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									A Bi-Weekly Update on Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
February 13, 2009  Volume 8  Issue 3 www.co.westmoreland.pa.us

WCCC Offering Free Tuition for Dislocated Workers
A tuition and fees waiver program for dislocated workers in Westmoreland and Fayette counties is being offered by Westmoreland County Community College in partnership with the Workforce Investment Board of Westmoreland/Fayette and PA CareerLink. The program is open to workers who have lost their jobs due to plant closing or layoffs that occurred on or after January 1, 2008, and is designed to target workers who have not been reemployed or have found work at substantially less wages. The “Just in Time Workforce Development Program” will apply to high-priority occupation programs, as defined by the state, that also have plentiful job openings in the region. The tuition and fee waiver will apply to the following WCCC credit certificate and noncredit workforce programs which will be conducted at the Youngwood campus: Credit Certificate Programs:  Accounting – Computer Accounting and Tax Specialist  Business – Small Business Management  Early Childhood Education  Office Technology – Medical Administration Option  Office Technology – Office Administration Option  Machine Technology  Computer Numerical Control Technology In This Issue:  Welding Engineering Technology Noncredit Workforce Development Certificate Job Expo . . . . . . . . . . Page 3 Programs:  Emergency Medical Technician Basic Energy Credits . . . . . .Page 3 (EMT-B) Arts Grants . . . . . . . . .Page 4  Nurse Aide Program In addition, the Medical Administration Legislative Breakfast. Page 6 certificate will be offered at the WCCC New Kensington Center, which recently opened on Fifth Send us your feedback Avenue in New Kensington, and the Office E-mail: Administration certificate will be conducted at the FKopas@co.westmoreland.pa.us WCCC Fayette County Center, located in the Community Action building on Beeson Boulevard in

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Uniontown. “We worked with the Workforce Investment Board and CareerLink to select the WCCC programs most beneficial to dislocated workers and our region,” said WCCC President Steven C. Ender. The programs are scheduled to begin May 4 and end August 17. Classes will meet two, three or five days a week, depending on the program. “Our goal is to give folks the skills they need in a relatively short period of time that will put them back in a job by the fall,” said Ender. William Thompson, WIB executive director, said that workers in a temporary layoff situation may also apply for the waiver. “They can use this time to update or enhance their job skills while they’re laid off and that could put them in a better position for when they are called back to work or if they have to look for another job,” said Thompson. “While Westmoreland County has not experienced the severe economic downturn that other parts of our country have, there are still many people impacted by the nationwide financial climate,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Chairman Tom Balya. “This is a great opportunity for displaced workers to refine their skills, or learn new ones, so that they are better equipped for other job opportunities. I commend the community college and the WIB for responding quickly to meet the needs of our workers in these challenging times,” Balya said. Students will be required to apply for all federal and state financial aid programs for education and training. The tuition and fees costs not covered by financial aid will be equally shared by WCCC and WIB. Credit program tuition and fees total $86 per credit for Westmoreland County residents and $162 for Fayette County residents, who are normally charged a double tuition rate. Costs for the noncredit programs vary by program. Interested people must apply at the PA CareerLink offices in New Kensington, Uniontown and Youngwood. These centers will determine eligibility. Once the applicants have been approved, they may begin the admission process at WCCC through the College Learning Center. Dislocated workers may apply for the tuition waiver program through April 24. “Because these students may have trepidations about returning to school and may be unfamiliar with the enrollment process, our staff in the College Learning Center will help each student individually each step of the way,” said Ender. In October, the college and the WIB will reevaluate the program based on demand, resources and the economic situation to determine if it will be continued. “We’re trying to help an immediate problem, but we don’t know how deep it will be,” said Ender. “This will give us a chance to look at demand and resources.” For more information, dislocated workers should contact the following:  PA CareerLink Alle Kiski, 1150, Fifth Ave., New Kensington, 724-334-8600  PA CareerLink Westmoreland, Business & Industry Center, WCCC, Youngwood, 724-755-2330  PA CareerLink Fayette, 135 Wayland Smith Dr., Uniontown, 724-434-5627

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Job Seekers Wanted for WANT Job Expo February 27
Job seekers will have an opportunity to learn about career opportunities and meet with employers at the 18th Annual WANT Job and Career Expo to be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Friday, February 27, at the Westmoreland County Community College Youngwood Campus. The event provides an opportunity for job seekers to connect with regional employers to discuss full- and part-time jobs and internships in areas such as financial services, health care, information technology, social services and government, hospitality and tourism, construction/building trades, and advanced manufacturing. In addition to networking with employers, participants will also have an opportunity to attend job search workshops including “Networking Know How” and “Getting in with the Government.” The WANT Job and Career Expo is open to the community and pre-registration is recommended but not required. By pre-registering, participants are guaranteed a hard copy employer directory and entry into raffle drawings. The deadline for pre-registration is 4:00 p.m., February 24. Participants should pre-register online at www.wantexpo.org and complete the registration form. Walk-in registrations will also be taken the day of the job fair. Participants are encouraged to wear professional attire and bring resumes.

County Benefits from the Sale of Solar Alternative Energy Credits
The Westmoreland County Commissioners were presented a $1,400 check on February 11 from Cooperative Extension in Westmoreland County representatives. The Alternative Energy Credits were produced by the Solar Photovoltaic system installed at the Donohoe Center near the offices of the Cooperative Extension. The passage of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard legislation in November of 2004 created Alternative Energy Credits as a way to differentiate the environmental benefits of electricity generated from renewable resources versus conventional fossil fuels. The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard legislation set minimum requirements for electric distribution companies to purchase supplies from renewable energy resources directly or to purchase Alternative Energy Credits equivalent to the percentage specified in the law. The legislation phases in for the electric distribution companies across the state depending on when the rate caps that are a result of the restructuring of the industry phase out. Alternative Energy Credits represent the environmental attributes of electricity generated from non-polluting generation resources that use renewable fuels as compared to electricity generated from conventional sources like coal or natural gas. The credits serve to offset the cost of installing and maintain these clean renewable generation systems and thereby offer incentives to install additional facilities. The Alternative Energy Credits from the Donohoe Center site were sold to a wholesale power broker and used for the compliance electric distribution companies in Pennsylvania. The price paid was equivalent to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour. The Cooperative Extension in Westmoreland County has been aggregating Alternative Energy Credits for the Donohoe Road system and a number of other systems throughout the state since 2005. As the rate caps for the larger electric distribution

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companies expire, it is anticipated that the price for these credits will continue to increase. The Cooperative Extension office also serves as an aggregator and sales agent for other classes of credits that were defined in the original legislation and subsequent laws that have been passed since 2004 to further refine and expand the overall marketplace. For more information, contact Ed Johnstonbaugh at 724-837-1402 or e-mail exj11@psu.edu.

Westmoreland County Local Arts Grant Applications Available
The Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts are offering grants to non-profit organizations to support art-related projects and activities that will benefit Westmoreland County residents. The awards are designed to stimulate arts programming in Westmoreland County. Nine thousand four hundred twenty six ($9,426) dollars are available for 2009 grants. Applications for funding are available now through the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation. Local non-profit arts organizations and governmental units engaged in the display or production of arts activities are eligible to apply. Eligible arts activities include projects involving music, theater, dance and other performing arts. Organizations already receiving funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts are not eligible for funding. A qualified, independent review board will review all applications received by Thursday, March 12, 2009. Up to 60 percent project funding is available only for direct costs of proposed projects, not for general administration, capital expenses or in-kind costs. Also ineligible are activities that are not open to the general public; take place outside Westmoreland County; have a religious purpose; or serve as vehicles for prizes, fund raising or academic credit. The grant funds are for projects taking place from May 15 to September 30, 2009, and all applicants will be notified of grant awards by May 1. Applications may be obtained at the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation, 194 Donohoe Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. For application information, call 724-830-3950 or visit www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/parks.

"Webinar" Focuses on Water Quality Impacts of Gas Drilling
The current boom in natural gas well drilling in Pennsylvania is a concern for the state's streams and groundwater, according to an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. “Decades ago, we weren’t careful with coal mining. As a result, we are still paying huge sums to clean up acid mine drainage from that period, and we will be for a long time," says Bryan Swistock, Penn State Cooperative Extension water resources specialist. "We need to be careful and vigilant, or we could see lasting damage to our water resources from so many deep gas wells being drilled across Pennsylvania." Swistock will talk about the effects of natural gas drilling on water quality and quantity during a free online seminar at 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 19. The one-hour "webinar" is part of a series of monthly online workshops addressing various issues related to Marcellus shale gas exploration and extraction.

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For information about these webinars, go to http://live.psu.edu/story/36528. Accessing the natural gas in the Marcellus shale requires a drilling technology that may use several million gallons of water for each gas well, Swistock explains. "Where that water comes from, and what the drillers do with it when it is recovered, is a big issue for our state," he says. "The water can have various chemical additives along with natural contaminants from deep underground when it comes back to the surface, so it needs to be collected and treated or recycled properly." Growing up in Indiana County, Swistock saw both the benefits and negative effects of gas-well drilling. "The economic impact can be tremendous, and the environmental effects can be minimized if we are careful," he says. "The newer, deeper drilling in the Marcellus shale is different than the gas well drilling we are accustomed to, and it's happening very quickly. We need to adapt our regulations and strengthen our regulatory agencies to make sure we are prepared to protect our water resources." For more information, contact Bryan Swistock at 814-863-0194 or via e-mail at brs@psu.edu.

PA Cleanways Announces $1,000 Sue Wiseman Scholarship
PA CleanWays is now accepting applications for the Sue Wiseman Scholarship, an annual $1,000 scholarship that recognizes youth who have demonstrated leadership and shown exceptional commitment and dedication to reducing litter and illegal dumping in their community. The Sue Wiseman Scholarship is open to Pennsylvania youth, ages 16-21, who have initiated and carried out a personal project that addresses littering, illegal dumping, recycling, proper disposal, beautification or education. An education project must address one of the other topics listed. Applications and project requirements are due May 1, 2009. Application forms are available on-line at www.pacleanways.org or by calling the PA CleanWays office at 877-772-3673. The scholarship is named for Sue Wiseman, whose commitment and dedication to a cleaner environment led to the founding of PA CleanWays, a statewide nonprofit organization empowering people to eliminate illegal dumping and littering in Pennsylvania. Since 1990, PA CleanWays has facilitated more than 800 illegal dump cleanups resulting in the removal of 10,090 tons of trash, 2,163 tons of scrap metal and 357,840 tires statewide. PA CleanWays community-based approach has involved more than 47,000 volunteers.

Program to Curb Underage Drinking in Greensburg Underway
The Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. is working to implement a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant awarded to the Commission by the Department of Health Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The priority of the grant is to reduce alcohol use and related problems among youth ages 11 to 21. The funds awarded to the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission will target the underage drinking problem in Greensburg among youth ages 11 to 17. According to figures gathered from the Uniform Crime Report, the city of Greensburg has a 16.91 arrest rate per 1,000 population ages 11-17 versus the 8.7 base rate for

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Pennsylvania. The grant funds will be used to determine what Greensburg must do to reduce underage drinking and how the city can accomplish that goal. For more information, please contact the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission at 724-684-9000 ext. 4351.

League of Women Voters Hosting Legislative Breakfast
The League of Women Voters of Westmoreland County is hosting its Eleventh Annual “ Breakfast with our State Legislators” at Ferranti’s Lakeview on Route 30 in Greensburg on Saturday, March 7, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The cost for the breakfast buffet is $20. The purpose of the Legislative Breakfast is to learn where area representatives stand on specific issues and “get a reading” on what legislation might be introduced or reintroduced in the next session. By meeting the county’s state representatives in a more informal atmosphere, attendees have the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level, as well as being able to plant a seed of interest on an issue they may not have considered or are familiar with. The League will have a program booklet that will include biographies of the state legislators and the questions and background information that the League received from the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters. Attendees are encouraged to participate by asking questions on issues that they and their organizations are interested. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis, with reservations and payment due by February 27. For more information, contact Dawn Himler at 727-836-3764 or e-mail dhimler@aol.com.

Give Daffodils, Give Hope and Help Fight Cancer
The American Cancer Society Daffodil Days is coming soon! Westmoreland County residents have until Monday, February 23 to place their orders for daffodils. New to Daffodil Days this year is the Gift of Hope. With multiple donation levels, donors have the opportunity to support the Society’s mission by delivering an anonymous, free bouquet of daffodils along with program and services information to cancer patients in hospitals and treatment centers in communities across Pennsylvania. You can receive a bunch of 10 flowers for a donation of $10, a box of 500 for $500, or a half box of 250 for $250. This year also marks the addition of Carrie N. Hope, the fifth in a special Boyds™ Bear collection designed exclusively for the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Bear and a Bunch™ that can be ordered for a donation of $25. A special edition Daffodil Days vase with 10 flowers or Vase and a Bunch is also available for a donation of $15. Orders are now being taken by contacting the Westmoreland Unit at 724-8349081. Daffodils will be distributed during the week of March 16, and will be available for a donation at a number of sites throughout the area including: Excela Health hospitals in Greensburg, Jeannette, Latrobe and Mount Pleasant; Westmoreland Mall; area Giant Eagle stores; S & T Bank in Delmont; and Ferri’s in Murrysville. “Westmoreland County residents and organizations have already ordered thousands of daffodils for delivery during the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days, March 16 through 22,” according to Arlene Seliy, Westmoreland County Daffodil Days

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chair. “The local goal is to raise more than $80,000 through orders for more than 80,000 daffodils.” If your business would like to participate by coordinating orders among employees, or volunteer for the event, contact the American Cancer Society at 724-8349081.

Window to Westmoreland
Volume 8  Issue 3  February 13, 2009
A bi-weekly update on Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Westmoreland County Courthouse 2 North Main Street, Suite 101 Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601 800-442-6926 Editor: Ted Kopas Contributors: Dan Carpenter, Dawn Himler, Janet Hoffer, Ed Johnstonbaugh, Stephanie Larson, Anna Marie Palatella, John Turack, Susan Zellner

We welcome your feedback. Please send comments or suggestions to Ted Kopas, Chief of Staff for Chairman Tom Balya, via e-mail at FKopas@co.westmoreland.pa.us or call 724-830-3123.

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