United Way of Pennsylvania
UWP Update - January 19, 2018
Former Governors Mark Schweiker and Ed Rendell, and incoming United Way of Bucks County board chair Todd Alderfer from QNB Bank join the Pre-k for PA campaign to challenge all candidates and voters to prioritize Pre-k investments in the next election
Leaders ask "Why not PA?" so all at-risk 3- and 4- year olds gain access to high quality pre-k

A new report released this week shows Pennsylvania is in the bottom half of the 30 states who invest in high quality pre-k programs, ranked at number 18. Most of Pennsylvania's neighboring states, under both republican and democrat leadership, are beating PA by investing more in their 3- and 4-year olds through high quality programs. As candidates gear up for an election year in the key races of Governor, the state House and half of the state Senate, the Pre-k for PA campaign is asking "Pre-k works, so why not PA?". United Way of Pennsylvania joins the other principal partners of the campaign to urge voters to ask candidates where they stand on this issue. 

Influential business leaders and bi-partisan former governors Mark Schweiker (R) and Ed Rendell (D) are among the voices calling for a rapid increase in investments for high quality pre-k. Pennsylvania has come a long way from a state that didn't invest in high quality pre-k, to one where republican and democrat policymakers have joined together to provide an increase every year. However,  64% of at-risk PA kids are still missing out on this critical opportunity. 112,000 3- and 4-year olds don't get a do-over on an opportunity to have a successful academic career which leads to gainful employment. Business leaders are missing out on opportunities to develop human capital for their future workforce. And taxpayers are missing out on the return on investment of savings of $4 for every $1 the state invests in pre-k. 

The full report is available here, with more media events scheduled in south central, southwest and northwest Pennsylvania through the end of the month. 

PA 2-1-1 becomes designated phone access point for housing and homeless services in 33 county Eastern PA COC

As of Tuesday, January 23, four regional 2-1-1 centers will be participating in the Eastern PA Continuum of Care's coordinated entry system as the 24/7 access point by phone or text for individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Standard assessments will be performed during normal business hours and after hours the centers will refer to emergency services as needed. PA 
2-1-1 was selected as the contracted partner for 24/7 phone access for the whole region, and is one element in the coordinated entry strategy for a swath of counties that stretch from Somerset through Tioga and east through the Poconos, with the Lehigh Valley, Lebanon and Adams counties constituting the southeastern borders. 

All continuums of care were required to adopt a coordinated entry system in order to continue to receive HUD funding. In the eastern region 2-1-1 centers, as well as physical access sites in some communities, will utilize the same pre-screening and assessment tools. Individuals in need of services will be placed in a continuum-wide queue for the services that will meet their needs, ranked in priority by their situation as measured in the assessment.  

The project is launching with the 2-1-1 24/7 phone point of entry as well as some access sites and will ramp up with additional access sites and queue managers through the spring. 
Celebrate EITC Awareness Day on January 26th 
On Friday, January 26th, United Ways across the country will be celebrating EITC Awareness Day to highlight the Earned Income Tax Credit and the work United Ways are doing in communities around financial stability.  EITC Awareness Day is also a chance to advocate for opportunities to expand the EITC to include workers who are not currently able to claim the credit.  UWP and UWW have been working to expand the EITC to workers who are not raising children at home, and to young workers between the ages of 21-24.  We hope you will join us to help bring more awareness to this tax credit and the benefits it provides Pennsylvanians and our communities.

We have developed some graphics to be utilized on your social media accounts and UWW will be releasing messaging, to include social media posts, op-eds and more, early next week.  You can find these resources on our members' only site here.  UWP will also be sending this toolkit out to our full membership at the beginning of the week. 

If you have any questions on EITC Awareness Day or the materials, please contact Maggie ( maggie@uwp.org). 

United Way of Pennsylvania asks for Keystone Spirit of the United Way award nominees 

United Way of Pennsylvania is asking our member United Ways to please submit their nominations for the Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award. Members of the Tocqueville Society who meet the criteria can be nominated by their local United Ways. Each local United Way can nominate one individual or couple for the award. 


Award nominees must have an exceptional and sustained personal involvement with the United Way in the form of giving, advocating, and volunteering in his or her community and beyond its borders. The nominee's personal commitment (in addition to time beyond corporate involvement) to the voluntary system of human services and/or education should be demonstrated by their gifts of time and financial resources with United Way being the main focus of his or her efforts. Award nominees inspire others to serve by the quality of their performance.


The Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award will be presented on May 22nd, 2018 at a reception hosted by United Way of Pennsylvania at the Governor's Mansion in Harrisburg. We ask that all nominees be available to accept the award in person.


Nomination packets with instructions to be followed for submission will be sent out on Friday January 19, 2018 by the end of the day, and nominations will be due March 31, 2018. 


If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Barbarich, UWP member services coordinator, at amanda@uwp.org

Wolf to propose new overtime rules for Pennsylvania

Governor Wolf is proposing a three-step, four-year phased approach to increasing Pennsylvania's overtime requirements. Similar to a federal rule proposed under the Obama administration, it would increase the number of employees who must be compensated for overtime based on salary thresholds. The proposal, which was announced at a press conference this week, would increase the threshold to $31,720 per year as of January 1, 2020. The  threshold would be increased to $39,832 on Jan. 1, 2021, followed by $47,892 in 2022. After that, a triennial annual escalator based on a regional measure of the 30th percentile of weekly earnings for the northeast would be applied. 

Former President Obama attempted similar changes to the overtime rule, which were reversed by a federal court in 2017. The judge in that case found that such a rule change must consider both earnings and job responsibilities. United Way did not take a position on the federal rule change, recognizing that while increasing costs for the nonprofit sector, it also affects income stability work in communities. 

UWP's public policy committee will review the proposed state-level changes. Watch for additional updates from us in the coming weeks. 

2-1-1 Day press conference -  registration closes Feb. 2

Reminder,  registration  for UWP's PA 2-1-1 Day press event is open. We encourage you to invite your board members, volunteers, community partners and 2-1-1 partners to attend.  Registration will close on Friday, February 2nd, so please be sure to sign-up to attend before the cut-off

This press event will be used to celebrate  PA 2-1-1 Day and we hope you will be able to join us! The event will take place on Monday, February 5th at 10 a.m. in the Main Rotunda of the state capitol. We will be highlighting the accomplishments we have made with the PA 2-1-1 service over the past year and work to bring more awareness to the services available to Pennsylvanians through 2-1-1. Our legislative champions and other supporters will be speaking at this event to show their support. 

If you have any questions on the event, please contact Maggie ( maggie@uwp.org).  

New Executive Director at Greene County United Way 

Greene County United Way's new Executive Director, MaChal Forbes, started this week. Greene County is in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and is home to a population of just under 40,000.

MaChal Forbes graduated with her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. She has been working with non-profits for over fifteen years. Before coming on board at Greene County United Way, she was the Development Coordinator at the AAdvantage
The AAdvantage Foundation worked to raise funds and community awareness for its affiliated nonprofit agencies:
The Arc of Washington, Arc Human Services, and Residential Recovery services. 

MaChal has strong marketing and event planning skills and she will be using them to grow and strengthen Greene County United Way. The United Way team is fortunate to have MaChal joining us. You can reach her by email at unitedway@windstream.net. 

GenNEXT Ottawa agrees to present at UWP 2018 Statewide Conference

GenNEXT Ottawa is an innovative, long-term strategy for reaching out to young adults in their early 20s and 30s. It is a program run by United Way Ottawa. They are focused on building relationships and creating affinity with these community members to ensure that they are willing and able to partner with the United Way by donating their time and financial resources. GenNext is built on a vision of looking forward and moving boldly into the future.

GenNEXT Ottawa encourages networking, volunteering, and fundraising. They are encouraged to create lasting change in their community by partnering with United Way. United Way of Pennsylvania is excited for our local United Way members to learn more about this program and the principles behind it. The GenNEXT program will be sending representatives from United Way of Ottawa to present the program and answer our members' questions. They will be presenting at the opening general session on Thursday June 21, 2018.

For any upcoming conference information, please see the UWP website by clicking here and logging in to your UWP members only account. Registration will open later this winter. We look forward to seeing you in Erie on June 20-22, 2018! 

Gov. Wolf declares state of emergency for opioid epidemic

Last week, Governor Tom Wolf declared a state of disaster emergency with regard to the opioid crisis.  In 2016, 4,600 Pennsylvanians died of opioid overdoses, with that number climbing in 2017. 

In a press conference, Wolf stated, "While we have made progress in combating the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and drastically expanded Pennsylvania's response, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians."

This state of disaster can last no more than 90 days, which Wolf hopes will provide enough time to learn what is needed to better fight the epidemic.  He did state, if more time was needed he would see no issue with making another declaration. It is the administration's hope the declaration will allow for an increase in the ongoing opioid efforts throughout the state to expand access to treatment, improve tools for families and first responders to help save those impacted, and enhance the coordination and data collection to improve response.