Senator Judy Ward E-Newsletter

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Veterans Appreciation Breakfast Scheduled for November 21 in Newville

Our local veterans have earned a special place of respect and admiration for their incredible service to our nation. I look forward to meeting our local veterans and their families at a special Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on November 21 at 9 a.m. at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newville.

Pennsylvania Adjutant General Major General Anthony J. Carrelli will also be in attendance as a special guest.

All local veterans and their families are invited to attend. Community residents can RSVP by calling 717-249-1990. I hope to see you there!

Job Fair Planned for December 17 in Blair County

Job seekers can learn more about employment opportunities in local communities during a job fair on Tuesday, December 17 at Jaffa Shrine from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Approximately 50 employers will be available, with a special focus on manufacturing and construction jobs for community residents. The first hour of the job fair will be open only to veterans and Norfolk Southern workers who were recently laid off.

The job fair is sponsored by the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board. A full list of participating businesses will be available soon.


My thanks goes out to all of the participants in my 5th annual Veterans Appreciation Social, as well as American Legion Post 516 for hosting this wonderful event.  The keynote speaker was Sam Hayes, former state representative and Secretary of Agriculture.


Funding Awarded to Mount Union Borough to Replace Retaining Wall

A $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will help address a major transportation and safety concern in Mount Union Borough by replacing a failing retaining wall along Pennsylvania Avenue Linear Park.

The funding will be used to excavate the failed wall; install a newly designed wall, sidewalks, curbing, stormwater piping and sewer manholes; and reconstruct the roadway.

More details about the project are available here.


I was honored to participate in the Altoona Veterans Day parade and present a certificate to WWII veteran Vera Basciani.


Three Local Parks Receive State Funding

Three communities in Blair County will receive grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for numerous upgrades to local parks.

Leopold Park in Logan Township, Fort Roberdeau in Tyrone Township, and Bellwood-Antis Community Park in Antis Township will receive grants totaling more than $400,000 for critical improvements that will boost recreational opportunities for community residents.

More details about the grants are available here.

Grants Available to Support Programs and Services for Veterans

Local non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs can apply now for grants to support programs and services for veterans. The grants are awarded from the Veterans’ Trust Fund, which is funded by voluntary donations from state residents.

Grants of up to $150,000 can be awarded to the county directors of veterans affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs, and grants of up to $650,000 are available to veteran service organizations.

The deadline to apply is December 18. More information about the program is available here.


I enjoyed speaking to the Hollidaysburg Girl Scout Troop #46502 and helping them earn their government badge by explaining the role of a state senator and how a bill becomes a law.


Wreaths Across America Day Scheduled for December 14

On December 14, volunteers in Pennsylvania will join others throughout the country to remember the brave men and women who have served our country by laying wreaths on the graves of fallen veterans. Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,600 locations across the United States.

More information about Wreaths Across America, including locations is available here

Funding Available for Workforce Development Boards to Provide Job Training for Young People

Local workforce development boards can apply now to participate in the 2020 State/Local Internship Program (SLIP). The program helps connect young people age 16-24 with high-quality work-based learning opportunities and career pathways over an eight-week period during the summer months.

The deadline to apply is January 3, 2020. More information is available here.


I appreciated the chance to speak and meet with some of our local heroes at the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home on Veteran’s Day.


Applications Available for Executive Agency Internships in Harrisburg

Undergraduate students who are interested in politics and government can submit an application now for a paid summer internship at one of the state’s executive agencies in Harrisburg through the 2020 James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation.

Students who want to apply for this fellowship need to submit an essay between 1,500 and 2,500 words on their thoughts as to whether Pennsylvania should join other states in either elimination or seriously curtailing the current exemptions from mandatory immunizations. The application deadline in January 31.

More details about the program are available here.


At the Blair County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Farm-City Dinner, I had the honor of presenting a citation to Jack and Peggy Mock, who received the Agricultural Community Excellence Award.


Honoring Vietnam Veterans

Recently, I joined with Congressman John Joyce and State Representatives Lou Schmitt and Jim Gregory to present Blair County Vietnam-era veterans with a commemorative pin for their service. The ceremony, held at the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona, was a special time of honoring our heroes. Also participating in the formalities was Vietnam veteran and former Steelers player, Rocky Blier.

The entire ceremony is available for your viewing below.

11/8/19 – Vietnam War Period Commemoration Pinning Ceremony

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