May. 17, 2019

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Resources for Those Affected by Wood-Mode Closure
I am deeply shocked and saddened by the abrupt closing of Wood-Mode. As the county’s largest employer, this is sending shockwaves throughout the county and to surrounding areas as well.

To those affected by the closing, your state government is here to help you in any way we can. The Department of Labor and Industry’s Rapid Response Services team has arrived and is mobilizing locally to provide Wood-Mode workers and their families with information about unemployment insurance, health and pension benefits, financial credit counseling, training programs, job search activities, education services and social service programs. The information will be presented by the Rapid Response Services team on Tuesday, May 21 at 10 a.m. at Susquehanna University’s Weber Chapel Auditorium

For an informational guide on the Rapid Response team, click here.

For assistance applying for Unemployment Compensation benefits, contact the Snyder County CareerLink at 570-988-7300 or visit them in person at 225 Market St., 3rd Floor, Sunbury.

Please also note that to meet UC program requirements you must register for employment-search services offered by the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system at within 25 days after filing an application for UC benefits.

For any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your state government officials. Those needing assistance can contact:

My district office in Sunbury at 570-286-5885 or toll-free at 1-800-924-9060, my district office in Milton at 570-742-6975

Sen. John Gordner’s district office in Shamokin Dam at 570-743-1918.

Rep. Fred Keller’s district office in Mifflinburg at 570-966-0052.

Employers Reach Out in Wake of Wood-Mode Closure
Many employers across Pennsylvania, and some beyond, have reached out to post job openings in response to the Wood-Mode closure. A developing list of potential employers can be accessed here.

Fortunately, the PA CareerLink already had a job fair scheduled at the Selinsgrove VFW for Wednesday, May 22nd. After Monday’s announcement of the plant closure, many new employers registered for the event. Additionally, the hours for the event have been extended and it will now be open to everyone from 1pm – 5pm.
Currently a second job fair specifically for the dislocated Wood-Mode employees is being planned for the week of June 3rd. As more information is becomes available, we will publish it on our website, Facebook page, and through our weekly email.

Addressing the Need for Childcare Options
Last Friday, I attended a roundtable discussion focusing on access to quality childcare options in Pennsylvania. There is a severe lack of access to quality childcare options, and it is taking a toll on parents.

According to a study done by the Early Learning Investment Commission (ELIC) and ReadyNation, lack of quality childcare forces 60% of working parents to become distracted while working, leave work early or miss a full day. Of these parents, 15% say they’ve been reprimanded, and 10% have been fired.

The governor’s budget proposal includes increased funding for infant care and early education initiatives. State government believes that investing in early education for our children pays off in the future, as well as helps working parents in maintaining their careers while also raising a family.

With me at the childcare roundtable discussion were Ryan Riley, executive director of the ELIC; Steve Doster, state director of Ready Nation; Bob Garrett, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; Norm Rich, former president and CEO of Weis Markets; and J. Donald Steele Jr., president and CEO of Northumberland National Bank.

American Lung Association Turquoise Takeover
The American Lung Association (ALA) held its Turquoise Takeover event in the Capitol this past Tuesday as part of this year’s National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18).

The event marked the fifth anniversary of their LUNG FORCE initiative, while also raising awareness of the work that must still be done in order to defeat lung cancer.

Thank you to the ALA for hosting this event in the Capitol, and to all those who came out to show their support!
                                      At the ALA Turquoise Takeover.

Advocating for Senior Citizens
I met with Stuart Shebest, administrator of Manor Care Sunbury to discuss how to best serve the needs of our senior citizens. We discussed options to deliver the best care possible as well as the need to increase Medicaid funding.
With Stuart Shebest, administrator of Manor Care Sunbury.

Supporting Our National Guard Members and Their Families

Recognizing the sacrifices made by the families of PA National Guard Members, the House approved legislation to provide them with education benefits.

House Bill 1324 would extend our current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a Guard member’s spouse or child in this benefit program.

The benefit would pay for 10 semesters/quarters, or five years equivalent, at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tuition rate.

The Guard member could earn these educational benefits for his or her spouse and/or children by committing to a second obligation of six years with the Pennsylvania National Guard. This would help retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania while also supporting Guard families.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
Working to support peoples struggling with depression or other mental health conditions, the House recently designated May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth.

Mental illness is not always visible, but it affects Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. This invisibility can make people feel isolated and unable to share their experiences.

Only about half of people impacted by mental illness seek treatment, and too many people struggle in silence. It is important that all Pennsylvanians understand mental illness is a biologically based disorder that requires medical attention.

You can learn more about mental health and services available in Pennsylvania by clicking here

Fish for Free Next Weekend
If you’ve been thinking about trying fishing or wanting to introduce your child or a friend to the joys of fishing, you’ll have a great chance to do so next weekend!
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will host the first of its two annual Fish for Free Days next Sunday, May 26.

On Fish for Free Days, anyone -- resident or non-resident -- can legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways without a license.

All other fishing regulations will still apply.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.

The second Fish for Free day is scheduled for Thursday, July 4, 2019.
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Office Locations
106 Arch Street, Sunbury, PA 17801 | (570) 286-5885 | 1-800-924-9060 | Fax: (570) 988-1627
402B Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202108, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2108 | (717) 787-3485 | Fax: (717) 782-2892
TTY: 855-282-0614