In this Update:
Tour of Martin-Baker
I had the pleasure of touring the Martin-Baker facility in Johnstown. Martin-Baker manufactures and produces parts for ejection seats, mainly for the JSF program for the F-35 aircraft, as well as crashworthy seats for helicopters.
Police Training Simulator Penn Highlands Community College
I had the privilege of visiting Penn Highlands Community College and attending the police training simulator open house. This type of training is extremely beneficial for our police force.
World Read Aloud Day
I had the honor of reading to two kindergarten classes at Johnstown Elementary School for World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday.
Hearing on Chronic Wasting Disease
The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee and the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will be holding a joint public hearing in Bedford on Wednesday February 9th at 5 p.m. to receive testimony on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The hearing will be held at the American Legion, 3721 US 220 BUS, Bedford, PA, 15522.
Pandemic Related Mortgage Assistance
The application period for the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) is now open to assist those struggling with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program offers pandemic related mortgage assistance. For more information on how to apply and to determine if you are eligible, please visit here.
If you are tired of being in the house this winter and looking for something to do outside, then look no further than Ebensburg’s Winterfest! Winterfest will be held this Saturday, February 5th, and features an intro to cross country skiing, tubing, sledding, ice skating, and more!
Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage
The General Assembly recently passed Act 91 to help schools find substitute teachers to fill critical staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released guidelines for schools to follow in taking advantage of the law.
Act 91 provides additional pathways for quality individuals to pursue and complete certifications and enter the educator workforce. Specifically, the law creates a new Classroom Monitor Permit for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. A classroom monitor may be employed to provide coverage and deliver preplanned assignments in classrooms. A classroom monitor may not plan lessons or create or grade student work.
An individual receiving a Classroom Monitor Permit must satisfy the following requirements as outlined in Act 91:
Additional consideration should be taken when determining if a classroom monitor should work with students with disabilities. Schools can find more information and resources about the changes under Act 91 on the department’s Certification Services website.
Grants Available for Community Learning Centers
Organizations may now submit their intent to apply for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program, which provides funding to support community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students and their families.
Eligible organizations include public school districts, charter schools, private schools, nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, for-profit corporations and others.
Programs must take place during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session to help students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects. Centers must also offer students a broad array of activities that can complement their regular academic programs and literacy and other educational services to their families. How to apply.
Help for Students to Acquire Skills in High Demand by Employers
Financial assistance is available to help students learn skills in high demand by today’s employers in energy, health, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, and agriculture and food production.
The PA Targeted Industry Program, created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2012, provides need-based awards up to $5,000. Approved veteran applicants may receive up to 100% of the student’s total educational costs or the max award, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies and a $4,000 living expense allowance.
Students must have received a high school diploma, GED or recognized homeschool certificate. Students who have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree are still eligible to apply for assistance. Information and Applications
Now Available Online: 2022 Trout Stocking Schedule
The 2022 adult trout stocking schedule is now available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers and the species of trout that will be stocked.
In 2022, Pennsylvania will return to a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season on the first Saturday in April, which is April 2. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place on Saturday, March 26. Under this change, which will result in a longer regular season for trout statewide, the practice of holding a separate regional opening day and mentored youth day for Pennsylvania’s 18 southeastern counties will no longer occur.
To accommodate the earlier statewide trout season, preseason trout stocking operations are set to begin the week of Feb. 21.