Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtable

first_img Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force, a panel of business, labor, education and workforce development experts, today held the first of six regional roundtables to hear from Pennsylvanians about how to improve the lives of hard-working, middle class families.“This task force is bringing together a special combination of representatives for employers, workers, educators and students to listen to people across the commonwealth about how we can support and grow Pennsylvania’s middle class,” said Governor Wolf. “Our state is making progress by increasing education funding and expanding economic incentives and workforce training, but middle class families know we must do more.“It is important this task force hears from people on all sides so we can develop education, training and economic development opportunities to ensure middle class families can live and complete in the 21st century economy.”The governor appointed four chairmen to lead the task force: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Sue Mukherjee, and Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association Chairperson Susie Snelick. Additional leaders from these constituencies will be invited to join these discussions as well.“With our prime location, diverse industry base and strong work ethic, Pennsylvania is uniquely poised for a host of economic opportunities,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “But despite these benefits, there are people without jobs, and there are good paying jobs without people to fill them. I’m excited to listen and meet with residents from across the commonwealth to discuss the challenges currently facing our state – including a growing jobs skills gap –  and to work with my fellow task force members towards solutions that will help the middle class and Pennsylvania’s economy to thrive.”“This is an exciting opportunity for worker advocates, businesses, legislators and community organizations to come together to hear the concerns of working people,” said Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “It is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania that we look ahead with the fullest understanding of the current realities working families face across our commonwealth. At a time when economic inequality is at the forefront of so many conversations, the Governor’s Middle-Class Task Force is a step toward understanding and growing opportunities for working people in the 21st century.”Over the next few weeks the task force will hold five additional regional discussions to listen to businesses leaders, workers, educators, students and others for suggestions on ways the commonwealth can better support working families to get and keep jobs, as well as to invest in education and training to make businesses in Pennsylvania more competitive.“By forming the task force, Governor Wolf is again helping us focus, individually and collectively, on a problem that matters,” said Dr. Sue Mukherjee, assistant vice chancellor with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. “At the State System, we believe that education is at the core of socio-economic mobility. We also know that our state continues to struggle with a mismatch among jobs, workers, and students. We need to learn more.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Taskforce will provide our education community the opportunity to learn directly from the families and regional businesses we serve so we can better catalyze pathways to economic security for all.”As the task force works to find common ground, Pennsylvania’s middle class and economy are changing, creating challenges for workers and businesses. Near full employment has caused a tight labor market and a shortage of workers in some industries along with the need to train workers to close the skills gap for the available in-demand jobs.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force is an ideal forum for workers and employers statewide to collaborate on policy recommendations that support the governor’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ priority,” said Susie Snelick, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association. “I look forward to hearing from middle class workers and employers across the commonwealth about ways we can all help everyone succeed and sharing those suggestions with the governor.”Representing the Wolf administration on the task force are Department of Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, Acting Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.The task force will present recommendations to the governor later this year. September 29, 2017 Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtablecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania is Prepared for Widespread Winter Weather Impacts

first_img Do NOT call 9-1-1 to report power outages. Those calls take dispatchers away from other emergencies and can also slow a storm response because you’re not talking directly to the utility.Tips to help stay safe until power is restored:Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Do not use candles or other potential fire hazards.If you use a generator, do NOT run it inside a home or garage. Also, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator, not your home’s electrical system, which could shock or injure utility crews working on nearby power lines.Turn off lights and electrical appliances (except for the refrigerator and freezer). When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage equipment.After you turn the lights off, turn one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.Check on elderly neighbors and those with special needs who might need additional assistance.Electric power outages can affect gas furnaces and other appliances. If they do not function properly when power is restored call a professional for service.If you smell natural gas, get everyone out of the building immediately. Leave the door open and do NOT use phones, switch lights or turn appliances on or off, or take any other action while inside the building. After you are safely outside, call 9-1-1 from your cell phone or neighbor’s home.“I cannot stress enough the importance for everyone to heed weather forecasts, listen to directions from emergency officials, and plan accordingly,” Governor Wolf said. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  PSA,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – With winter weather forecasted to impact much of Pennsylvania Thursday morning through Friday morning, Governor Tom Wolf said state agencies are prepared and is asking all Pennsylvanians to prepare, too.“While weather forecasts are calling for varied types and levels of precipitation across the commonwealth, we must be prepared for all possible weather scenarios,” Governor Wolf said. “Pennsylvania’s state agencies are geared up to ensure resources and staff are prepared and ready to help.”The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) Commonwealth Response Coordination Center will be activated with extra watch officers staffing PEMA overnight and the situation awareness and logistics units beginning at 8:00 AM tomorrow; PennDOT area command will be active at PEMA beginning at midnight tonight. All other agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, are on alert.“PEMA is in close contact with county emergency management teams to ensure each has what it needs to help locally,” PEMA Executive Deputy Director Jeff Thomas said. “We conduct calls as needed to hear from each county – for a status report and to attend to any unmet needs. But, let me stress that our counties are prepared and ready to handle any need.”PennDOT urges motorists traveling during winter weather to make sure their gas tank is full, and they pack an emergency kit, which should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel, and warm clothes. Remember also any special needs, such as baby food, pet supplies or medications.“We have been preparing for winter since the last one ended, and we’re calling on the public to be our partners in safe travel,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Drivers should check travel conditions before they leave home, allow plenty of time, and drive according to conditions, not their schedule.”Motorists should make certain their vehicles are weather-ready with working windshield wipers, adequate wiper fluid, and snow tires or tires with adequate tread depth for ice and snow.PennDOT is prepared with plow trucks, materials, and other equipment ready. Crews will be working around the clock if necessary to keep roads safe and passable.With the varied types of precipitation expected with the storm, PennDOT is pretreating roadways where conditions warrant based on anticipated precipitation and road temperatures.PennDOT anticipates reducing speed limits as necessary throughout the storm, and while no vehicle restrictions are planned at this time, they could be implemented if conditions warrant.Motorists are reminded that roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.Motorists can check conditions and snow-plow locations on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission provided the following tips for consumers to prepare and stay safe:Pre-Storm:Write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website.Save the website address for your utility’s outage reporting system, which can provide updates on repair and restoration efforts. Those electric utility outage sites and natural gas company websites are available on the PUC website.Keep your cell phone charged, so you can contact your utility company, other emergency services and family members during any power outage.Secure necessary food, medicine and other supplies, including batteries for flashlights.Should you lose power during a storm, consider the following:Call your utility hotline to report outages – do not assume that the utility already knows about your outage or that others have already called.Do NOT touch or approach any fallen lines. If you have a downed power line or another hazardous situation, call 9-1-1 and then contact your utility.Stay away from objects or puddles in contact with downed power lines.Do NOT try to remove trees or limbs from power lines.Pre-charge cellular phones or keep a portable cell phone charger on hand. Plan to use a corded phone, cordless phones won’t work without electricity. November 14, 2018 Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania is Prepared for Widespread Winter Weather Impactslast_img read more

Wolf Administration Releases Ready to Start Task Force Report with Priorities to Help the Youngest Pennsylvanians

first_img September 26, 2019 Press Release Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today issued its report, “Governor’s Ready to Start Task Force: A Four-Year Framework to Support Pennsylvania’s Infants and Toddlers,” for how best to care for the state’s youngest residents.“The report fulfills the task force’s goal to identify programs and policies to help infants and children age zero to three get a strong, focused beginning toward a healthy, happy, fulfilling life here in the commonwealth,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “The Ready to Start Task Force report prioritizes the needs of our youngest children and the framework for how we provide those needs.”Introduced in September 2018, Gov. Wolf’s Ready to Start Task Force is comprised of six co-chairs representing various segments of the early childhood advocacy and education communities with support from members of his cabinet. The group focused on developing the strategy to address health, human services, and education policy for infants and toddlers ages zero to three.After a series of six listening sessions across the state, the task force’s initial findings were introduced in December 2018 and expanded upon with the seven priorities presented in today’s report:1. Increase availability of high-quality childcare and home-visiting service slots.2. Improve early intervention quality and streamlining to enhance availability, alignment, integration and coordination of services.3. Increase recruitment, retention, development, support and training of early childhood education professionals.4. Better utilize Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and state regulatory powers to address the risks to infants and toddlers posed by harmful environmental contaminants, including lead.5. Promote education, engagement, and support of parents and families as children’s first teachers.6. Improve information, outreach, and access to services.7. Promote sustainable systems of care to support the health and well-being of all children and women of child-bearing age.With these priorities established, the governor’s office will now create a cross-sector Ready to Start workgroup comprised of task force members, cabinet members, and external stakeholders. The workgroup, which will meet monthly, will be responsible for establishing measurable goals and ensuring progress on the framework priorities and recommendations outlined in the report. The workgroup’s initial report is due to the governor on December 1.“Research shows that a child’s brain develops faster in the first three years than at any later period in life, building the foundation for all future learning, behavior and health,” said Kari King, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. “The Wolf Administration is an invaluable partner in helping set Pennsylvania’s youngest children on a path for future success in school and life. We look forward to continuing to advance our shared goal of expanding access to high-quality programs for infants, toddlers, and their families.”“The early childhood years are just as important for children with disabilities and developmental delays as they are for all children,” said Sherri Landis, Executive Director of the Arc of PA. “From the time a baby is born, the brain is developing critical learning patterns. The Arc of Pennsylvania was honored to participate on the Ready to Start Task Force and we are proud of the findings and recommendations of the report and the impact it will have on the infants and toddlers.”Read the full report. Wolf Administration Releases Ready to Start Task Force Report with Priorities to Help the Youngest Pennsylvanianscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Everything you need can be found at Westcourt

first_imgCazalys at Westcourt is one of Cairns’ premier sporting facilities. PICTURE: STEWART McLEANFROM rock concerts to top-flight sports fixtures and a Cairns shopping hub, Westcourt residents have just about everything at their fingertips.A large dairy farm in the late 19th century, the area is now a diverse and populous inner-city suburb.Cairns real estate agent Chris Gay has worked from his Westcourt office for 25 years and said the location was hard to beat for convenience. “My son lives at Westcourt and for him it’s a two-minute drive to the office,” he said.“People appreciate the fact that the area has nice restaurants, shops and they have just done a wonderful job refurbishing the Bungalow Hotel.“There are also some beautiful homes here, especially Queenslanders.“Some people like living at the Northern Beaches, which is fine, but it’s hard to beat a $12 taxi ride home from the city.” The suburb was originally known as West Cairns and, according to Cairns Regional Council, was set to be renamed Westgate.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoHowever, following the tragic collapse of Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge in 1970, the name was changed to Westcourt.The average selling price of Westcourt homes as of January this year, according to CoreLogic, was $351,000 – more than $120,000 below its neighbour Parramatta Park.Units are abundant in the suburb and delivered average rental yields in excess of 7 per cent over the 12 months to January. Westcourt’s Cazalys Stadium will this year host AFL premiers the Western Bulldogs and music superstar Elton John, while DFO Cairns shopping centre is in the early stages of a multi-million dollar revamp.Retiree Suzanne Haslam, 68, has lived on Mann St for more than 20 years and couldn’t be happier to call Westcourt home.“I’m close to all the amenities and have wonderful neighbours on both sides,” she said. “I’m a carer for one of my neighbours. There are some families on the street but most of the people are a bit older.“If I had all the money in the world and could afford to live in the richest suburbs, I would still stay here.”last_img read more

$17b in Queensland homes were approved for foreign sales last year

first_img57-59 The Corso, Isle of Capri, sold for $15.5m this year to Chinese buyers.The figures saw the average value of established homes foreign buyers were targeting remain somewhat steady at just over $740,000 ($769,000 previously).FIRB said 13 per cent of complaints about foreign purchases of residential real estate involved Queensland property, compared to 47 per cent out from Victoria and 33 per cent NSW.It found 223 properties valued at $304.8m were found to be in breach of foreign investment rules, with owners fined over half a million dollars in total. This Hope Island mansion called Sails sold to a Chinese buyer for $11m this year. Picture: Supplied.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoOver $530m worth of Queensland approvals were granted to foreigners buying established properties, a figure which has dropped 33 per cent over the previous financial year.“The decrease can be attributed to a range of reasons including housing market conditions, state and territory policy changes, a shift to investment in new dwellings, and the introduction of fees and processing changes,” the FIRB annual report said.It said established homes could generally “only be purchased by temporary residents for use as their home while they remain in Australia” though a “small number” were allowed to buy homes to house Australian-based workers. 159 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, sold for $13.25m this year to Chinese buyers.New residential real estate made up the vast majority of the approvals granted last financial year – valued at $16.36b – with developers and off the plan approvals making up the bulk ($13.15b), followed by individuals buying new dwellings ($2.55b), those buying vacant land (over $470m) and buyers looking at redevelopment of existing properties ($150m).Chinese buyers continued to top the list of foreign investment approvals in Australia’s real estate sector, with a 31 per cent rise in the value of their approvals over the financial year. The United States, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Arab Emirates were also in the mix.center_img 18-20 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island, is among homes sold this year to Chinese buyers at $11m.FOREIGN buyers were given the green light to buy just short of $17 billion worth of Queensland homes last financial year, a massive 62 per cent surge.Latest Foreign Investment Review Board figures show foreign buyers were given permission to invest in $16.9 billion worth of residential real estate across the state, up from $10.4b the previous year.The FIRB approved over 6,700 applications for Queensland property deals, a 33 per cent jump in the year, with the data also showing a 20 per cent rise in the average value of those residential investments to $2.5m.last_img read more

Fancy digs like Harvey Specter from US drama Suits? This penthouse might be the one for you

first_imgGot the haircut? Now get the apartment with this stylish Brisbane penthouse hitting the market. Photo: Nigel Parry/USA NetworkARE you a fan of the US legal drama Suits? You could look the part in this Spring Hill penthouse.The apartment located at 1601/477 Boundary Street, Spring Hill allows you to walk in to wrap around city-and-horizon views similar to those that greet the show’s sharp-dressed mainstay lawyer, Harvey Specter, each evening. … and going … The views from the open plan living keep going … After catching up with small-screen Harvey, you can live large with the main bedroom outlook. … and going!It’s a bit of sophisticated NYC glamour in Brisbane’s inner-hub. You’ll feel like junior partner, Mike Ross, is about to knock on the door at any moment.The Spring Hill apartment offers timber flooring, stone bench tops, VIP car parking and private lift access — it positively reeks of success.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoThe unit is located “The Johnson” art series hotel, which means the new owner can call on a 24-hour concierge, swim in the 50-metre pool, work out in the gym or host gatherings at the entertainment pavilion. Spend the morning in the beautifully appointed bathroom to make sure you look sharp for the day’s meetings.The penthouse is being marketed by Ray White – Spring Hill with Expressions of Interest closing Wednesday September 6.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclairlast_img read more

Moves to dampen investment borrowing have been so effective, banks are now offering better rates for interest only loans

first_imgExperts predict levels of interest only loans may increase.DEMAND for interest only loans had dropped so substantially that some banks were reducing their rates to try and entice more borrowers.Moves to dampen enthusiasm for interest only loans earlier this year had, had a dramatic affect on that type of lending.According to Mortgage Choice’s latest home loan approval data, there has been a significant decline in the proportion of interest only loans written by the brokerage in Queensland between April and September 2017.At the time banks dramatically lifted their interest rates on these types of loans.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoMortgage Choice Ormeau principal Deslie Taylor said in March this year the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority ordered banks to limit their level of interest only loans to 30 per cent of all new residential mortgages.As a result, many significantly increased interest only home loan rates to reduce the demand for this lending.“However, it seems for some lenders at least, the pendulum may have swung a little past its centre point and they are now working on bringing it back into place.’’Ms Taylor said in recent weeks lenders had started to reduce the rates on their interest only loans. This meant it was a good time she said for borrowers or those considering buying to look at what was available.“Borrowers will just need to show good reason for wanting an interest only loan,’’ she said.Mortgage Choice data showed that during September interest only loans accounted for 12.61 per cent of all home loans written in Queensland — down from 31.29 per cent in April.last_img read more

$1.4b fall: Investor retreat likely to be long term now

first_imgInvestor borrowing for housing has continued to fall since APRA began its crackdown, which could impact places like the Gold Coast that attract a lot of southern buyers.INVESTOR borrowing for the housing market has dropped by a massive $1.4b in the past year, a fall analysts now believe will be long term — giving fresh hope to first home buyers.Latest housing finance figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show investor housing commitments were down by 2.6 per cent in December last year, which saw a fall of 10.5 per cent over 2017, seasonally adjusted.RateCity money editor, Sally Tindall, said the fall was a direct result of intervention by government regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.“APRA has been trying to curb investor lending for four years now. They’re finally getting long-term results,” she said.“The first time APRA cracked down on investor lending we saw an immediate drop in investor figures but the numbers started climbing back up within six months. This time around, APRA seems to be hitting the mark.”She said the 10.5 per cent drop equated to a fall of $1.4 billion in the past 12 months to investors.“First home buyers have been making traction over the last year, taking advantage of the retreat from investors. Today’s figures, while marginally down from the previous month, show a year-on-year increase in market share from 13.8 per cent to 17.9 per cent. It’s good to see these buyers securing a bigger slice of our property market.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoThe figures showed investors borrowed a whopping $11.81b year on year.Investor housing, year on yearDec.-16 $13.199bDec.-17 $11.816bFall in $ $1.383bPercentage drop 10.5 per centSource: ABS/RateCitylast_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion a tropical retreat in the heart of suburbia

first_imgWhat a bath!The home also has a private boat ramp with winch, dry dock and two boat sheds.The family were sad to leave the home but work overseas meant they needed to sell.“It has been such a joy to live in our own resort and enjoy a special morning ritual of showering outside among the landscape,” Mrs Pearson Campbell said.“The family activities are endless with tennis, water sports and pool side relaxation.”The mansion is close to parklands, the local turf club, schools, the beach and world-class shopping, dining and entertainment precincts. The kitchen has a servery to make outdoor entertaining easier. It exudes luxury from every corner. Perfect for late-night swims.IT may be in the heart of suburbia but this waterfront mansion resembles a private, luxury retreat miles away from civilisation.The sprawling Bundall property at 13-17 Binda Place blends classic elegance with a tropical resort.Marble, limestone and wood accentuate the home’s opulence while extravagant light fixtures are standout features in almost every room. The wardrobe of every girl’s dreams.Downstairs, there is an open kitchen, living and dining area that flows seamlessly outdoors.It also offers an office, library, wine cellar and gym.One of the most impressive rooms on the ground floor is the sunken master bedroom, which boasts views to the east overlooking the water and city skyline.It has a designer dressing room with full cabinetry, bevelled mirrored doors and a drawer unit as its centrepiece.Upstairs, there are four additional bedrooms with ensuites.This includes the guest wing, which has a rumpus room, separate home cinema and terrace.The outdoor entertainment areas surrounded by tropical gardens are sure to impress with a pool and spa, indoor sauna and tennis court. The perfect spot to curl up on the couch with a book.Its lavish style was part of the reason Gregory Campbell and Beckie Pearson Campbell bought the property in 2016.“We were searching for a property with fully contained bedrooms and ensuites for each of our growing children and also wanted a ground floor master suite with an aspect to the water,” Mrs Pearson Campbell said.“We couldn’t help but feel that we had found luxury but more so we had found a home.”The impressive home has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, including an outdoor shower and toilet.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa17 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe family wasted no time turning it into the luxurious property it is today.“We set about renovating and decorating each of the rooms to maximise the liveability while Greg concentrated on the renovation of the resort pool area,” Mrs Pearson Campbell said.center_img Plenty of storage for all the wine connoisseurs out there. Imagine waking up in this bedroom every day. Perfect for summer nights. What a bathroom!last_img read more