|Revitalizing Distressed Neighborhoods
A new law passed by the House this fall will expand a program that encourages revitalization of distressed neighborhoods. Created in 1967, the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) is a tax credit program which incentivizes businesses to invest in affordable housing programs, community services, crime prevention, education, job training or neighborhood assistance.
Act 100 of 2018 increases the NAP’s funding from $18 million to $36 million and marks the first time allocated funding for the program has been increased since its inception more than 50 years ago. A recent report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office indicated that in Fiscal Year 2015-16, the NAP’s $17.9 million in tax credits resulted in a total economic impact of $138.1 million.
This proven program has helped bring new businesses, needed services and additional revenue to struggling towns and cities. The end result is more jobs, safer streets and a better quality of life for some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable families.
Included under the NAP umbrella are several other neighborhood assistance programs: the Special Priorities Program, Neighborhood Partnership Program, Charitable Food Program and the Enterprise Zone Program.
Unemployment Comp Call Center Update
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor and Industry’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Centers transitioned to a new phone system.
As a result, claimants may no longer hear a busy signal when phone lines are full. Instead, claimants may hear a default message from the individual’s phone carrier (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.).
Please be aware that the UC Service Centers are able to take calls and the system is functioning. If you receive one of these messages, please try again.
UC call center hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.
Claimants are also encouraged to visit uc.pa.gov to create a new claim or check on the status of an existing claim.
Exciting Science Opportunity Available for High School Juniors
The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS) at Carnegie Mellon University is now accepting applications from talented high school juniors for its summer 2019 program.
PGSS is an intensive, five-week summer residential program, which emphasizes cooperative learning and hands-on laboratory research, for 56 talented high school juniors pursuing careers in science and mathematics.
Accepted applicants will receive a full scholarship to the program. Costs are underwritten through matching funds provided by PGSS Campaign Inc., the school’s alumni, Carnegie Mellon University, parents and corporations.
Scholarships will cover the costs of housing, meals and all instructional materials. Families are responsible for transportation to and from the university, personal items and spending money. Students must commit to living on campus at Carnegie Mellon University throughout the duration of the program.
For additional information about the program and to complete an application, please click here. All applications must be completed no later than Jan. 31, 2019. Applications emailed after this date and time will be disqualified.
Prepare Now for Winter Weather
Winter weather has already hit much of Pennsylvania, but more is to come. PennDOT reminds motorists of the various travel tools they can use to help with navigating inclement weather this winter.
The website at penndot.gov/winter has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts. The site also includes tips for motorists to prepare their vehicles for winter travel.
The public can also access travel information on nearly 40,000 roadway miles year-round at 511PA.com, and during the winter they can find plow-truck locations and details of when state-maintained roadways were last plowed. The information is made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses units in each of the more than 2,200 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cell signal showing where a truck is located.
The 40,000 miles for which PennDOT is responsible translates into 96,000 snow-lane miles -- enough miles to circle the globe nearly four times. The department maintains roughly the same number of miles maintained by the state in New York, New Jersey and all the New England states combined.