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Happy Holidays From My Family to Yours!

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year – an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and to make lifelong, lasting memories with our loved ones.  Whether you are celebrating here in NEPA or travelling elsewhere to be with family, I would like to wish each and every one of you health and happiness this holiday season.

I was glad to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the holiday luncheon at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center.

Chewy Plans to Create 1,000 New Jobs in Archbald

Chewy, an online company for pet parents, is expanding its presence in Pennsylvania through a one million-square-foot build to suit location in Archbald Borough. The company has pledged to invest upwards of $35 million into the expansion and create at least 1,000 new, full-time jobs right here in the 22nd Senatorial District.

The new fulfillment center, which will allow the company to ship to millions of its customers even faster, will be Chewy’s third Pennsylvania location. Chewy received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for the project. The proposal includes a $582,000 workforce development grant to help the company train its workers.

This project is great news for our local economy, and I applaud the work of the Governor’s Action Team and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce to facilitate this important development.

The new Chewy facility will be located in the Valley View Business Park in Archbald.

Around the District

Glad to join Rep. Boback and Benton Township officials to officially reopen and dedicate the Baylor's Lake Bridge. PennDOT did an outstanding job to restore this important and historically significant bridge.

I enjoyed spending time with Lackawanna County President Judge Michael Barrasse and Attorney Frank Bolock to hear about the great work being done by The Recovery Bank in downtown Scranton.

   

It was a pleasure discussing state government and my role as a state Senator with Mr. Skotleski's social studies class at Scranton High School.

I always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with the wonderful staff and clients of St. Joseph's Center. Thank you for the wonderful, handmade Christmas card!

   

Two Lackawanna Co. Projects Receive Neighborhood Assistance Funding

Two projects in Lackawanna County have received $182,500 in funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP).

The Neighborhood Assistance Program continues to foster public-private partnerships to benefit residents and communities across the Commonwealth. I applaud Governor Wolf and his administration for their continued commitment to our communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania and to impactful, community revitalization projects.

The two local awards were part of $4.75 million in NAP funding announced for 17 community revitalization projects across the Commonwealth. The Neighborhood Assistance Program encourages private sector investment into projects that will help improve distressed communities by providing tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community problems.  

United Neighborhood Centers (UNC) received $160,000 to continue their enhancement of the business district along Cedar Avenue in South Scranton. UNC plans to use the NAP funding to create an incubator for small businesses that offers entrepreneurship and leadership skills training opportunities to the immigrant community in this area. Thy will also expand their community Farmers Market to an area that has been categorized as a food desert. UNC previously received a $500,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant in August to establish the South Scranton Women’s Business Incubator at the former People’s Security Bank in the same section of Scranton.

Also in Scranton, Neighborworks of Northeastern Pennsylvania (NWNEPA) received $22,500 to continue its foreclosure-prevention program that assists city residents with homeownership services that help prevent future mortgage delinquency and foreclosures.

Labor & Industry Accepting Applications for PAsmart Apprenticeship Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently announced the availability of nearly $6.6 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants. Job training and career readiness are key components to building a 21st century workforce.

PAsmart Apprenticeship grants build a diverse talent pipeline into the building and construction trades; expand registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in non-traditional industries with an emphasis on health care, manufacturing, and information technology; and support registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through ambassador networks across the commonwealth. 

Eligible applicants include organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of registered apprenticeships including businesses, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, industry associations, labor organizations, local education agencies, local workforce development boards, nonprofit organizations, post-secondary institutions, public libraries, and STEM ecosystems. 

The apprenticeship grants are part of $40 million that Governor Wolf secured for PAsmart, an innovative education and workforce development initiative. L&I also recently announced that applications are being accepted for nearly $4.6 million in Next Generation Industry Partnership grants. The Department of Education is accepting applications for $20 million in PAsmart grants to increase K-12 computer science and technology education. 

I encourage all eligible entities to apply for this important funding. Applications must be received no later than January 10, 2020. For more information on this program, click here.

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Offices to Serve You

 

District Office
Oppenheim Building
409 Lackawanna Ave., Ste. 210
Scranton, PA 18503
Phone: (570) 207-2881
Fax: (570) 207-2897
Toll free: 1-877-346-5721
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Harrisburg Office
Room 17 East Wing
The State Capitol
Senate Box 203022
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3022
Phone: (717) 787-6481
Fax: (717) 783-5198
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 
 
Sen. Blake discusses Poverty Listening Tour stop in Scranton