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Free at-home COVID-19 tests

Beginning Wednesday January 19, every home in the U.S. can order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests will be completely free-- there are no shipping costs and you don't ned to enter a credit card number. 
 www.covidtest.gov 

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Notice of Issuance for RFP 22-04-GR, Business Services for the Pennsylvania CareerLink(R) Berks County


Please be advised that the County of Berks has issued Request for Proposal (RFP) #22-04-GR, Business Services for the Pennsylvania CareerLink® Berks County.
 
Please review this RFP for detailed instructions on proposal submissions.  Proposals will be opened publicly at 2:15 P.M., on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.  Proposers may attend the RFP opening through Microsoft Teams.  The Microsoft Teams URL for the opening can be located on the following site under the listing for this specific RFP: 
https://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Purchasing/Pages/InvitationstoBid(ITB)andRequestforProposals(RFP).aspx 
 
A pre-proposal conference will be held on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, beginning promptly at 10:00 AM.  Proposers may participate in the pre-proposal conference of this RFP through Microsoft Teams.  The Microsoft Teams URL for the pre-proposal conference can be located on the following site under the listing for this specific RFP: 
https://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Purchasing/Pages/InvitationstoBid(ITB)andRequestforProposals(RFP).aspx
 
Proposers are encouraged to submit their questions in advance of the pre-proposal conference to 
[email protected].
 
Interested parties may obtain the RFP package via the following methods: 
(1) Download the RFP package from the Purchasing Department page on the County’s website – 
http://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Purchasing/Pages/InvitationstoBid(ITB)andRequestforProposals(RFP).aspx
(2) call the County’s Purchasing Dept at 610-478-6168 to request the package be sent via fax or email. 
 
Please note that the deadline for the County’s receipt of proposals in response to this RFP is 2:00 PM, Tuesday, March 1, 2022 in the Controller’s Office.  The Controller’s time clock is considered to be the official time. Further details are included in the RFP package.

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Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund 


The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, or PAHAF, is a housing-related program funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to assist Pennsylvania homeowners facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began after January 21, 2020, (including a hardship that began before January 21, 2020, and continued after that date). The program will provide financial assistance to homeowners for qualified mortgage and housing-related expenses to avoid delinquency, default, foreclosure, or displacement.

Starting February 1, 2022, the Program will begin taking applications.
Find out if you are eligible. 
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Job Listing: Program Officer, Equitable Neighborhoods 

Please click here for more details.

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 Are you ready to start or improve your business?


WORC's Start Smart Start Green Entrepreneurship Training is the program for you!

Start Smart provides individuals that have a business idea and possess transferable skills, owners of existing part-time businesses, or those with fewer than 12 months of business operations the opportunity to take their business to the next level.

The Start Smart business model employs next-level marketing and formal business structures incorporated into a highly developed written business plan. Successful graduates will have developed and implemented legal business operations and are invited to participate in the WORC micro-loan program.

  • The five-week program meets two times per week (Monday & Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm)
  • Covers business plan development, marketing, management, and financing for start-up and existing businesses. Consult with an Attorney, Accountant, and Other Professionals.
  • Successful participants will have completed a business plan, met all of the local, state, and federal requirements, and be participating in actual business operations
  • Helps participants evaluate, refine and develop their "micro" business by preparing a written business plan, including sections on marketing, operations, and financials
  • Fee: Entrepreneurship Training only $175 ($99 for Low-Income)

PLEASE NOTE: Orientation attendance is mandatory for program enrollment.

Register for an Orientation Session HERE.

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The Omicelo Cares 7 Pillars of Sustainable Business™ Accelerator is looking for diverse small businesses to participate in its 2022 cohort, launching in February. Selected entrepreneurs will receive a detailed business assessment and evaluation, $10-20K of technical support from industry experts, and one-on-one consultation in two or three of the 7 Pillars. The 7 Pillars are Strategy + Technology + Communication + Finance + Legal + Capital + People.
 
Our program is best able to accelerate established businesses that are already doing well in four or five of the 7 Pillars™. You may be a good candidate for the accelerator if you are aware of two or three of the 7 Pillars™ in which your business could use support, you are a disadvantaged, minority, or women business enterprise, or you are from a low- to moderate-income community. The 7 Pillars™ Accelerator specializes in preparing diverse small businesses for procurement opportunities.
 
Entrepreneurs interested in learning more and applying should complete the form at omicelocares.org/7pillars.


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Cities United Young Leader Fellowship

**** Applications Now EXTENDED through January 17th ****
Cities United is pleased to announce the launch of the fourth cycle of the Young Leader Fellowship, which builds a pipeline of Black leaders committed to making sure all children grow up in safe, healthy, and hopeful communities, while reducing the homicide and shooting rates of Black men and boys. 
This Fellowship is an intensive eight-month experience designed for 18 - 24 year old young leaders in Cities United partner cities. Throughout the Fellowship Young leaders will engage with local leaders, mentors, and national experts to deepen their knowledge, skills, and professional network. Young leaders will gain insights regarding Cities United violence prevention strategies, personal and professional leadership, policy and advocacy, and capacity building. At the conclusion of the Fellowship graduates receive a $1,500 stipend and will have traveled to three in-person expenses paid meetups in different parts of the country. 
Share the application with a young person you know today! Applications due Jan 17: tinyurl.com/YLF2022
Contact Rachel Askew, Associate of Young Leaders with questions or for more information at [email protected]


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City of Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia

Job Listing: Director of Multicultural Affairs
Please visit this link for requirements and details.

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D&E Builders is a general contracting and property maintenance company that recently joined the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative as an Employer Partner.  The Carpentry role is a great career opportunity for an entry-level or experienced tradesperson; the salary range is $15-35 per hour, depending on experience.  If you are a Philadelphia resident returning from incarceration and have some carpentry experience, please consider applying.  Please see the following pdf files for more details: FCHI Job Announcement |  Fair Chance Hiring Initiative

    

Qualifying returning citizens are eligible to receive a one-time, $1,000 Employment Retention Grant as an incentive for maintaining FCHI employment and completing the 180-calendar day New Hire Period.  The returning citizen must be a Philadelphia resident who was released from incarceration as part of a court sentence within the last seven (7) years from a local, state or federal institution.

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Federal Child Tax Credit Payments



Since August, more than 750 Philadelphia families have claimed nearly $3 million in federal Child Tax Credit payments from the IRS using www.getCTC.org/philly. That's $3 million that Philly parents are using to buy food, pay bills, or just enjoy a dinner out for a change. But there are thousands of the lowest income Philadelphians who have not yet claimed their payments and who risk leaving $250 or $300 per month, per kid, in the federal government's bank account—and not in their pockets.
 
The deadline to claim the 2021 advance payments is November 15th. Almost every Philadelphia parent or guardian is eligible. Your income can be as little as $0, you don't have to pay it back, it doesn't count as income so it won't affect your benefits, and isn't taxable.  
 
The average Philly family completes the application at www.getCTC.org/philly and gets an email from the IRS on the status of their application in less than 45 minutes. 
 
The average payment is nearly $4,000 per family. And everyone who qualifies is eligible for another lump sum payment for the other six months of 2021 when they file taxes in the new year. 
 
Go to www.getCTC.org/philly to apply. You can do it by yourself, or for assistance, email us at [email protected]


 
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 The Commerce Department Workforce is seeking skilled consultants to support the office and the Workforce Professional Alliance.


  1. Request For Qualifications for a skilled professional consultant to provide training to  workforce development staff of the WPA membership organizations

  2. Request For Qualifications  for a consultant to provide support to the WPA and the member development series


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It's only been two months, but here's what we know: the expanded Child Tax Credit payments issued by the IRS are already helping millions of families across the U.S. in reducing child hunger, and it is estimated that 75,000 Philadelphians will be lifted out of poverty if everyone claims the payments they are eligible for. But some of the lowest income Philadelphians are at risk of leaving this money on the table because the IRS does not have their information to begin making payments.

 

This is where you come in. The City of Philadelphia has dedicated additional resources to reach families and help them sign-up for the payments, including a new grant opportunity. Community organizations that serve the lowest income Philadelphians are encouraged to apply for funding to conduct outreach and help families claim the expanded CTC payments. Funds can be used to educate residents and help them claim the payments

 

It's not too late. Even if families have missed the monthly payments, they can still get the full amount they are eligible for by filing their information with the IRS, but we need your help. Together, we can ensure that every eligible Philadelphian claims this benefit.


Click here to learn more or apply!




 


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The City of Philadelphia is hiring for an Equitable Engagement Director. 
Please consider applying if this position is of interest to you!


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Stay Informed on COVID-19 in Philadelphia

 

Below are some quick ways to stay informed:For the latest updates and information on COVID-19 in Philadelphia please visit the Phila.gov webpage.


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Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Now Available
APPLY TODAY!

Attention All Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers: If your loan is $150,000 or less, you may be eligible to apply for direct forgiveness through SBA using their new online portal. See HERE to learn more about the details and eligibility for the forgiveness program. And for help submitting your application through the portal, check out this training video from the SBA.


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Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT Program 
APPLY NOW 

Wells Fargo has launched their NeighborhoodLIFT Program to help eligible homebuyers by providing money for down payments.

This program can help you buy a home of your own by reducing the strain of a down payment and closing costs. You may be eligible even if this isn't your first home purchase.
 
To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, visit HERE.

For additional information on resources for business owners, check out Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation's (PIDC) regularly updated list of available opportunities and funding programs.

The Merchants Fund launched a Merchant Relief Fund to raise additional funds to support Philadelphia small businesses with critical need. To support the fund, please visit www.merchantsfund.org/donate. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% are given to a business in need.

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Please support the people of Haiti as they work to recover from the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island on August 14. Many leaders in Philadelphia’s Haitian community will be traveling to Haiti in the near future to help their brothers and sisters recover from the aftermath of the earthquake.  You can help support their trips by donating to their online donation pages or by donating needed supplies.  Please check each individual link to learn more.

 Crayons for Haiti – Founder Yves Marie Desire 
Has had an ongoing partnership with schools in Haiti for a few years. She is fundraising for her Journey to Freedom Trip via Paypal. The trip starts on August 31st. Details of the trip and links are on her page.
Fundraising for a group of volunteers planning to go to Haiti in September. She has a GoFundMe link on her Facebook and Instagram page.
GoFundMe Page for ongoing fundraising for this crisis and to help rebuild homes on the island. This group also is collecting donations and will send a group of volunteers to Haiti to help with recovery efforts.

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LEON H. SULLIVAN CHARITABLE TRUST 

POSITION DESCRIPTION 

Job Title: Executive Director 

Job Type: Full Time Exempt 

Reports To: The Board of Trustees 

The Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust (the “Trust”) was organized December 1966 as a 501© (3)  non-profit corporation, to create economic and community development opportunities. Since  its inception, the Trust has executed its mission through inner city residential and commercial  developments while creating employment opportunities. The Trust owns and operates the Leon  H. Sullivan Human Services Center (a 67,000 square foot office building) at Broad and Master  Streets, and Progress Haddington Plaza (a 69,000 square foot urban shopping center) at 56th and  Vine Streets, both in Philadelphia, PA. 

The Executive Director will provide leadership to accomplish established goals and maintain the  legacy of Dr. Leon H. Sullivan through the Trust.  

The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the assets, properties, programs, and  resources of the Trust. Other key responsibilities include fundraising, marketing, and  relationship development. This position reports directly to the Board of Trustees. 

Learn more about the position here.
Inquiries and application


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It’s not too late to file– Child Tax Credit


 This is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Visit www.cwfphilly.org to learn more.

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FACT SHEET:
Biden-Harris Administration Distributes First Monthly Payments of the Expanded Child Tax Credit


Today, tens of millions of American families will begin to see their first monthly Child Tax Credit payments. The Department of Treasury estimates that $15 billion were distributed today to tens of millions of working families with 60 million children. For the 86% of families using direct deposit, they will receive their child payment today, July 15th, and the 15th of every month for the rest of 2021. It will show up in their bank accounts described as "ChildCTC." Others will receive their check in the mail today or in the coming days.

The American Rescue Plan is providing the largest-ever Child Tax Credit – increasing from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17, and to $3,600 for each child under the age of 6. This historic increase will provide middle-class families with critical tax relief and will lift millions of children out of poverty.

Major Tax Cut for Middle Class Working Families:  Nearly all middle-class families will receive the expanded child tax credit, to help them meet the costs of raising children with the security and dignity they deserve. And because monthly payments start today, they won't have to wait until tax season for tax relief that millions of families need now.

  • Full Payment for Most Families. All families will get the full Child Tax Credit if they make up to $150,000 for a married couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household). Eligible families will receive monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit automatically if they filed taxes in the last two years.
     
  • $7,200 for Typical Family with Young Children: For a married couple earning a combined $60,000 per year with two children under age 6, their Child Tax Credit will equal $7,200, providing an additional $3,200 tax cut in 2021 thanks to the expansion.


The first monthly Child Tax Credit ever: Today, four months after the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, tens of millions of families with nearly 60 million children are receiving the first-ever monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit. This reflects the swift implementation efforts of the White House, Treasury, and the IRS.  

  • $250-$300 a Month Per Child: Starting today, working families will receive monthly payments of $250 for each child ages 6 to 17 and $300 for each child under 6 years old.
     
  • Helping Working Families Meet the Costs of Raising Children: Tens of millions of working families will be able to rely on these monthly payments to help with the costs of raising their children – from putting food on the table, to covering the costs of school supplies, new clothes, and unexpected expenses.

 
Over 97 percent of Families Receiving the 2021 Child Tax Credit are Working: The Treasury Department estimates that over 97 percent of families that will receive the expanded Child Tax Credit are working families with wages or self-employment income. And for the families that don't have income, many of those are seniors taking care of grandchildren or people with serious disabilities and health issues.

More than 26 million Children from Hard-Pressed Families will now get a full Child Tax Credit: Treasury estimates that the hard-pressed low-income families of over 26 million children that previously would have gotten a smaller Child Tax Credit than families with higher earnings, will now receive the full expanded Child Tax Credit. Prior to the American Rescue Plan, researchers found that over half of Black and Hispanic children were in families ineligible for the full Child Tax Credit because of too little earnings.

A Historic Reduction in Child Poverty: The expanded Child Tax Credit is the main driver in experts' projections that the American Rescue Plan could cut child poverty by around half. Even by the most conservative estimates, the Child Tax Credit alone is projected to reduce child poverty by a multiple of any 
previous year.

Administration-wide effort to help sign up additional children and their families:

  • Simplified non-filer portal: The Child Tax Credit has been around for more than twenty years, but there has never been a tool to help non-filers claim the credit. Thanks to the implementation efforts of the White House, Treasury, and the IRS, the first-ever non-filer portal for the Child Tax Credit was launched by the IRS in June.
     
  • ChildTaxCredit.gov: The White House launched ChildTaxCredit.gov – a one-stop-shop in English and Spanish for user-friendly information on the Child Tax Credit, including a step-by-step guide to using the non-filer portal in multiple languages.
     
  • Working with Major Non-Profit Organizations and Community Groups that Fight for Children: For months, the White House has worked closely with children's advocacy groups, women's organizations, committed faith-based organizations, and other nonprofit organizations in an on-going collaborative effort to find the most effective strategies for signing-up families who aren't receiving the credit, through creating awareness, developing navigator and trusted messenger sign-up strategies, and working to improve website accessibility.  


Investment with a high return: Studies show that children whose families get more in refundable credits do 
better in school and score higher on standardized tests, are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, and make more money as adults. These children are also less likely to face the early onset of disabilities and health issues like diabetes that can represent key barriers to employment later in life. In fact, research from Columbia University shows that each $1 invested in the Child Tax Credit returns over $8 to society in improved health for children and their parents, better educational outcomes and higher future incomes, and reduced crime and criminal justice costs.

Extending the new Child Tax Credit for years to come: The American Rescue Plan's expanded Child Tax Credit is only for 2021. This is a historic investment that will lift children and working families out of poverty. That's why President Biden believes that we should extend the new Child Tax Credit for years and years to come. He is proposing that we do so in his American Families Plan and Build Back Better agenda.

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Applications Now Open to Join the Philadelphia Youth Commission


The Philadelphia Youth Commission (PYC) announced that applications are now open for young people ages 12-24 to join the PYC

Created by referendum and added to the Home Rule Charter in 2009, the Youth Commission is appointed by and advises both the Mayor and City Council of Philadelphia on all legislation and policy as it relates to youth. Composed of 21 members, the Commission, in addition to its legislative responsibilities, also works to bridge the gap between adult policymakers and youth by holding public, youth-centered, and youth-led events on the issues affecting Gen-Z residents.

Please email [email protected] from the Mayor's Office of Youth Engagement for more information!


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Community College of Philadelphia

Success Coach, Catto Scholarship (3 Positions Available)
For more details, click here

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Job Listings at JEVS Human Services

If you are an individual with a passion for helping others help themselves, please review JEVS Human Services job openings. 

Find a fit for you? You can apply here! Link: https://www.jevshumanservices.org/careers/job-listings/



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Have an idea for a story or feature that should reach our growing reader base? We want to hear from you!

Craft a 50 - 200 word writing sample and send it to us at [email protected], with the subject line "Pitch Idea". Topics vary and can include stories that highlight an individual, raise awareness about a program, inform readers about your community, or shed light on a pressing issue. We will let you know what we think of your submission, and if selected, will pay for each submission deemed usable by the magazine. Not all submissions will be selected, so we will contact individuals whose pitches will be used for payment and final submission requirements. We are looking forward to hearing your creative ideas!