Travels in Pennsylvania during the April Recess

Now that Congress has entered its April recess, I am busy traveling all over Pennsylvania.  It has been a great opportunity for me to visit with Pennsylvanians in their own communities.  Here’s an update on some of my travels through Pennsylvania so far:

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in Johnstown: I had the opportunity to meet with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College (PHCC) President Dr. Walter Asonevich to talk about the college’s program to offer tuition-free classes for workers who have recently lost their jobs.  This program, which has started at other Pennsylvania community colleges, gives workers a chance to upgrade their skills so they can compete for better jobs.  I was so impressed with this program that I introduced a bill to help other community colleges start their own programs for dislocated workers.  I also met with other representatives from PHCC and had a chance to talk with students currently enrolled in PHCC’s tuition assistance program.

NETL in Pittsburgh: Also during my trip to Southwestern Pennsylvania, I took a tour of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh.  I learned more about NETL’s work on emerging energy technologies, including carbon capture and storage and other clean coal approaches.  I am very excited that Pennsylvania is leading the way in this important area of energy research and development.  Before going into recess, I was pleased that the U.S. Senate passed the amendment I introduced to help accelerate research and development of carbon capture and storage technology, and it was wonderful to see firsthand the work that NETL is doing in that area. NETL’s work puts southwestern Pennsylvania at the forefront of efforts to produce breakthroughs that will reduce carbon emission from existing coal-fired power plants and create jobs and business opportunities for a new generation of energy technology that can be sold throughout the world.

North Broad Street Project in Philadelphia:  I was honored to join Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in announcing $475,000 in federal funding for the City of Philadelphia’s North Broad Street Project.  This project is an investment in the economic development along the North Broad Street corridor above Philadelphia’s historic City Hall.  We expect this investment to help spur new development that will generate new jobs and continue the revitalization of North Broad Street.