Senator Yudichak and Senator Argall Announce $1.5 Million Loan for the Hazleton City Authority

Harrisburg, January 30, 2019 – State Senators John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) and David Argall (R – Berks/Schuylkill) announced today that a loan in the amount of $1.5 million for the Hazleton City Authority has been approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Board.

The project will rehabilitate several water storage tanks in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties, including interior and exterior painting, the installation of security measures, and the replacement of tank components. Several pump stations will be upgraded or increased in size to meet community water needs and a new fixed-base leak detection system will be acquired.

“PENNVEST investments in the public infrastructure of northeastern Pennsylvania will allow the Hazleton City Authority to improve the reliability and quality of water service to residents of the Greater Hazleton area,” said Senator John Yudichak.

“The deterioration of water tanks and other infrastructure can create a serious public health hazard,” Argall said. “The end result of these rehabilitation projects will be a safer, more efficient and reliable system to benefit community residents.”

The project is estimated to create 20 construction related jobs.

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Senator Yudichak Announces Community Outreach Dates in Pittston

Pittston, January 16, 2019 – In an effort to make constituent services more accessible, Senator John Yudichak (D -Luzerne/Carbon) will be hosting community outreach hours at various locations and dates in the Pittston area.

Staff from Senator Yudichak’s office will be at the following locations in January:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Pittston Memorial Library
47 Broad Street
Pittston, PA 18640

Tuesday, January 29, 2019: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

West Pittston Library
200 Exeter Avenue
West Pittston, PA 18640

Constituents needing assistance with anything state government related can visit during these hours.

Please note that for those wanting to apply for property tax/rent rebates for the first time, those forms are not yet available from the Commonwealth. When those forms are made available, Senator Yudichak’s office will host separate outreach events and a schedule for those will be forthcoming.

In addition to hosting community outreach hours in Pittston, Senator Yudichak has two district offices in Nanticoke and Jim Thorpe. Those locations and hours are as follows:

164 South Market Street
Nanticoke, PA 18634
(570) 740-2434
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

1201 North Street, Suite 3
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 325-3274
8:30 a.m. –  4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

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Democratic State Senators Seek Spark to Ignite Manufacturing Expansion

Brewster, Hughes, Yudichak to introduce comprehensive legislative package

HARRISBURG, January 11, 2019 – Three Democratic state senators today announced a comprehensive package of legislation aimed at sparking a rapid and sustained expansion of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector. 

State Sens. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland), Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) said they will sponsor legislation that would better focus state efforts to develop manufacturing opportunities and create jobs.   

“We need to focus our efforts and address all aspects of economic development, including manufacturing,” Hughes said.  “We have to do better coordinating our efforts, funding job training, purchasing new equipment and investing in communities in need.

“Manufacturing is a large and important part of our economy and it needs to continue to grow and develop. Our urban and rural areas are heavily dependent on this sector of our economy.”  

According to the Center for Manufacturing Research, 12 percent of Pennsylvania’s gross state product is directly related to manufacturing with more than 550,000 workers engaged.   Manufactured products account for $33 billion annually in exports. 

Yudichak’s legislation calls for the creation of a “Chief Manufacturing Officer” within the governor’s office and a “Manufacturing Competitiveness Board” to help craft an overall manufacturing strategy. 

“A chief manufacturing officer would serve as a strong advocate for manufacturing at the highest level of state government,” Yudichak said.  “The individual who serves in that position should be well-schooled in the development of manufacturing strategies, especially as it relates to rural areas.”

A key aspect of growing the manufacturing sector is having capital on hand to help businesses invest in new equipment and training.  Brewster’s legislation would channel up to $5 million in state grants for vocational technical schools, vocational programs and equipment purchases from the state’s Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund.   The proposal would increase the maximum loan amount from $5 million to $7.5 million and authorize loans to retrofit equipment. 

“This grant program is essential for vocational schools and small businesses,” Brewster said.  “The grants would allow schools to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to train a new generation of skilled workers.”

Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap, according to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.

Hughes’ legislation would expand the Manufacturing Tax Credit by lifting the credit cap to $12.5 million from its current $4 million.  A portion of the tax credit – up to $2.5 million – would be set aside for businesses in distressed communities.  It would also be used for disadvantaged, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. 

Brewster said that the investment in manufacturing pays dividends for Pennsylvania’s workers.  The average annual compensation for manufacturing employees in Pennsylvania in 2016 was $72,151. The average statewide salary for non-manufacturing and nonfarm business in Pennsylvania in 2016 was $49,059, according to National Association of Manufactures – State Data. 

“We must have investments in manufacturing to ensure that Pennsylvania has a well-rounded and diverse economy,” Brewster said.  Brewster’s Senate district includes many areas dependent on heavy manufacturing operations in the Monongahela and Allegheny River valley’s in Allegheny and Westmorland Counties.

Yudichak, who is from Northeast Pennsylvania, has a diverse district that includes manufacturing operations in cities and rural areas.  He said it was critical that Pennsylvania policy stay current with national and international economics. 

“A small manufacturing business, often located in a rural area, produces products that are used in goods manufactured all over the world,” Yudichak said. 

The changing world economic landscape has altered how manufacturing is being developed and sustained in the United States.  In 2015, compared to urban areas, manufacturing represented a greater share of both private nonfarm rural jobs (14 percent vs. 7 percent) and rural earnings (21 percent vs. 11 percent) according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

While the legislation was also introduced last session, the Democratic senators said they are hopeful they can advance the legislative package this year.  They said will question state officials about their commitment to manufacturing during the upcoming budget hearings. 

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Senator Yudichak Begins Third Term in Pennsylvania Senate

Harrisburg, January 1, 2019 – State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon) issued the following statement today after taking the oath of office during the swearing in ceremony in the Pennsylvania Senate:

“With my four beautiful daughters at my side, it is a deeply humbling experience to take the oath of office for a third time in the Pennsylvania State Senate,” said Senator Yudichak.

“Over my two decades in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, I have accepted the oath of office as a solemn contract with the people of Pennsylvania and a clarion call to serve Carbon and Luzerne Counties to the very best of my abilities. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of the 14th Senate District.”

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