Pa. awards $800K in grant money to help veterans find jobs | Thursday Morning Coffee

The Keystone State has the the fourth-largest veteran population in the nation, officials said

March 10, 2022 7:09 am

(Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images)

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The Wolf administration has awarded $800,000 in state grant funding to four entities across the state that help connect veterans to job opportunities and employment.

The money is part of the Veterans Employment Program, which specifically targets Pennsylvania counties with high unemployment rates for veterans, the administration said in a Wednesday statement.

“Every one of Pennsylvania’s veterans made significant sacrifices in their service to our nation,” Wolf said in a statement. “Because of that, we owe them every opportunity we can provide to ease their transition to a civilian career. This funding will enable community organizations to assist our veterans in finding meaningful and family-sustaining jobs.”

Employers also stand to benefit from the funding, state Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier added.

Companies across the state “need skilled workers to help their businesses grow and thrive, and as the economy continues to bounce back from the pandemic, veterans will play a vital role in filling the gaps in our labor force,” Berrier said.

“The Veterans Employment Program will provide employment opportunities for our most honorable citizens and offer more comprehensive services to address barriers to employment and improve their employment outcomes,” she said.

Soldiers from 1st battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, work together to move across a course during combined arms live fire training on July 30, 2020, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. Utilizing radio, hand signals, smoke, and more, the leadership of the Soldiers communicated effectively to cross the course while engaging targets (Pa. National Guard photo.)

Research suggests that veterans, especially younger veterans, have a harder time finding employment than Americans who have not served in the military. That’s why it’s important for policymakers to smooth that path, analysts suggest.

Between 2000 and 2011, younger veterans were an average of 3.4 percentage points more likely to be unemployed than similarly situated younger non-veterans, according to RAND Corporation data. That gap closed, however, with age and time since military separation, the research found. Overall veteran unemployment could be driven by such factors as poor health, selection, employer discrimination, skills mismatch, or job search skills, the research suggested.

At nearly 800,000 veterans, Pennsylvania has the fourth-largest veterans population in the nation, state Adjutant Gen. Mark Schindler, who also serves as head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said.

“It is important that we do everything we can to ensure their successful transition from military to civilian life,” Schindler said. “Workforce development opportunities offered through the Veterans Employment Program aid veterans in finding meaningful employment.”

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
All seven Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices made clear their thoughts on redistricting Wednesday. In a rare move, each released their own individual opinion outlining where they fell on the recently enacted congressional map, Stephen Caruso reports.

Pennsylvania’s highest-ranking Senate Republican proposed lowering the state’s liquid fuels tax by a third through the end of the year with the hope of providing relief as prices rise, Marley Parish reports.

Behind bars? No problem. In Houston, people in jail can still go to the pollsCapital-Star Democracy Reporter Kira Lerner reports.

The U.S. House has spoken out to condemn the weeks-long chain of bomb threats made to Historically Black Colleges and UniversitiesCapital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa reports.

Congress ended a problem of its own making as it passed a bill shoring up the U.S. Postal ServiceLauren McCauley, of our sibling site, the Maine Beacon, reports.

In Philadelphia, some youthful offenders report to a panel of community volunteers, and not a judge, as they seek a second chance, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Back to normal? Nothing ever stays the same. We should accept thatMansfield University political scientist Jonathan C. Rothermel writes. Nineteen states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates, and Pa. should join them, an advocate writes.

(Image via The Philadelphia Gay News).

In a since-deleted Facebook post, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain referred to a suburban Philadelphia school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance club ‘leftist political indoctrination,’ the Inquirer reports. Classy.

GOP hopeful Jake Corman talked about the gas tax and other issues during a stop in Lancaster County, LancasterOnline reports.

As protections expire, renters in southwestern Pennsylvania are being evicted at high rates, the Post-Gazette reports.

Pennsylvania has a ‘democracy deficit,’ with lawmakers pushing policies that aren’t supported by a majority of state voters, PennLive’s John Baer writes.

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, talks to the Morning Call about her recent trip to the Poland/Ukraine border. It was about as awful as you might have thought.

With Ukrainian flags now flying outside city buildings, Wilkes-Barre City Council will adopt a resolution condemning the Russian invasion of the eastern European nation, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

New EV chargers in Philadelphia are aimed at helping the city’s rowhouse dwellersWHYY-FM reports.

Some Pennsylvania nurses spent months waiting for licenses amid a historic staffing shortage, WITF-FM reports.

A new AARP ad buy hits the U.S. Senate over drug pricesPoliticsPA reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:


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What Goes On
Budget hearings continue in the House and Senate.
10 a.m., Hearing Room 1 North Office Building: Senate Appropriations Committee (Dept. of Education)
10 a.m., House Floor: House Appropriations Committee (Budget Secretary/Governor’s Executive Offices)

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
5:30 p.m.: Reception for GOP governor candidate Dr. Nche Zama 
6 p.m.: Reception for House candidate Thomas Kutz
6 p.m.: Reception for Philadelphia City Councilmember Cherelle Parker
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out $6,600 today.

Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Philadelphia for a pair of events today. At 10:30 a.m., he’s at the Navy Yard to talk about manufacturing and workforce issues. At 2 p.m., he joins a U.S. Treasury office to talk about rental relief programs.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Joe Grace, in the office of Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke, who celebrates today. Congratulations and enjoy the day, sir.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s an old favorite from the Psychedelic Furs that popped up as I was pulling this column together. It’s the classic ‘The Ghost in You.’

Thursday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Vancouver’s J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 10 games, as the Canucks downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Wednesday night for their 3rd straight win.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.