October 12, 2017 Economy, Education, Innovation, Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Schools That Teach Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Google CEO Sundar Pichai, local officials, and state lawmakers to announce the company’s plans to launch a new digital skills initiative to help teachers, students, job seekers, and small businesses nationwide.“In Pennsylvania, we can speak firsthand to the importance of initiatives like this that unite resources and expertise from corporations, non-profits, and the public sector to create a big impact,” said Governor Wolf. “I want to thank Google for being our partner in the next era of Pennsylvania’s success and for their investment not just in our economy – but now our workforce as well.”The new initiative, Grow with Google, was created to leverage the company’s resources in an effort to support workforce and business development nationwide through resources such as:Funding for and partnerships with nonprofit organizations focused on creating economic opportunity, locally, and nationally;New resources to help small businesses harness the power of the web to grow and thrive online;New resources and partnerships to help more learn tech-related skills;And new resources and partnerships to help close the digital divide in schools.“Pennsylvania is home to many innovative and cutting-edge businesses, such as Google, and this new initiative pairs nicely with the adaptions that we’re making on the state level to ensure students and workers have the skills for today’s high-demand jobs and that Pennsylvania remains a leader in STEM education,” said Governor Wolf.The commonwealth has been recognized as a national leader in STEM education ranking 4th nationally in the number of STEM graduates, in the top 10 of states for technology and innovation, and is in the top 10 of states for STEM jobs.Pennsylvania has made important progress in delivering more resources to schools and classrooms, and fostering collaborative, cross-sector dialogue to support STEM education, work-based learning, career pathways, and college access and completion. Since 2009, the number of graduates from Pennsylvania’s 14 public four-year universities earning degrees in STEM and Health majors (STEM-H) has increased 37 percent. Today, nearly one in four bachelor’s degrees awarded by the State System are STEM-H degrees.While on site Google announced specific plans for the initiative in the Pittsburgh region, including a program that will allocate funding for Pittsburgh area nonprofits that use innovation and technology to grow economic opportunity in the area and a pilot program that brings coaching and technology to teachers at eleven schools in the Allegheny County. Governor Wolf Announces Google to Invest in Workforce, Business Development SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Each housing unit costs P290,000. “In my view, these won’t last. They have to be replaced,” saidEngr. Victor Diomo of DPWH Region 6’s Maintenance Division after inspecting thehousing project. NHA started constructing the P290-million mass housing project inBarangay Bacjawan Sur, Concepcion in 2016, three years after the disaster. Thecontractor was Hercar Construction Corp. Given the sufficient budgetary support from the nationalgovernment, she said there should be no substandard and delayed implementationof housing projects in different calamity-hit areas and relocation sites. “I cannot allow my people to live in them. The 542 units areallegedly ready for turnover but we will not accept them,” he stressed. During the May 22, 2018 Senate hearing conducted by the Senatecommittee on urban planning, housing and resettlement on the allegedirregularities on resettlement and relocation programs undertaken by thegovernment for disaster-affected areas, then senator Loren Legarda (nowcongresswoman of Antique) said all those involved in the government housingprograms have to be accountable. “NHA-Iloilo told me they recommended the same to their centraloffice but I wonder what happened. I am writing them again. They have to act onthe problem or I will complain of inaction. They have to comply with the ARTALaw,” said Banias. “All these issues are not new to us, or to the NHA, and they needto be addressed because this is an example of wasting the people’s money. Wastage and inefficiency in government programs undermine the confidenceof the people in the institution,” said Legarda./PN The standard mix is one sack of cement, two sacks sand and threesacks of gravel, Diomo told SP members led by Vice Gov. Christine Garin andEngr. Romeo Andig of the Provincial Engineering Office. “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”)was one of the most powerful typhoons recorded andthe deadliest in the Philippines. It plowed the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013 – exactlysix years ago today – killing at least 6,300 people. Last month, said Banias, he wrote NHA-Iloilo recommending thetermination of the contract with the housing contractor. The houses were supposed to be sturdy and capable of withstanding“Yolanda-grade” typhoon, Banias told PanayNews. According to Diomo, the standard mixing proportion of cement, sandand gravel may not have been followed. The local government of Concepcion would accept the 542 housingunits only after their quality has been assured, said Banias. Hercar Construction Corp.’s Herminio Carreon who was presentduring the DPWH ocular inspection denied the housing units were substandard.Construction workers followed the standard mixing proportion of cement, sandand gravel, he insisted. Photo by IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO – Of the 1,000 mass housing units that the National HousingAuthority (NHA) constructed in the municipality of Concepcion for survivors ofNovember 2013’s super typhoon “Yolanda”, 542 units still have to be turned overto the local government. “The houses are not safe. Kon tandugon mo ang walls, nagaka-pudpod,”said Mayor Raul Banias. As early as 2017, beneficiaries were already complaining of thefollowing: cracks on floors, scaling of concrete walls, leaky roofing, unevenpaint application, no water supply, and sloppy construction of toilets. ARTA is the Anti-Red Tape Law that guarantees speedy governmentaction to transactions. According to the contractor, he would never do anything that wouldruin his reputation or that of his construction company. “Kon may ara deperensya, liwaton ko. Kon kulang dugangan ko,” saidCarreon. Carreon, however, vowed to fix the defects. In June last year, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan asked theDepartment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct an inspection. “These housing programs are being funded by taxpayers’ money,allocated through General Appropriations Act. So why does this regularlyhappen? Somebody has to be liable for the irresponsible use of inferior,substandard and even inappropriate construction materials,” said Legarda. The senator underscored the need for the judicious use of fundsallocated for housing programs to strengthen the accountability of thegovernment and provide the people with the assistance that they deserve. “I think we have recovered from the disaster already except forthe housing resettlement area,” said Banias.