In This Update:
Honoring the Life and Service of Senator Dave Arnold
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing this week of my friend and colleague Senator Dave Arnold, who served residents of Dauphin, Lebanon and York counties. Although his time both in the Senate and in this world were much too short, he earned an incredible reputation as a leader and a fighter for the causes he believed in.
His legacy will live on for years to come based on his dedicated work on behalf of his constituents, especially the progress he made toward protecting Pennsylvania’s children from being abused and exploited. Dave’s character, advocacy and professionalism will be sorely missed in Harrisburg.
Our Commonwealth is a better place today because of his efforts. Please join me in praying for all those who knew and loved him, including his wife, Alicia, and his daughter, Reese.
Senator Mensch Announces Knoll Inc. Expansion into Montgomery County
Knoll Inc. will be expanding its operations in Pennsylvania. Knoll has taken a three-step relocation approach which began in 2020 and will continue through 2021. The relocation began with the textile team from East Greenville moving to a new facility in Quakertown, as well as the relocation of a manufacturing line from its Michigan facility to its East Greenville facility. In addition to this, they will also be relocating and expanding their Allentown location to a site close to the East Greenville location.
I am extremely pleased that Knoll Inc. has decided to continue its relocation into Montgomery County. With the creation and continuation of new jobs in the area, our communities can continue to grow and thrive.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration and information is now available.
A guide about how to get the COVID-19 vaccine is now on the Department of Health website, which can be found here: https://www.pa.gov/guides/get-vaccinated/.
Berks County vaccine information can be found at https://www.doyourpartberks.com/covid-19-vaccine-information. To locate a COVID-19 vaccine provider and schedule your vaccination appointment, visit https://www.health.pa.gov/…/COVID-19-Vaccine-Providers…. If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccines, you can call the PA Health Hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
Bucks County has posted COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration information on their website. Visit https://buckscounty.org/…/CoronavirusInfo/VaccineInfo for more information. For any questions regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations you can email COVID19@buckscounty.org or call 215-345-3318.
Montgomery County has posted COVID-19 vaccine FAQs on their website, along with COVID-19 vaccination registration. Visit https://www.montcopa.org/3660/COVID-19-Vaccine for more information. Any questions or concerns regarding the vaccine registration must be directed to the Montgomery County Office of Public Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-278-3000.
PA Department of Labor & Industry Grants
The PA Department of Labor & Industry announced the availability of $4.5 million in Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) to support local programs across Pennsylvania that enhance foundational digital literacy skills for job seekers and help provide increased access to employment opportunities.
SAVE THE DATE: PNGAS Virtual Job Fair
The Pennsylvania National Guard Association will be hosting a series of virtual job fairs in the upcoming months. The next job fair is January 27, 2021, in which you’ll be able to explore the available information and opportunities, and participate in 1-on-1 text-based chats with representatives from participating organizations.
Impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias? SBA Can Help!
The Small Business Administration has announced that Pennsylvania businesses and residents affected by Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 4, 2020, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Disaster assistance is also available for private nonprofits.
For more information visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
PHEAA is offering two webinars throughout January – one on Understanding the Financial Offer/Award Letters and the other on Understanding Student Loan Differences.
Many students and families are receiving their offers, or have, and also want to understand option for paying their balances. Both of these webinars will address those questions.
Are you raising a grandchild or other family member as a result of the opioid epidemic? Join the Penn Foundation for a FREE educational series.
Penn Foundation is inviting individuals to the following educational support group sessions. This series will be held via Zoom on consecutive Tuesdays from 6:30pm-7:30 pm. You may pick and choose which sessions you attend; you do not need to attend them all. To register, visit: https://www.pennfoundation.org/events/.
Department of Health Updates Vaccine Distribution Plan
My offices have received many questions about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health recently updated its vaccine distribution plan to include older Pennsylvanians and individuals with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
The new plan expands vaccine eligibility to include Pennsylvanians age 65 or older, as well as state residents who have conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cancer, sickle cell disease, chronic kidney disease or other specific medical concerns. Vaccine supplies are currently limited. A map of vaccine providers is available here.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, but is recommended by public health officials. The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers information to help state residents make an informed choice on whether to get the vaccine, including a special section on its website regarding vaccine safety.
Hearing Explores Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine in Rural Areas
Last week, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania held a hearing to gather more information on the challenges facing the state in terms of delivering and administering the vaccine in rural areas.
The hearing focused on the need to build trust around the safety and necessity of vaccines; communicating how, where and when residents can get vaccines; and making sure there are sufficient staff and funding to administer and distribute vaccines.
Schools Set to Receive Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding
The COVID-19 relief bill approved by Congress in December included more than $2.2 billion in funding to Pennsylvania school districts and charter schools affected by the pandemic. Local education agencies can apply through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to receive their share of funding.
Senate Returns to Session Next Week
The Senate will return to session next week beginning on Monday. A complete schedule of committee hearings and meetings is available here, and all of the meetings and floor activity will be streamed live at www.pasenategop.com.
Applications Available for Recreation and Conservation Grants
Local governments and conservation organizations can apply now for grants to support parks, recreation and conservation projects. The grants are funded through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Fish and Boat Commission Announces Photo Contest
Have a special fishing or boating moment captured on camera? The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently announced its 2021 photography contest that showcases the state’s anglers, boaters, waterways and aquatic resources.
The deadline for entries is August 31. Contest rules, prize information and entry details are available on the PFBC website.
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