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UWP Update - March 15, 2019

Now recruiting AmeriCorps VISTA Members for United Way project sites in Pennsylvania 

Our Pennsylvania network has open VISTA Positions all over the state where passionate, service-minded individuals can make a difference. These positions focus on a wide variety of areas that make a positive impact in the community such as addressing food security, public health, and education. 

UWP has created a landing page on our web site for potential candidates to find more information. It includes an explanation of compensation and benefits, as well as a position description for each opening. These service opportunities will help communities build capacity to reduce poverty through early learning and after school programs, 2-1-1 outreach, emergency safety net programs, and responding to the opioid epidemic. 

UWP is also seeking a VISTA Team leader. Candidates must have completed at least one full term of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps state/national, AmeriCorps NCC, or the Peace Corps.  


United Way template for comments on proposed SNAP work requirement rule 

As many of you are aware, at the beginning of February the USDA proposed a rule that would take away state flexibility and reduce access to SNAP by limiting the use of state waivers on time limits for individuals still seeking work.  Currently, SNAP has work requirements in place and certain segments of SNAP participants looking for work have time limits.  Most states (33) can waive these time limits in areas of high unemployment or where there is a lack of jobs. The proposed rule, would restrict the ability of the states to issue these waivers in order to "promote self-sufficiency".  Specifically, the rule is looking to amend the regulatory standards used to evaluate state requests to use their waivers and end the unlimited carryover of ABAWD percentage exemptions.  If you would like to hear more in depth about this proposed rule, please listen to UWW's webinar recording from minute 31 to minute 42. 
 
The proposed SNAP rule is expected to impact 755,000 current SNAP participants, who would lose their benefits completely.  In Pennsylvania, 13% of our residents are food insecure, which is roughly 1.6 million people.  That is why programs like SNAP matter in PA.  SNAP helps 1 in 7 Pennsylvanians put food on the table.  This proposed rule could have damaging impacts on the people in our communities who rely on this program to feed their families.   
 
The USDA has opened up a public comment period for individuals and organizations to submit comments on the rule.  UWW has written a comment letter opposing the proposed rule and has also created a template letter for local United Ways to use.  UWP will be submitting comments and we highly encourage your United Way to do the same! In fact, please pass this template on to your community partners, board members, and donors to encourage them to submit comments as well.  In cases such as this, volume matters!  Now is the time to stand up for SNAP and protect the Pennsylvanians who are in need of food assistance! 
 
The deadline to submit comments is Tuesday, April 2nd.  You can submit your comments here.  If your United Way decides to submit please send a copy of your comments to Maggie.  Once UWP has submitted our comments we will share them with our membership. 

Highlights from 2018 National 2-1-1 Big Count 

United Way Worldwide released a summary of the 2018 Big Count survey results reported from 2-1-1s across the country. The full analysis is available here 
  • 2-1-1s received in the U.S> received 11.6 million calls and 1.02 million texts, chats, and emails for assistance 
  • Top 3 Needs Nationally: Housing (2.69 million), Utilities Payment Assistance (1.88 million), Food (1.27 million) 
  • 285K+ Veterans served 
  • 400K+ Conversations held in Spanish 
  • 145K Calls/Requests related to suicidal ideation & suicide prevention 
  • 11K Calls/Requests related to human trafficking 
  • 75K Calls/Requests related to domestic violence & relationship abuse 
  • 350K Calls/Requests for tax prep assistance 
The PA 2-1-1 network made nearly 108,000 connections to address and prevent homelessness. We also made more than 13,000 connections to reduce hunger. Pennsylvania 2-1-1s also reported more than 23,000 connections to tax preparation services, including VITA. These needs are the most frequent reasons why Pennsylvanians contact 2-1-1 for help.

Register to attend Governor's Early Learning Summit 

Don't miss an opportunity to learn, network and collaborate on early learning policy, research and investment strategies at the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission's 11th annual Early Learning Economic Summit on April 30th in Harrisburg.   
 
Every year the Economic Summit brings together business leaders, policy makers and community leaders to examine the latest research and policy developments in early learning. This year's event focuses  on "Building the Workforce of Today and Tomorrow," speakers will include:
  • Mary Alice McCarthy from New America talking about the impact of early learning apprenticeships and community support for success;
  • Dr. Clive Belfield from Columbia University who will highlight data from a newly released report focused on the economic impact of insufficient child care on working families, businesses and taxpayers in Pennsylvania;
  • and, an in-depth discussion with a panel of top business leaders from across the state, outlining investments in early learning from businesses like Sheetz, Vanguard, UGI and more.
The commission will also be holding a networking reception on the eve of the Summit on Monday April 29, 2019 5pm- 7pm, also at the Hilton. 
 
To register please go to  www.paearlylearning.com.

New Proposed Overtime Rule
We want to update members on a new overtime rule proposal from the U.S. Department of Labor that updates the salary threshold. The new rule proposal would increase the salary threshold from the current $23,660/year up to $35,308/year. Additionally, the proposed regulations would also raise the salary threshold for highly compensated employees who are exempt from overtime pay requirements from $100,000/year to $147,414/year.

While, this proposed rule would raise the rate by nearly 50 percent than the current level, which was last updated in 2004, this increase in only half as much as the increase which was approved by the Obama administration in 2016. UWP will still monitor this movement and continue to update members as more information is available.

There is an option to submit public comments on this proposed rule and the deadline to submit the comments is May 13, 2019.  At this time UWP does not plan to submit comments.  If you have any questions please contact Maggie
Welcome Kate Henry to the UWP team!
United Way of Pennsylvania has a new Operations Coordinator, who started working with us on March 4. Please join us in welcoming Kate Henry. Members will have the opportunity to meet her in person at our conference in June!

The Operations Coordinator position requires both creative and analytical skills, from managing invoices and grant billing, to developing social media content and supporting the development of templates for the United Way of Pennsylvania ALICE project. She has a great blend of experience to help us meet our goals.
 
Prior to working for United Way of Pennsylvania, Kate spent a number of years living and working in Latin America, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer and managing diverse small businesses. She founded a business which enables Ecuadorian cottage artisans to export their goods directly to buyers in North America, donating a portion of the sales to a scholarship fund for local children. Kate is dedicated to community service and working to ensure that all people have access to the same opportunities.
 
Kate earned a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida. She keeps up-to-date with current digital marketing and web design techniques. Pues claro, ¡habla español!

Use your flex credits to attend UWP's 2019 conference! 
United Way of PA is pleased to announce that our 2019 conference has been approved for flex credits! Flex credits allow local United Way staff to attend and be reimbursed the cost of registration and travel. 

We've set up our conference page  to give you the best and most up-to-date information on the cool things happening! Registration will open at the beginning of April, but you can check out our semi-final agenda, book your hotel room, and look at our featured speakers and activities right now!

If you have questions, please contact amanda@uwp.org. 
Upcoming Webinars: ALICE, advocacy for infants and toddlers 
UWP ALICE Project Webinar: Community Impact & Resource Development
Monday, March 18, 2019 2:00PM
This webinar, exclusively for fully participating ALICE United Ways in PA, will discuss how to incorporate ALICE into your community impact and resource development strategies. This will help our members begin framing their work as helpful to ALICE in PA! To join, please email Amanda Barbarich

Start Strong PA Campaign: High Quality Child Care for PA's Youngest Children
Friday, March 29, 2019 1:00PM
 
Register Here
Healthy child development. Working families. The economy.
Through a statewide collaboration of partners, Start Strong PA aims to support all three by advocating for increased access to and affordability of high-quality child care programs, beginning with infants and toddlers. 

UWP's Pre-Hill Day Webinar
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 2:30PM
Register Here for Hill Day 2019!
Prior to Hill Day, we will be providing a basic training of the materials and points we would like to be advocating for during our time on the Hill. 

Suggestions for a Webinar? Let me know! Contact  Amanda Barbarich  via email or at (717) 238-7365 x206.
2019 Fact Sheets for Pre-K available
UWP and our members haven been committed to early learning initiatives and are strong partners with the Pre-K for PA campaign. Often we are in meetings with legislators or other community stakeholders discussing increased access to Pre-K. The campaign works each year to ensure there are fact sheets available that identify specific needs for legislative districts and counties. The new 2019 fact sheets are now available for your use. You can access them below as needed. I would encourage you to save these fact sheets and use them in any upcoming meetings throughout the year where you will be discussing Pre-K. They have been very effective and eye-opening in our legislative meetings and I think you will receive the same feedback. If you have any questions or have issues accessing the files, please contact Maggie.


2019 Pre-K Senate Fact Sheets by Legislator Name

 


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