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Package of bills aim to enhance job creation, retention and improve Pa. economy|


c The Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus today announced the

launch of PAJobsNow, a legislative package aimed at putting more Pennsylvanians back to

House Democratic leaders said they have already begun moving some of the bills in the
PAJobsNow package, which focuses on three major areas of economic investment: |

1.||||Job creation and retention ± to keep the jobs we currently have and create new employment
opportunities for those seeking work; |

2.||||Business development ± to help our small businesses and corporations succeed and grow in a
difficult economy, and offer more jobs for Pennsylvania workers; and|

3.||||Workforce development ± to continue to build an educated, skilled workforce and attract

business development in Pennsylvania.|

Democratic leaders said the package of bills will combine new initiatives with strategic
investments in programs that are already in place to help move Pennsylvania forward. |


ô inancial experts say that jobs are the last thing to come in an economic recovery,ô said House
Majority Leader Todd A. Eachus, D-Luzerne. ôPAJobsNow is a comprehensive approach that
will invest in Pennsylvania's working families and provide additional help so that our businesses
can grow, prosper and succeed in this tough economy. We cannot simply wait for the jobs to
come, we need to remain committed to keeping the jobs we have, help spur new job
opportunities and develop strategic measures to build a strong, highly skilled workforce.ô|

ôWe understand that the House can¶t simply pass a bill that creates jobs,ô said House Speaker
Keith McCall, D-Carbon. ôWe can, and must, give businesses the tools and capital they need to
compete and grow, so that they can hire more employees. PAJobsNow builds upon many of the
successful business development programs already on the books to help more Pennsylvania
businesses invest in themselves and their employees right now.ô|

ôt is critical we continue to invest in programs that guarantee a bright future for Pennsylvania,
including educational programs that provide the essential training employers look for in job
applicants,ô said House Majority Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans, D-Phila. ôThe
investments we make now will lead to world-class business leaders and world-class workers.ô|

PAJobsNow includes:|

u|||||||||A new work-sharing program under the state's Unemployment Compensation system that
would enable participating employers to reduce work hours as an alternative to layoffs.
Employees impacted by reduced work hours would be eligible to receive unemployment
compensation benefits to make up for lost time.|

u|||||||||An employment and training tax credit that would provide credits to Pennsylvania companies
that create new jobs and provide required levels of on-the-job training to employees.|

u|||||||||Changes to the current Small Business irst program to increase eligibility so that companies
with up to 200 employees could participate. House Democrats also propose removing
restrictions on hospitality and restaurant projects, and allowing for retail and commercial
projects under this program.|

u|||||||||A resolution that would encourage the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and ndustry, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services to continue to cooperate as they negotiate and create a 2010 Subsidized Summer
Youth Employment program, and the 2010 Subsidized Adult Employment program.|

PAJobsNow would also reinvest in several current programs, such as Business in Our Sites,
Small Business ncubators and Small Business irst. House Democrats propose expanding
these programs to allow businesses to have greater access to funding so that they can build
and develop their businesses. A major principle behind PAJobsNow is to make capital more
available to businesses and help them grow out of this recession.|

The House has already passed one bill that would accomplish these goals. House Bill 1597,
introduced by state Rep. Richard Mirabito, D-Lycoming, would amend the Second Stage Loan
program to make the program more attractive to lenders.|

Another component of PAJobsNow that has passed the House is H.B. 2230, introduced by state
Rep. Marc Gergely, D-Allegheny. This legislation would codify and make permanent the popular
and effective ndustry Partnerships program, which has existed as a tool for workforce
development since 2005. t brings together employers in targeted industries to identify workforce
needs and enables the state to collaborate with local colleges and training partners to develop
training programs for the jobs that are immediately needed and available. |

PAJobsNow includes H.B. 1795, sponsored by state Rep. Curtis Thomas, which would make a
commitment to our current and future workforce by requiring youth councils within local
workforce development boards to help bolster workforce training. This proposal also passed the
House and is now before the Senate.|

Although not solely a business development tool, PAJobsNow also includes a proposal that
would help protect workers who find themselves unemployed by extending the state Mini-
COBRA health insurance program while federal funding is available.|

ôLike everywhere across this country, Pennsylvania faces tough challenges in this uncertain
economy,ô Eachus said. ôPennsylvania must help get people back to work, find ways to help
businesses grow and create economic opportunity, and we need to do it with an efficient use of
tax dollars. Our workers and businesses have waited long enough for help. The time for action
has come. We need PAJobsNow.ô|

More information on PAJobsNow can be found on the web at www.pahouse.com. |