George Borrello’s Office.Starks said of the $164.6 million in CARES Act funding given the state, New York has allocated $95 million but has only released $30 million to child care providers. She said the state should at least release the $65 million in federal funds it has set aside for child care programs.“Pre-COVID, child care was in a crisis situation, preventing people from going to work,” she said. “We are in what’s called a childcare desert because there isn’t enough child care here in Western New York, or in much of New York State.”According to the Center for American Progress, 64 percent of New Yorkers lived in a child care desert (before the pandemic), which means that there are either no child care providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots.Starks said in the past four months, the situation has gotten much worse.“Over 50 percent of my colleagues in Chautauqua County have closed their doors,” she said. “Nationally, it is estimated that about half of them never will open again. We cannot re-open New York without childcare because there is nowhere for children to go and that includes children from infants all the way up through the teenage years.”Assemblyman Andy Goodell joined Senator Borrello in asking the state to release the funds.In a letter he sent Governor Cuomo earlier this year, Assemblyman Goodell asked the governor to follow the recommendations of his own child care advisors.Image by New York State Senator George Borrello’s Office.Assemblyman Goodell urged Governor Cuomo to release the aid “in a manner consistent with the recommendations of your Child Care Task Force headed by Sheila Poole, Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services, and Roberta Readon, Commissioner of the Department of Labor.”“Today I am joining Senator Borrello and Assemblyman Goodell and officials across the state in the Childcare Day of Action to call on New York State to release the CARES Act funding to local governments and child care providers,” said Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “We raised this issue months ago, when Counties were told the Governor was not aware that counties and local providers wanted the CARES Act funding. We requested Chautauqua County’s share of funding at that time, and now it is even more critical that child care providers have access to these funds as more parents are returning to work, and many schools are returning with instruction models requiring at least some days of remote-learning.”Senator Borrello said the care provided by professional child care workers is critical to Western New York’s resurgence.“These businesses are struggling now because their enrollment is down due to the pandemic,” he said. “The state needs to release the remaining CARES Act funding to ensure that our child care providers are able to deliver the critical service that is the foundation for the resurgence of our economy.”last_img read more

Vermont agency awarded $1 million grant to assist older workers find good jobs

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $10 million in funding to organizations that connect older Americans to career opportunities. Included is $1 million to Vermont Associates for Training & Development, Inc. The Aging Worker Initiative: Strategies for Regional Talent Development is designed to train workers age 55 and older for jobs in high-growth, high-demand industries, and increase the public workforce system’s capacity to effectively serve an aging worker population. The department also has launched a unique private-public partnership with the Atlantic Philanthropies, which will invest an additional $3.6 million in this effort. “Older Americans are an important part of the workforce, and their skills and experience are of tremendous value to our nation,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “With expanded education and training opportunities, such as those made possible through this grant, older workers can broaden their own career opportunities and further contribute to the growth of industries across the United States.” Ten awards of approximately $1 million each have been made to organizations in Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington state and Wisconsin. The grants awarded today target older individuals who have been laid off and are seeking re-employment; need to stay in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age but need training to increase their skills; and face other barriers to employment such as disabilities or low levels of English proficiency. As part of its investment in the Aging Workforce Initiative, the Atlantic Philanthropies has funded the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Council on Competitiveness to provide assistance to the grantees, and document and disseminate effective strategies to promote career opportunities for older workers. The ability to develop, attract and retain a well-educated and skilled workforce is a key factor in economic growth. Successful applicants recognized that older workers are a valuable, though often underutilized, labor pool that can meet the workforce needs of regional economies. Currently, 22.6 percent of the U.S. population is over the age of 55. “In the wake of the economic downturn, the impact of the Aging Worker Initiative is all the more important,” said Marcia Smith, senior vice president of the Atlantic Philanthropies. “This effort will create opportunities for older adults to work, support themselves and their families, and contribute to the reinvigoration of their local economies.” To access a fact sheet on the Aging Worker Initiative and information about the individual grantees, visithttp://www.doleta.gov/pdf/AWI_One_Pagers_Fact_Sheet.pdf(link is external). For information on the range of Department of Labor employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov(link is external). Editors Note: A complete list of award-winning organizations follows this news release.  U.S. Department of Labor Grants to Connect Older Workers to Career Opportunities Organization State Industry/Sector Amount Tecumseh Area Indiana Health care, Advanced $1,000,000 Partnership Manufacturing, Inc. Information Technology and Transportation Quad Area Louisiana Health care/Science, $1,000,000 Community Construction/Skilled Action Agency Labor, Energy, Inc. Transportation, Architecture/Engineering, and Financial and Administrative Office Support Coastal Counties Maine Health care and $1,000,000 Workforce Inc. Energy/Green Construction Baltimore Maryland Health care $967,005 Country Office of Workforce Development Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Demand occupations in $979,400 Workforce multiple industries Development Board Inc. South Central Pennsylvania Health care, $971,000 Workforce Information Investment Technology and Board Advanced Manufacturing Goodwill Texas Accounting and $999,949 Industries of Financial Services, Houston Inc. Health care, Computer Technology, and Specialized Construction Vermont Vermont Information $1,000,000 Associates for Technology, Finance Training and and Administrative Development Support Services, Inc. and Health care Seattle-King Washington Health care, $1,000,000 County Information Workforce Technology and Green Development Jobs Council Fox Valley Wisconsin Health care, $1,000,000 Workforce Telecommunications Development and Manufacturing BoardU.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov(link is external). The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visithttp://www.dol.gov/compliance(link is external).Source:  US Dept of Labor.  WASHINGTON, July 30, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

What I Learned Weeding the Appalachian Trail

first_imgOn the last day, a PATC crew-week veteran taught me how to weed strategically, how to direct traffic away from sloping ground or switchback shortcuts. In this way, we could heal the damage caused by the impulse of tired hikers. That day I also learned that weeding, whether whacking or lopping, is about maintaining a navigable trail—and protecting travelers from Lyme-carrying ticks. A properly maintained trail doesn’t preserve only a dirt path, it ensures the safety of those who use it, as well as the beauty it bisects. Like most things, it’s a balance. “The delicate task of a trail-builder … [is] to bring order to an experience that is by definition disordered,” Moor explains. “It is akin to catching a butterfly in your hands.” Too much intervention and the trail loses its wild allure, too little and there are consequences—for humans and nature alike.    Then it was on to swales, another way to move water off the trail by creating a trench and berm from dirt that’s already there. We worked so that after a few days of wind and water and footfalls, this drainage system would look like it belonged there, allowing whomever might pass a walk seemingly uninterrupted by human activity. According to Moor, the best trail work is “meticulous construction, artfully concealed.” Here’s hoping.  Next it was an eight-mile hike along a frothy stream to clear blowdowns, or trees that had fallen across the trail during a recent storm. Working with a crew from the National Park Service, we stopped at each roadblock and took turns with the crosscut saw. They instructed us to pull, never push, to let gravity and the blade do all the work. With the trees out of the way, hikers wouldn’t have to circumnavigate them, creating sloppy detours through sensitive flora.  The author (left) with a fellow trail crew member in Shenandoah National Park. Photo courtesy of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club If the tree in question has landed on a hiking trail, the answer is probably a trail maintenance crew. That night, as I stretched out on an old couch in the common room (my roommates were snorers) beneath an old bath towel (I forgot my sleeping bag), I wondered if my time would have been better spent elsewhere, where my labor could make a larger, more lasting impact. There were nine of us on the crew, hailing from every hill and dale and city block of the DC/Baltimore metro. There was a former Navy physicist, an electrical engineer, a retired lawyer, a nurse, and a Southern politician whose endless catalog of jokes filled awkward silences. Some of us were thru-hikers, most of us were not. Some of us were trail slugs (a term of endearment, I was assured), most of us were not. All of us were sharing the three rooms and one shower of an old CCC lodge, as well as the desire to do our part.  But by lunch on the first day, I felt unsure about the ROI of this volunteering gig. That morning I had spent three hours trailing two weedwackers, dodging kicked-up debris, and clipping overhanging branches along a mere 1.1 miles of the A.T. At the end of our slow march through the forest, the trail looked tidier to be sure, but what had we really accomplished in the grand scheme of things? In two weeks, the chickweed would reclaim its territory; the saplings would lean over the trail, ready to snag every weary backpacker who passed. “The brilliance of trails stems from the fact that they can preserve the most fruitful of our own wanderings,” says Robert Moor, in his 2016 book “On Trails.” Our own wanderings had brought us together in Shenandoah—not just the winding roads to Skyline Drive, but every walk in the woods we had ever taken. For many of us, hiking is often a solo excursion, but maintaining a trail is a team sport, one that requires a long roster and countless hours of coordination, planning, and sweating, all to ensure the trail’s very existence.center_img Among the oldest trail organizations in the country, the PATC was founded in 1927 by a group that included Myron Avery, one of the masterminds of the A.T. During its early days, the group scouted and constructed hundreds of miles of the trail through the Mid-Atlantic. Ninety-two years later, its volunteers are still walking those same paths, weedwackers and chainsaws in hand. The following day we were up early to build water bars (in layman terms: steps), carrying fresh-hewn logs up the mountain to bury in the earth and prevent erosion caused by unbridled rainwater. I’ve waddled on enough trough-shaped trails that this bit of work tingled with meaning.  Stop me if you’ve heard this one. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, who has to pick it up? To learn more about this work—and to amend the karmic imbalance I’ve created by hiking on many but working on zero trails—I signed up for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club’s annual summer crew week in Shenandoah National Park. Moor concludes his tome on trails by saying, “We are born to wander through a chaos field. And yet we do not become hopelessly lost because each walker who has come before us leaves a trace for us to follow.” Indeed, as the week wore on, I began to see the work differently. Tiny gestures, yes, but far from insignificant. With each drenched bandanna and stinging muscle and long car ride to another trailhead, it occurred to me what a labor of community a trail is. And I came to realize that working on the trail was more about sustaining an experience than maintaining a path. While I have never thru-hiked the A.T., I have walked on so many trails that delivered me somewhere nearer to the throbbing heartbeat of existence, where I could witness my small but startling place in this dazzlingly complex world. The impetus behind the grueling and tedious work of trail maintenance, I finally understood, is to make certain that others have those same transformative opportunities. The paradox of the trail is the paradox of being alive: we walk alone, on paths others have made for us.  There are 31 trail clubs that do similar work along the AT, and countless others on trails around the region. So, the next time you hear about a tree falling in the forest—literally or philosophically—consider joining your fellow trail slugs to help clear the way.last_img read more

Long Island Weather Likely Snowy This Week

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New Year’s Day is forecast to end in a winter storm on Long Island, where it is unclear how much precipitation may accumulate and whether it will be snow, sleet or rain.Partly sunny skies in the 30s on New Year’s Eve will drop below freezing Wednesday, when the chance of snow starts after sundown through the next two days, according to Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologists.“Likelihood is increasing for a prolonged period of snow and/or wintry mix late Wednesday night into Friday,” the agency said in a statement. “Several inches of snow are possible…particularly across the interior. Closer to the coast…accumulating snow could be accompanied by a period of sleet and freezing rain.”Snow is expected to start again before 2 p.m. Thursday before changing to a combination of snow, freezing rain and sleet when temps dip to a blustery 22 at night.The chance of snow continues on a windy Friday before mostly sunny skies return Saturday and Sunday, when temps are forecast to hit the 40s.last_img read more

Employment, Revenue & Economic Confidence Up On Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York There’s good news on the employment front, at least on Long Island, especially compared to past years.Long Island’s unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 3.9 percent in December 2015, down 0.5 percentage points from a year ago, according to Shital Patel, labor market analyst for the Long Island region at the New York State Department of Labor. Nassau County’s rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 3.7 percent, while Suffolk County’s rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 4.2 percent. By comparison, New York State’s rate was 4.7 percent and the national rate was 4.8 percent.Nassau County had the third-lowest unemployment rate in New York State, only Tompkins County (3.4 percent) and Columbia County (3.5 percent) were better. Since December 2014, private sector jobs in New York State grew third-most rapidly in the Nassau-Suffolk region (+1.9 percent), topped by New York City (+2.3 percent) and Orange-Rockland-Westchester (+2.1 percent). Statewide, the sectors recording the largest job gains were educational and health services, with 73,400 more since a year ago, followed by 27,000 in professional and business services and 26,700 jobs in construction. By contrast, the government sector lost 3,800 jobs, and manufacturing shrank by 2,400 jobs.On Long Island, the metrics show some bounce since the recession, according to several key indicators.In the first Long Island Business Leaders Survey, sponsored by The Long Island Association and conducted by Siena College Research Institute, 31 percent of the 248 CEOs in Nassau and Suffolk who responded to the poll said they plan to hire workers this coming year, while 9 percent foresee layoffs. “The spring is in the step of many of Long Island’s CEOs,” said Siena College Research Institute Director Don Levy. “Nearly four in ten are bullish about the future, while only one in five remain negative on the economy. Just under half, 48 percent anticipate revenue growth and 41 percent expect their profits to increase in 2016.”“The good news here is that the CEOs are more optimistic than pessimistic,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association. “They’re certainly more optimistic than they are in upstate New York.”Law cited the 3.9-percent unemployment rate as a figure that “most regions of the country would die for,” he said. He noted that sales tax revenues were growing in both counties, whereas half the counties in New York are seeing declines. “What I was glad to see, as a CEO myself, we recognize how valuable our workers are,” added Law. “They’re well educated and well trained. One reason the CEOs put up with some of the high costs of doing business on Long Island is because of our great workforce. They also like our environment because a bad environment is not attractive to the business community.” The Siena Survey only polled companies with sales between $2.5 million and $200 million.“I know it excluded a lot of small businesses,” Law acknowledged, but originally the cut-off was going to be $5 million and the LIA broadened the parameters.On the negative side of the balance sheet, the survey found few CEOs expressing much faith in government, whether state or local, for improving the business climate on Long Island. Ninety-two percent said that local municipalities do a poor or fair job of aiding business development here.“I’m not defending it,” said Law. “It just takes forever to get a permit approved.”He said there’s been progress at the county level but the local zoning boards have a lot of catching up to do.Despite all the red tape and other hassles, a majority of Long Island businesses are committed to remaining in the region as their confidence in the economy continues to increase, according to the AVZ 2015-2016 Economic Survey & Opinion Poll. Conducted by Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Company, P.C. (AVZ) in partnership with Long Island Business News, the results were formally presented at the HIA-LI 22nd Annual Economic Summit at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge on Feb. 11. The survey found 63 percent of the respondents saw an increase in revenue in 2015; 61 percent forecast some increase in revenue this year; 90 percent raised their prices for products or services last year; 86 percent granted raises of up to 4 percent to their employees (6 percent gave raises of 5 to 9 percent); and 46 percent of the companies plan to hire this year. More than half of the respondents have been in business for more than 30 years; 84 percent of the businesses have been operating for more than a decade.“The success and longevity of Long Island businesses are so vitally important,” said Terri Alessi-Miceli, president of HIA-LI, the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island, whose headquarters are in the Hauppauge Industrial Park, one of the largest industrial parks in the United States. “2015 proved that Long Island businesses are committed to remaining in the region, with a substantial increase for economic confidence, which this year received its highest rating since the recession began in 2008.”The researchers asked the respondents to rate their confidence in the Island’s economy on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most confident. The survey found that the businesses’ confidence level was 6.1 last year, compared to 4.9 in 2008. Since 1995, the highest rating was 7.2, reached in 1999 and 2000.Looking ahead, for the second year in a row the survey found that healthcare is regarded as having the greatest potential for growth on the Island, with 43 percent of the respondents being bullish on this sector’s prospects as compared to the next sector, technology, which garnered 34 percent.Those job findings don’t surprise Keith Banks, president of Lloyd Staffing, an employment agency based in Melville, who said that healthcare and technology are continuing to grow.“We do have a well-trained and skilled workforce,” he said. “What we haven’t seen is a particular organization that has come here or sprouted here that has had a ‘hockey-stick’ trajectory in terms of growth in its number of employees, going from 500 employees to 1,000 employees over the course of 12 to 18 months. We just haven’t seen that type of growth around a company or around an industry since the recession.”Banks is seeing “some momentum” in bio-tech, as companies nurtured in the Island’s incubators look to expand. “But it’s not out of the box growth,” he cautioned.Northwell Health, formerly North Shore-LIJ, is by far the largest employer on Long Island and the largest private employer in New York State, with more than 61,000 employees. There are 31,150 employees at their hospitals and facilities in Nassau and Suffolk—and that number is rising. “Our workforce will continue to expand on Long Island and throughout the metropolitan area in the years ahead,” said Michael Dowling, president & CEO of Northwell Health. “Every week, between 100 and 150 new employees join Northwell Health. Our growth area continues to be in the area of outpatient services, as more and more care is delivered outside the walls of our hospitals. Moving forward, there will be a much greater focus on managing the care of the people and communities we serve, rather than only treating them when they are sick or injured.”Nancy Engelhardt, founding director of the Energeia Partnership, the Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College, says the Island’s economy is “resilient” but it’s lost a lot of high-paying jobs and filling that need “remains a challenge.” But she’s not undaunted.“I’m very optimistic,” Engelhardt said. “I see a lot more partnerships and collaborations happening, and people coming out of their silos and talking about how to deal with a lot of the issues on Long Island together.”last_img read more

Mobile ecosystems among new CUNA E-Scan topics

first_imgCUNA released its annual credit union research compilation report Thursday, the 2015-16 CUNA Environmental Scan (E-Scan) Report.The report pulls together research on current trends happening in the credit union industry, and asks experts to share the most up-to-date data and information related to those trends.This year’s E-Scan covers the following trends:Mobile ecosystems;Apple Pay;The growing economy;Millennials and the credit union brand;High-performing leadership teams;Business intelligence;Member advocacy;Risk;Lending disruptors; andCyberthreats and information technology security.For mobile ecosystems, Mark Sievewright, president, Credit Union Solutions for Fiserv, discusses four areas that illustrate why credit unions must adopt this new way of conducting business. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, March 31

first_imgHe is determined to obliterate the political legacy of the first black man elected president. He is stuffing federal courts with partisan judges to impede investigations with impeachment potential.We are being led by an ignorant, self-absorbed, impulsive grifter. He praises our enemies and belittles our own intelligence experts while making decisions with global implications.Trump’s incompetence and poisonous intents endanger our nation at present and will haunt us long after he’s gone. Sadly to say, if asked the question: Is this the person you want for president of the United States, too many people would still say yes. George MilnerMechanicville Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump: Incompetent, poisonous influenceTrump’s tweets are more crazed than ever. The realization may be setting in that there aren’t enough xenophobic white nationalists to keep him in office in 2020.That must terrify him. Without political clout and the shield of pardon power he and various family members are at risk of prosecution for financial frauds that might have gone undetected had he not become president. In an ongoing Twitter feud with Trump, Kellyanne Conway’s husband recently pointed out that Trump displays all of the outward signs of narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders.The main themes of this administration appear to be derivatives of these mental disorders, as well as Trump’s inability to recognize his own incompetence. He stokes the bigotry and feelings of victimhood of his base supporters to earn their adoration. As a matter of pure financial self interest, he pursues policies that benefit the wealthy. Sharon Springs fails to protect farmingFor all of the talk about saving farms and farmland, Sharon Springs recently lost an opportunity to save a real farm and a part of its rural character.The town of Sharon’s subdivision regulations give the planning board ability to require a conservation subdivision under certain circumstances, as when New York Land and Lakes proposed subdividing the 320-acre Key Farm.The conservation subdivision could have set aside a substantial portion of the total 320 acres as a farm, while allowing the subdivision of the remaining land. Four members of the planning board chose not to require the subdivider to preserve a portion of the farm as a farm. Sadly, we were accused of trying to prevent the farmer from selling his farm, which we couldn’t have done even if we’d wanted to. We were trying to help him sell the farm, to another farmer.After the subdivision was approved and the Keys were paid $490,000 by New York Land and Lakes (according to the Schoharie County Office of Real Property), an Amish family became interested in the farm. The subdivider entertained selling the entire farm to them and showed it to them twice. When the family offered the subdivider $750,000, the subdivider said they’d have to make it $800,000. When the Amish family agreed to that price, the subdivider declined and said they wanted to sell the farm as lots. We wish Sharon Springs loved farming as much as we hear it does.Scott and Kathie RyanGeorge and Kathy CraftRichard Van DykeJohn FunicelloSharon Springscenter_img But the best part was watching the diverse group of students who brought out the best in each other on their stage.It was a glimpse into what we could be as a society to see such support from the student body and the parents and grandparents all sitting there together watching this great show that took so much work and practice.Should we ever wonder why the music and drama departments are so needed in our schools today? When it comes time for budget votes, we should always remember how these students, no matter their place in the school, were all equal for two days on the stage, and all their hard work was appreciated by all the students as well as the community.There are very few areas in our schools today that can achieve this. Again, thank you for a wonderful time Scotia-Glenville drama and music.Denise CrisciScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Play reinforces need for arts in our schoolsIt was our pleasure to have the opportunity to see “Mamma Mia “at the Scotia-Glenville High School this past weekend.The show was fantastic, the dance routines great and the vocals were spot on.last_img read more

Nordic by nature

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Nicolas Pepe makes admission about his Arsenal career and reveals advice from Mikel Arteta

first_img Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 18 Jan 2020 11:06 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3kShares Comment Advertisement Nicolas Pepe makes admission about his Arsenal career and reveals advice from Mikel Arteta The Ivorian star has endured a mixed spell at the Emirates (Picture: PA)‘In fact, I must do more, and that is certainly something I will be looking to improve on during the second half of the season.ADVERTISEMENT‘The hardest period so far for me was when the team went through a difficult spell when we weren’t managing to win a game.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘We worked hard as a team throughout this time and we finally managed to get that victory at West Ham last month, which was an important moment for us and the fans.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityPepe, 24, started his Arsenal career under Unai Emery but is now working under his replacement, the former Manchester City assistant Arteta.‘The manager has stressed the importance of defending well as a team, and making interceptions when our opponents are trying to attack,’ Pepe said on Arteta.‘He’s shown that he has real confidence in me, and he knows exactly what I’m capable of.center_img Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal in a club-record deal worth more than £70m (Picture: Getty)Nicolas Pepe admits he ‘must do more’ for Arsenal following his £72million move from Lille and has revealed the advice he has received from new boss Mikel Arteta.Arsenal club-record signing Pepe has scored three goals and made three assists from 19 Premier League appearances to date.Discussing the start to his career at the Emirates, the Ivory Coast international said: ‘I’ve done OK, but I can certainly do more. Advertisement Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery last month (Picture: Getty)‘In terms of working on my own game, he wants me to get into one-on-one situations, get crosses in, score goals and get assists, of course.’Arsenal are just tenth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s home match against Sheffield United but Pepe insists the Gunners can still secure a top-four finish this season.‘It’s going to be difficult, but it’s not impossible,’ he told Sky Sports.‘Looking ahead, our sole focus is on getting a win in our home game against Sheffield United, and in general we have to stop dropping points and making silly mistakes.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves‘I missed a very good chance when we played them earlier in the season, but I’ve managed to score other opportunities that I’ve had.‘It’s not something I’ve thought about since then – on the day, it was a chance that would’ve given us a 1-0 lead, but I’ve put it to the back of my mind.‘All players miss opportunities, but I know the goals will come – that’s part of football. I’m ready to put it right in the match on Saturday.’MORE: Layvin Kurzawa agrees deal to join Arsenal from Paris Saint-GermainMORE: Mikel Arteta reveals the moment he knew Reiss Nelson would be an Arsenal starlast_img read more

Bipartisan Budget Bolsters Economy, Workforce through Education, Skills Training

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Bipartisan Budget Bolsters Economy, Workforce through Education, Skills Training Budget News,  Economy,  Education,  Environment,  Healthcare,  Human Services,  PAsmart,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Public Safety,  Seniors,  Substance Use Disorder,  Transportation,  Workforce Development Wolf Makes First Deposit in the Rainy Day Fund Since 2005-06, Turns $2.4 Billion Deficit Into SurplusHarrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf outlined the major components of the budget that will build upon the critical investments made in education and workforce development and take a major step towards restoring the state’s fiscal health, including the first real transfer to the state’s Rainy Day fund in years.“Throughout my term, I have fought hard for Pennsylvanians and moved the commonwealth forward by investing in workforce training to help all Pennsylvanians succeed in our economy, increasing education funding to give our students the education they deserve, and expanding options for Pennsylvanians to have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Wolf. “This year’s bipartisan budget continues to increase opportunities for all Pennsylvanians and shows the results of our hard work to get our finances under control.”Under the leadership of Governor Wolf, state government has invested in programs important to Pennsylvania families, including education, transportation, senior programs, environmental protection, and health care programs, and has saved $2 billion by streamlining government to better serve Pennsylvanians.Governor Wolf signed the General Appropriations bill today after months of negotiations with bipartisan legislative leaders.Highlights of the budget include:Continuing Investments in Education and Workforce DevelopmentGovernor Wolf has steadfastly fought to fund Pennsylvania’s schools and invest in workforce development. The budget builds on prior-year increases to provide an additional $313.5 million to improve education opportunities for every student across the state, regardless of zip code, and further ensure we have a workforce ready for the 21st century. Among other investments, the budget accomplishes the following:Provides an increase of $189.6 million for Pre-K through 12, including $25 million for Pre-K/Head Start, $100 million for Basic Education Funding, and $10 million for Career and Technical education.Increases funding for higher education, including additional investments in Pennsylvania’s community colleges, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and the state-related universities.Invests more than $61.4 million for school and community safety, including a $1.4 million increase for the Safe Schools Initiative.Maintains $1 million in grant funding for It’s on Us PA to address campus sexual violence.Launches the governor’s PAsmart initiative to align workforce development efforts across commonwealth agencies to more efficiently deliver services for all Pennsylvanians, which will prioritize $30 million for investments in computer science and STEM education programs and expand apprenticeship and industry partnerships.Turning a $2.4 Billion Deficit into a SurplusOver the past three years, Governor Wolf has taken a massive structural deficit and turned it into a surplus, putting money in the Rainy Day fund for the first time since 2006.The Administration reduced commonwealth staff complement by over 1,700 positions to the lowest level in more than 40 years, reversing a trend of complement increases in prior years without the use of furloughs.The Administration has identified more than 300 projects generating nearly $400 million in cumulative budget savings, using Lean practices to find savings, address backlogs, improve workflow, increase quality, and meet the needs of customers.Medicaid Expansion has provided health care to more than 720,000 people, while saving the commonwealth more than $700 million annually.The corrections population has declined from 50,904 to 48,341. This net reduction of nearly 2,600 individuals has allowed the commonwealth to reduce its footprint and reverse years of spending growth. SCI Pittsburgh, one of the commonwealth’s oldest and most functionally inefficient facilities, closed in 2017.The Administration fully funded the contributions for SERS and PSERS. While funding levels will remain high for many years until the unfunded liability has been fully repaid, annual increases in these payments have been significantly reduced by pension reform.The Administration undertook agency consolidations, including merging human resources and information technology services for all executive agencies, merging the Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, and consolidating administration functions across all four human service agencies.Increasing Opportunities for Women and Families and Protecting the Most VulnerableThe budget continues the work of the past three years by making further investments in programs that support women and families and increases services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism.Among other investments, the budget accomplishes the following:Increases funding for child care services by $6.8 million, paired with $50 million in federal funding. The $6.8 million will serve another 1,100 on the child care waiting list. The $50 million in federal dollars allows the state to adjust the base rate of pay for child care providers, ensuring fair wages for all four “STARS” levels of care after a lengthy wage freeze on Levels 1 and 2. This enables not only fair wages, but increases the possibility of hiring highly qualified employees.Increases funding by $5.3 million for community-based family centers, which includes:$4.5 million to provide home-visiting services for families affected by opioid use disorder.$800,000 in increased rates for home-visiting providers. June 22, 2018 Provides $1.2 million to increase rates for the nurse-family partnership program.Provides additional investments to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism, including $16 million for an additional 965 individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism to access waivers to provide supports and services so they can remain in their home and community. Of those 965, there are 800 June 2019 graduates who, for the first time, will be able to receive waivers for services upon graduation rather than wait until September as had been the practice. This relieves significant worry for parents who previously needed to find care for their children in the gap between June and September.Provides $2.5 million for Lyme disease awareness, prevention, and surveillance.Provides $2.35 million to process additional birth certificate requests and reduce processing times.Keeping Pennsylvania Safe and Protecting the EnvironmentThe budget increases funding for public safety and allows for increased protections for Pennsylvania’s natural resources and agriculture industry. Among other investments, the budget accomplishes the following:Provides $6 million for the Pennsylvania State Police pilot program to purchase body-worn cameras.Provides $43 million for the communication and infrastructure purchases to continue the modernization of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Radio System and comply with federal requirements.Invests additional funding to train three State Police Cadet classes.Provides an additional $2.5 million to enable the Department of Environmental Protection to fill 35 mission critical positions throughout the agency, which will increase responsive oversight and improve customer service.Includes $3 million in new funding to increase Spotted Lanternfly detection, control, and eradication efforts to protect Pennsylvania business and agriculture.last_img read more