President Obama’s first 100 days are nearing their close and this is historically a time to measure the effectiveness of a new Administration. All the news outlets will be analyzing what was done, what was accomplished and the general nature of the new people. Pennsylvania is profiting well from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as projects and funding flow into the Commonwealth. The following is a summary put together by the White House about specific projects funded and managed by the Obama team here in the Keystone State. The Crossley Farm Superfund project isn’t far from where I live and has been a bad environmental site for years.
Directly benefiting from the President’s policies 95% of our working people received increases in their net incomes April 1st as taxes were reduced. One of my sisters is taking advantage of the $8000 tax credit for new home buyers and closes on a new home next week (Thanks Kirk and all those at your agency!). We’ll be installing new energy efficient windows under that tax credit and thousands of other Pennsylvanians are doing the same thing. All this economic activity stimulates the economy and saves or creates jobs.
Every Republican member of the state Congressional delegation voted against this program. Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent, Tim Murphy, Joe Pitts, Todd Platts, Bill Shuster, and Thompson all voted No to this economic spending. Remember this when election day 2010 rolls around.
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* $6,716,568 to fund 6 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 39,930patients and create a projected 295 jobs.
* $9,448,774 to expand services at 36 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 59,603 patients and create or save a projected 180 jobs.
* $4,485,834 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
* $680,278,921 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
* $8,159,088 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
* $1,026,429,012 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
* $343,703,209 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
* More than $72.3 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
REAL RESULTS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
PA Transportation Secretary Estimated Stimulus Road Projects Would Create 30,000 Jobs. “Highway and bridge projects financed by $1 billion in federal stimulus money are expected to create thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, according to Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler. A list of about 240 projects was released at a news conference in Harrisburg on Monday afternoon and posted on www.recovery.pa.gov, the state’s Web site for stimulus projects. One of the biggest-ticket items is $46 million for the relocation of railroad lines and other preparations for the widening of Route 28 between Millvale and Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill neighborhood. There’s also $12.5 million set aside for rehabilitation of the Liberty Tunnel in Pittsburgh. In Westmoreland County, there is $3.9 million for highway restoration of State Route 30 from Theater Street to Route 217 in Unity Township, and $4.1 million to restore Route 30 from Black Hills Road to Walton Tea Room Road in Hempfield Township. Overall, Biehler said the complete body of work will improve 399 bridges and 608 miles of roadway throughout the state. Biehler estimated that the road projects will directly and indirectly create 30,000 jobs.” [WTAE-TV, 3/16/09]
Harrisburg Will Hire Workers to Fix Up Homes with Stimulus Funds. Thanks to Federal stimulus money, many people will start living in better conditions and with that there’s hope the changes will improve local communities. The Harrisburg Housing Authority will receive more than 4-million dollars to improve public housing buildings in the city. Windows are broken and boarded up. They are signs of a run down public housing complex that needs help. ‘If you look around, there are boards on the windows. They can fix them so people with families can move in there,’ said Jack Lasure, visiting friends at the William Howard Complex. Harrisburg’s mayor says more than two-million of Federal Stimulus money will go towards fixing-up the William Howard Day Homes Complex. Hall Manor will see some money too. Families, like Wilbur Wright’s, will not only be able to enjoy each other on a warm Saturday afternoon, but they’ll also be able to take in some upgrades.” [Ch 21 CBS News, 4/18/09]
Recovery Act Funding Could Mean The Creation Of 5,000 Jobs In Philadelphia “[Philadelphia] electrician George DiBruno has a family of four to support and a construction job that lasts only eight more weeks. After that? ‘After this one we don’t know what’s gonna happen,’ he says. Which is why the seemingly humdrum meetings he’s attending these days are so exciting for him. They’re new construction bid meetings – fueled by stimulus money – that are launching government projects nationwide…In other words, there are jobs out there. The money is there. People like DiBruno and welder Al Brown just need to land them. If Brown’s small, struggling welding business wins a contract, it’ll mean jobs for 8 to 10 workers. ‘We’re attending the outreach meetings. Letting people know who we are, what we can do,’ Brown says. Bob Lund is managing transit system stimulus money for the city of Philadelphia. With $191 million dollars to use, Lund’s work could create 5,000 jobs. That’s 5,000 people who, if the stimulus money weren’t available, wouldn’t be working at all, Lund says. [CBS News, 3/6/09]
Pennsylvania Medical Research Called Stimulus Funding “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity,” Said Funding Would Create and Save Jobs. “Dr. Brian Strom was finally able to relax last Friday afternoon after a dizzying week of overseeing grant applications. Strom is director of University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which raced the clock to put together 17 grant applications for federal funding that would fund studies comparing drugs and treatments as a March 9 deadline loomed. Welcome to the new world of health-care research under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act… ‘Every day a new announcement comes out about opportunities for funding,’ Strom said. ‘This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ That feeling is shared at other research organizations around Philadelphia. ‘This is an extraordinary opportunity,’ said Dr. Steven E. McKenzie, vice president for research at Thomas Jefferson University. ‘We’re delighted to have an opportunity to compete for this money. It’s clear to us we’ll be keeping people employed who may not have stayed employed, and creating new jobs.’ [Philadelphia Business Journal, 3/13/09]
Hereford Township Will Receive $5 Million From Recovery Act For Crossley Farm Superfund Cleanup, Employing 20-30 People. “Cleanup at the Crossley farm Superfund site in Hereford Township will begin in earnest this fall with the help of $5 million in federal stimulus money. Administrators at the Environmental Protection Agency learned Wednesday that the Crossley farm near Bally is one of 50 sites that will benefit from the stimulus. The EPA plans to award a contract in September to build a treatment plant to remove groundwater contamination, said Roy Schrock, an EPA project manager in charge of the Crossley cleanup. The facility is expected to take about two years to complete and employ 20 to 30 people during construction…The extensive contamination at the Crossley site in eastern Berks placed it high on the priority list to get the infusion of federal money, Schrock said. ‘This has moved up my schedule by six months to a year,’ he said.” [Reading Eagle, 4/16/09]
WHYY: Stimulus Funding at Airport Gets Jobs Ready for Take-Off. “Airports throughout Pennsylvania are benefiting from federal stimulus money. The announcement Wednesday unlocks money for the region. Five million dollars of federal stimulus funding will be dedicated to resurfacing the runway at Philadelphia International Airport. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says the money will create jobs to do the construction work. Lahood: Our part at transportation is to get people to work at good paying jobs. Mayor Michael Nutter says this is one of the so-called shovel ready projects talked about during debate on the stimulus plan. Nutter: What it’s going to mean is we are embarking on the repaving and improving the infrastructure of the longest runway at Philadelphia International Airport. Close to 300 jobs are being created just by this project. Nutter says with the money now available the bid process is now underway. Northeast Philadelphia Airport is also receiving $1 million for taxiway improvements.” [WHYY, 4/16/09]
Six Health Clinics in Pennsylvania Received $6.7 Million in Grant Money, Creating 295 Jobs. “Six health clinics in Pennsylvania will receive more than $6.7 million in grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the White House announced Monday. According to a statement from the White House, the money will go toward helping people in need, many without health insurance, obtain access to health care services. The funds will create 295 jobs, the White House said… The clinics included are Community Health Clinic in New Kensington, North Side Christian Services in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood, Community Medical Services in New Kensington, Chespenn Health Services in Chester, Covenant House in Philadelphia and Keystone Rural Health Consortia in Emporium.” [Pittsburgh Business Times, 3/2/09]
Stimulus Funding Will Triple Number of AmeriCorps VISTA Workers in Some PA Counties. “Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes $201 million in funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, agencies and organizations in Erie and Crawford counties will be able to host 28 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) workers, about a third more this year than they hosted last year… The project’s three focus areas address physical and mental health issues of children and youth in poverty and their families or households; offer assistance to parents, focus on intergenerational programs or foster communication and collaboration among different age groups; and enhance curricular and co-curricular education for children and youth in poverty.” [Meadville Tribune, 3/23/09]
Lancaster County Will Receive $2 Million For 300 Youth Summer Jobs. “As the recession limits some summer-job options for young people, a new program for Lancaster County youths will help pick up the slack. With a roughly $2 million infusion of federal stimulus money, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board is expanding by adding a summer-jobs programs for 14- to 24-year-olds. Scheduled for the next two years, the new program is expected to help about 300 low-income young people by tacking a work component onto existing career camps. Scott Sheely, executive director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, estimated that $800,000 of the new federal money will be spent for the youth jobs programs, a cash infusion that is forcing some fast planning. ‘We’re pretty well set up to expand pretty dramatically, pretty quickly and that’s what we’re going to do,’ Sheely said.” [Lancaster Online, 3/23/09]
Stimulus Money to Help Needy Pennsylvania Seniors. “A relative sliver of the federal government’s stimulus money will be used to help feed some of Pennsylvania’s neediest senior citizens. The state is expecting nearly $4.5 million to help pay for home-delivered meals and lunches at local senior centers, officials announced Wednesday. It’s still unclear how that money will be divvied up within the state, but local officials say the money could be crucial in helping keep pace with the needs of Pennsylvania’s aging population. ”Our clients are home-bound, so they’re really in a position where they could be at risk for malnutrition because many of them have stopped driving, many of them have have multiple chronic illnesses — it’s difficult for them to get out,” said Pam Bechtel, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County… Jane Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, said there are now 157 people — including residents of Monroe and Schuylkill counties — who are on waiting lists to receive home-delivered meals. ‘This money will be very welcome to provide senior citizens in the commonwealth with nutritious meals,’ she said.” [Allentown Morning Call, 3/19/09]
Pittsburgh International Will Be the First Airport in the Country to Receive Stimulus Funding, Which Will Be Used to Repave and Improve Lighting on a Runway, Will Create Jobs. “Pittsburgh International says it will be the first airport to receive infrastructure project funding from President Obama’s stimulus package. ‘This funding will most certainly increase jobs,’ said Glenn Mahone, chairman of Allegheny County Airport Authority, which runs the airport. The airport will spend its $10 million grant to repave and improve lighting on a crosswind runway, a project that will begin this summer and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010.”[USA Today, 3/15/09]
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Tom Barnes) “Stimulus funds to aid 6 Pennsylvania health clinics:” Two streams of federal stimulus money are flowing into Pennsylvania, one being $6.7 million to bolster six community health clinics around the state, including clinics in Pittsburgh and two other Western Pennsylvania towns. But that money won’t prevent some painful cuts in health programs. The North Side Christian Health Center in Pittsburgh, the Community Health Clinic Inc. in New Kensington and the Community Medical Services clinic in Uniontown will benefit from funding under the newly enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Arlen Specter and U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle and John Murtha said in a statement yesterday. LINK
South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority Anticipated Creating 5,590 Jobs from Stimulus Money. “Awaiting the late-spring arrival of $200 million in economic stimulus money, SEPTA plans to create 5,590 jobs in what General Manager Joseph M. Casey called the ‘true spirit’ of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ‘This money is a use-it-or-lose-it opportunity,’ Casey told the Daily News, ‘and if you’re not ready to use it, you shouldn’t be running a transit agency.’ ‘The stimulus money is for projects that are ‘shovel-ready’ to create thousands of jobs quickly. We made sure we had those projects in the pipeline.’ Robert Lund, SEPTA’s program manager for stimulus projects, said that the 5,590 new jobs will include 1,915 in construction and 875 in materials companies, such as steel fabricators. The remaining 2,800 jobs, Lund said, will be in companies providing goods and services to the 2,790 new construction and materials workers, who will have new income to spend.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 3/4/09]