Senator Yudichak Recognizes James Cundro as Semi-Finalist in Talk To Your State Senator Video Competition

Hazle Township, April 30, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) visited Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School today to recognize James Cundro, an eighth grader at the school who is a semi-finalist in the Talk to Your State Senator Statewide video competition.

The video competition is sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania with support from the members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania. The competition is intended to get students involved in legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse. The goal of the video is to prevent further addiction; therefore, the video entry was supposed to address the issue of preventing teens from starting drugs. Grand prize winners will be announced May 2, 2018.

“It’s always great to see our youth become actively involved in important causes and the video James produced has a message that resonates with us all – living a healthy balanced life doesn’t leave room for drugs,” said Senator John Yudichak.

“We are thrilled that James is a semi-finalist in this competition. He is an exceptional student and is a positive role model for all the students in Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School,” said Jeanne Conahan, Principal at Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School.

His video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL5o62920gg

 

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PA Army National Guard Center in West Pittston to Become PA Fish and Boat Commission’s New Regional Office, Say Kaufer, Yudichak

LUZERNE, PA – April 24, 2018 – Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) and Sen. John Yudichak (D-14) are pleased to hear that the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) new Regional Office will soon be located in the former PA Army National Guard Center, located at 1308 Susquehanna Ave. in West Pittston Borough.

“I am pleased that this local building and property will be repurposed and put to good use, as well as provide a good resource for local anglers and boaters,” said Kaufer.

“It’s a win for West Pittston and a win for the PA Fish and Boat Commission,” said Yudichak. “By repurposing the vacant Armory, the Fish and Boat Commission will have a more accessible regional office and add to the continued economic recovery of West Pittston.”

The Commonwealth owns the approximately 3-acre parcel of land that was used until 2016 by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) as an Army National Guard Center. The DMVA decided to close the center, and the DMVA and the Department of General Services have been actively seeking to dispose of the property. The Fish and Boat Commission was offered the opportunity to acquire and redevelop the property as a regional office.

“I am pleased this project will finally move forward,” PFBC Commissioner for the Seventh District Norman R. Gavlick said. “Having a location on the Susquehanna River will give the PFBC greater access and oversight to one of the largest waterways in the Commonwealth.”

“This is fantastic news for the borough,” West Pittston Borough Mayor Thomas Blaskiewicz said. “It fulfills so many dreams and hopes for the residents of West Pittston, especially the victims of flooding in 2011 who have fought so hard to rebuild their homes and our community.”

“We are thrilled that the PFBC is coming to West Pittston,” West Pittston Borough Council President Ellen Quinn said. “We look forward to the rebirth of the vacant Armory building and to working with the PFBC to ensure a smooth transition.”
The property will be renovated with $1.2 million in capital budget funds released by the governor. The PFBC expects to relocate its Sweet Valley office to the new building in late 2021.

Senator Yudichak Congratulates the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and the Earth Conservancy for Receiving Environmental Excellence Awards

Harrisburg, April 18, 2018 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) is pleased to announce that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA) and the Earth Conservancy have been chosen by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to receive the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

“I am pleased that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and the Earth Conservancy are being recognized statewide for their continued efforts to give back to the communities they serve. Both projects by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and the Earth Conservancy have spurred economic growth in our region, while also ensuring our environment is protected,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The WVSA has been recognized for their Regional Stormwater Management plan and MS4 permit compliance. More than 30 municipalities in Luzerne County are collaborating on a municipal separate storm and sewer system (MS4) plan designed to reduce stormwater pollution to the Susquehanna River and to adhere to the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. The project is expected to save the region $57 million over the next five years and $247 million over the next two decades.

“It is an honor to receive this award from Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection as we continue our collaborative efforts to protect and preserve both the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, while saving the region millions of dollars,” said Sam Guesto, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the WVSA.

The Earth Conservancy is being recognized for the Askam Borehole Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Treatment System Wayside Exhibit. They installed two AMD treatment systems to prevent pollution from flowing into Nanticoke Creek and reduce the contamination of local watersheds. A walking path with signage teaches students about science and the community, enhances accessibility and safety of the site, and educates visitors about the region’s mining history and the environment.

“The Earth Conservancy is honored to be among those selected for a 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its Askam Borehole Wayside Exhibit in Hanover Township,” said Mike Dziak, President & CEO of the Earth Conservancy. “Education is a key part of our work towards environmental and economic revitalization in the Wyoming Valley. We need members of the community to understand the environmental damages mine-scarred lands create, as well as the ways Earth Conservancy is trying to repair those impacts.  The Askam Borehole Wayside Exhibit is a unique educational tool that does just that for the school, university, nonprofit, and professional groups that visit, along with members of the public.”

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Senator Yudichak Announces the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Receives 2018 Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence

Harrisburg, PA – April 11, 2018 – Senator John Yudichak (D – Carbon/Luzerne) announced today that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA) and its Executive Director Jim Tomaine has received one of the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence in the category of Building Community Partnerships.

The WVSA has been providing wastewater treatment services for Luzerne County since 1962 and is currently spearheading the WVSA Regional Stormwater Management Project. The project is designed to create opportunities for streamlined regulations, economies of scale, strategic partnerships, and a more affordable cost for property owners who benefit from the WVSA stormwater services.

More than 30 municipalities, which are serviced by the WVSA will be collaborating on this venture, where the overall goal is to reduce stormwater pollution to the Susquehanna River and to continue to adhere to the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Tomaine is directly in charge of the project, which is expected to save the region $57 million over the next five years and $247 million over the next two decades.

“The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority’s determination to create a better quality of life for our northeastern Pennsylvania residents is the reason why it has received this prestigious award,” said Senator Yudichak. “The WVSA Regional Stormwater Management Project represents the most comprehensive environmental project in northeastern Pennsylvania in the last 40 years and it couldn’t have been done without the unwavering leadership of Jim Tomaine.”

“Today’s recognition is the result of thirty-plus municipalities collaborating with our state and local leaders in order to make northeastern Pennsylvania a healthier place to live,” said Sam Guesto, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the WVSA. “Our project will help to continue to protect and preserve both the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, while saving the region millions of dollars.”

Each year, one week in April is designated by the PA Legislature as “Local Government Week.” During this week, the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services has made a tradition of hosting a Local Government Day celebration, featuring the presentation of the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence to recognize local officials for their successes in undertaking innovative initiatives to improve the quality of life in their communities.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Funding for Abandoned Mine Land projects in Carbon County

Jim Thorpe, April 6, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that one project in Carbon County will receive $3 million in funding for environmental cleanup and revitalization of abandoned mine lands from the Department of Environmental Protection. Senator Yudichak worked with State Representative Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) to secure this funding.

“The environmental leadership exhibited by the communities and organizations throughout northeastern Pennsylvania should be commended for their steadfast approach to revitalizing the region by reclaiming mine scarred lands for community and economic growth,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The Borough of Weatherly received $3 million in funding for acid mine drainage treatment and trout stream restoration as well as construction of the Black Creek Trail. The funding will help with the installation of an active treatment system that will restore eight miles of wild trout stream and help with the construction of a trail between the Borough of Weatherly and the Lehigh Gorge State Park.

“This is great news for Weatherly, because this funding makes both an environmental and economic impact on our community,” said Harold Pudliner, Weatherly Borough Manager. “With the restoration of this stream and the construction of the Black Creek Trail it will make Weatherly a destination for both tourists and new businesses.”

Project funding comes from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) 2017 AML Pilot Program, which specifically targets abandoned mine cleanup projects that are linked to local community and economic development goals.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Funding for Abandoned Mine Land projects in Luzerne County

Nanticoke, April 6, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that four projects in Luzerne County will receive over $7.8 million in funding for environmental cleanup and revitalization of abandoned mine lands from the Department of Environmental Protection. Senator Yudichak worked with State Senator John Gordner and State Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski, Gerald Mullery, Tarah Toohil, and Aaron Kaufer to secure this funding.

“The environmental leadership exhibited by the communities and organizations throughout northeastern Pennsylvania should be commended for their steadfast approach to revitalizing the region by reclaiming mine scarred lands for community and economic growth,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The Earth Conservancy will receive $2.5 million in funding for the construction and completion of Bliss Bank 3 Business Park, located in Hanover and Newport Townships. The project consists of remediation of 55 acres of mined land, including 1,200 feet of dangerous mine highwalls, which will allow the completion of the 220-acre Bliss Bank business park. With active recruitment of nationwide companies underway, about 1,000 full-time jobs are anticipated.

“Receiving this award is crucial to the overall goal of reclaiming mine land and turning it into economic growth opportunities for our region,” said Mike Dziak, Director of Communications for the Earth Conservancy. “Part of this project is constructing a roadway that will connect Bliss Bank 3 to the South Valley Parkway, which is already drawing interest from businesses that can come in here and create jobs.”

In Luzerne County, the following projects will also receive funding:

  • Hazle Township will receive $2 million – CAN DO North Park Drive Business Park, Hazle Township: Almost 130 acres of mine land will be regraded to pre-mining conditions to be developed into seven developable parcels in the CAN DO Industrial Park.
  • Hazle Township will receive $1 million – Hollars Hill South AML site and Cranberry Creek Gateway Project, Hazle Township: About 150 acres of mine spoil, industrial/residential waste, and hazardous structures will be reclaimed for a community ballfield complex and to allow development of the planned residential, retail, and commercial development called Cranberry Creek Gateway.
  • The Borough of Swoyersville will receive $2.3 million – Swoyersville refuse pile/community athletic complex, Swoyersville Borough: In the first phase of the Swoyersville culm bank reclamation, approximately 15 acres of the 55-acre coal refuse pile will be removed and remediated, with over 2 million cubic yards of refuse anticipated to be usable for electricity cogeneration facilities. Floodplain restoration will improve water quality in the Abrahams Creek Watershed and reduce flooding. Seven acres of the reclaimed property will be transferred to Swoyersville Borough for development of a new community athletic complex that will allow multiple teams to play, drawing more people to the borough.

Project funding comes from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) 2017 AML Pilot Program, which specifically targets abandoned mine cleanup projects that are linked to local community and economic development goals.

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Senator Yudichak to Host Free Veterans Assistance Hours in Nanticoke District Office

Nanticoke, April 5, 2018 – State Senator John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) will host free veterans assistance hours on Tuesday April 24, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his Nanticoke District Office located at 164 South Market Street, Nanticoke PA 18634. Appointments are necessary.

To make an appointment with the American Legion Service Officer, please call Senator Yudichak’s Nanticoke Office at 570-740-2434.

Veterans and their families can discuss: Compensation, Pension, Death Benefits, Education and Health Care. Veterans do not need to be a member of the American Legion to receive services.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Apprenticeship Grants

Harrisburg, April 3, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that the Hershey Company, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, and the Lehigh Carbon Community College have received funding to support pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

The Hershey Company’s Hazleton Plant is receiving a $70,000 Pre-Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship Grant and a $45,495 Capacity Building Grant. The Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce is receiving a $42,280 Capacity Building Grant. Additionally, the Lehigh Carbon Community College is receiving an $80,000 Pre-Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship Grant.

“The Hershey Company, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, and Lehigh Carbon Community College recognize the true impact pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs have on strengthening our workforce and driving economic growth in northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Senator John Yudichak.      

“We are honored to be selected by Governor Wolf for these important apprenticeship grants at our Hershey plant in Hazleton. We will use the grants to cover on-site and vocational training costs as we develop our unique program,” said Stephen Knight, Hazleton plant manager. “Apprenticeships are an important way for aspiring workers to get the experience needed to work in today’s sophisticated and complex manufacturing environment where the required skill-set is dramatically different from even 10 years ago.”

“We are very excited to learn our Chamber will be receiving one of Governor Wolf’s Capacity Building Grants. The Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce has been working diligently with the community to better connect our students with our employers. This grant will enable us to develop programs which will create a direct link between employers who are looking for skilled, productive employees and job seekers who are looking for stable careers to earn good wages,” said Michelle Mikitish, Executive Vice President of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce’s first Registered Apprenticeship program will be for a team management apprentice. The program will prepare participants to take on the responsibility of managing the day-to-day activities of a group of employees. Learning objectives will include, but not be limited to, effective team leadership and communication, development of performance goals, standards and feedback, conflict resolution, effective discipline, and delegation. Their goal is to implement this program with 2-4 employers and 10-15 apprentices by September 2018.

The Pre-Apprenticeship/Apprenticeship Grant supports pre-apprenticeship programs that have an active relationship with apprenticeship programs registered in Pennsylvania; or apprenticeship programs that are already registered in Pennsylvania. The Capacity Building Grant supports businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce, training providers, career and technical centers, and intermediaries interested in sponsoring registered apprenticeship programs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awards these grants through Local Workforce Development Boards.

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