Workforce Development

Funding Uncertainty in Property Tax Plan

As I blogged yesterday, a new analysis from the Independent Fiscal Office concludes that a proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years.

Third and State This Week: Corporate Tax Cuts Without Closing Loopholes, Challenges Face Poor College Students

This week at Third and State, we blogged about how a corporate tax cut bill in the state House will come at the expense of schools and health care in Pennsylvania, the challenges facing low-income students attending college, and an honor bestowed on one of our own for his workforce development work.


  • On state budget and tax policy, Sharon Ward shared how state House lawmakers voted on an amendment that would have taken steps to close the Delaware loophole. She also shared a podcast from a media briefing on a House bill enacting hundreds of millions in new corporate tax cuts over the course of a decade. And Chris Lilienthal had more on the tax cuts, which will come at the expense of investments in schools, infrastructure and local services.
  • On higher education, Jamar Thrasher wrote that too many low-income students who pursue college are sidetracked by economic and other challenges — in some cases, leaving them with big debts but no degree.
  • On workforce development, Steve Herzenberg blogged about receiving the Workforce Professional of the Year award from the Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania and what he took away from hearing awards dinner keynote speaker Steve Forbes.


  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) released an analysis of House Bill 440, legislation that advances the Governor's corporate tax cut plan at the expense of investments that really matter in our schools and communities.
  • The Keystone Research Center (KRC) released a summary of testimony on the negative social impacts of retail liquor privatization delivered at a roundtable discussion this week hosted by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.



  • Join Steve Herzenberg and Senate staffer John Raymond on Tuesday, April 30 for a "Pensions 101" webinar. If you have wondered what is fact and what is fiction in the pension debate, and how to respond to it, this webinar is for you.

Third and State Recap: The Medicaid Expansion, Lost Education Jobs and Costs of Lottery Privatization

Over the past two weeks at Third and State, we blogged about lost jobs in public schools, the latest state jobs report, what's at stake in the decision to expand Pennsylvania's Medicaid program, how much lottery privatization could end up costing seniors' programs, and much more.


  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about new data showing employment in Pennsylvania's public schools was at a decade low in the 2011-12 school year. Mark Price also put Pennsylvania's December jobs report in some perspective.
  • On health care, Michael Wood highlighted an infographic showing that if Pennsylvania opts out of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, it will create a coverage gap for working families earning between 46% and 100% of poverty.
  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg blogged that the Corbett administration's plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery could end up costing seniors' programs a billion dollars or more.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Mark Price wrote about the latest numbers on direct jobs created by shale drilling, which accounts for just 0.38% of all Pennsylvania jobs.
  • On the state budget, Kate Atkins wrote about Bucks County students who served up a tasty five-star meal to area elected officials last week to underscore the value of investing in career training and technical education.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Lunch Is Served: Bucks Students Make a Tasty Case for Investing in Career Training

If the high school students were a little nervous as they prepared lunch Thursday for several Bucks County elected officials, they didn’t show it.

Third and State This Week: Americans Living on $2 a Day, Mayors Talk Federal Deficit and Youth Unemployment

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the increasing number of children and families living in extreme poverty, the latest on the state revenue picture, Pennsylvania mayors on a federal deficit deal and the long-term effects of youth unemployment.


  • On poverty, Jamar Thrasher wrote about a report on the increasing number of children and families living in extreme poverty, defined as surviving on $2 or less per day.
  • On federal budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a message from the mayors of Philadelphia, Allentown, York, and Reading to members of Congress as they craft a deficit reduction plan.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote about November state revenue collections and the threat new business tax cuts pose to the state's ability to invest in the fundamentals that ensure long-term growth.
  • And on jobs and unemployment, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a study showing the long-lasting damage a recession can have on young people unable to find their first job.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Great Recession Took a Toll on Youth Employment

A first job is a milestone that too many young people today are not reaching, and it could reduce their earnings throughout their careers, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Great Recession is a major culprit, as more youth are competing with out-of-work adults for a limited number of jobs.

Third and State This Week: Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Payday Lending & Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report challenging the conventional wisdom on payday lending, the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage, public policy that shrinks the economy, bizarre claims about income inequality and much more.

  • Jamar Thrasher wrote about a Pew Center on the States report showing that payday lending is less frequent in states with restrictive laws and that borrowers tend to use payday loans for recurring expenses — not just emergencies.
  • Intern Alan Bowie blogged about the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage and how it has not kept pace with the rising cost of living.
  • On income inequality, Mark Price shared a Paul Krugman column catching the Tax Foundation making a bizarre claim about income inequality.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price highlighted an insightful Q&A with Professor Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School of Business on his new book Why Good People Can't Get Jobs, and wrote about the danger of public policies that shrink the economy.
  • Finally, on the Marcellus Shale, Mark Price highlighted a Patriot-News column eviscerating the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for using suspect job numbers in a Marcellus gas public relations campaign.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: Training and Education? Let Them Go To The Pittsburgh Opera

When workers lose their jobs in a recession, they have time that could be spent in training programs targeted to the needs of employers. Of course, there is a hitch: during a recession, employers are not hiring, so at the very time there are lots of people available to train, employers don't need new workers. As the economy improves (like it is now), it opens the door to training tied to the needs of businesses that are hiring. 

'Cutting Training for Jobs the Economy Needs Most'

When you have a moment, check out this New York Times article on the impact of state cuts to public higher education across the country — and the impact they are having on our economy. These types of short-sighted cuts, like the 20% reduction in higher education funding proposed by Governor Corbett this year, put us in a worse position today and down the road.

Third and State This Week: adultBasic One Year Later, What Works in PA and Income Inequality

This week, we blogged about "What Works in Pennsylvania," the one-year anniversary of adultBasic's end, income inequality and cuts to higher education, and much more.


  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a year of struggle for the Pennsylvanians who lost their adultBasic health care coverage this time last year.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward sat down with Tony May of Triad Strategies to discuss the 2012-13 state budget and shared a video of the interview. Chris Lilienthal also shared a video from the Campaign for What Works illustrating a key message for lawmakers: "Pennsylvania works when our state budget supports what works."
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price blogged about how cuts to higher ed funding contribute to income inequality, transit cuts and job training, how high unemployment is straining the safety net, and a roundup on closing tax loopholes, preventative care and health reform.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

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