PA Receives $3.8 Million Short-Time Compensation Grant for Work-Sharing Initiative

ETA News Release: [01/29/2015]
Contact Name: Jason Kuruvilla
Phone Number: (202) 693-6587
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Release Number: 15-0155-NAT

Short-time compensation programs expand in 13 states
with nearly $38M in grants to prevent layoffs

Work-sharing initiative seeks to reduce costly impacts on workers and employers

WASHINGTON — Losing a job is a difficult experience — fraught with uncertainty, fear and stress. Finding a new job is time-consuming and lost income creates a financial burden. For employers, layoffs can also be costly. Trimming staff when business slows means if new employees are needed when business picks back up, the employer faces the cost of training and lower productivity as workers acclimate.

With $37,814,386 in new U.S. Department of Labor grants, employers in 13 states will soon have a new tool that may help them avoid layoffs by helping states develop a new, or enhance an existing, Short-Time Compensation program. The states of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin are the recipients of the grants.

"Employers want to do right by their workers, and offering them resources to be flexible during tough business cycles is not only good for business, it's good for our economy," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "States that incorporate Short-Time Compensation programs are helping their employers be more nimble, keeping more workers on the job and reducing the burden on unemployment insurance programs."

Commonly known as "work sharing," STC programs allow employers facing economic difficulty to reduce work hours for a group of employees as an alternative to layoffs. Programs allow workers with reduced hours to supplement their lowered wages with a percentage of the weekly unemployment compensation that would have been available to them had they been laid off entirely. STC lets employees keep their jobs — and benefits such as employer-based retirement and health insurance — and helps employers keep skilled workers and avoid the costs of hiring and training new workers when business recovers. The program also eases the strain on local economies, which acutely suffer when layoffs occur.

Since grants for STC programs enhancements were first authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, a total of $50,461,663 have been awarded to 17 states. Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington State were previously funded.

For more information about starting an STC program, visit

Editor's Note: A chart listing the states receiving awards and the grant amounts follows this release.


Teamwork Triage Saves Small Business (2)

By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer

POSTED: December 18, 2014

Former nurse chips in to save a business













Bonnie Haas spent the bulk of her professional life in hospitals tending to some of the sickest patients as an intensive-care nurse. But it has been a lifesaving act of a far more personal nature that has preoccupied her for the last two years.

The 57-year-old Bucks County mother of four has revived the family business.

That it has come at tremendous professional and personal sacrifice, and tested her emotional fortitude, was as clear as Haas' tears during a recent interview at Kettle Creek Corp.'s workshop and warehouse in Warminster.


Strategic Early Warning Network Moves Wilkes-Barre Office, But Not Focus (2)

By Eileen Godin - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

October 21, 2014

Gary A. Wickham, Northeast Regional Director

BETHLEHEM - Relocating their office, but not their attention, the Strategic Early Warning Network has moved its Wilkes-Barre office, which serves Northeastern Pennsylvania, to Bethlehem.

Since 2010, the Strategic Early Warning Network, a manufacturing retention program, maintained an office at 22 E. Union St., Suite 200, in Wilkes-Barre. SEWN is a statewide agency administered by Steel Valley Authority and sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.


Steel Valley Authority Hosts 28th Anniversary Reception

The Steel Valley Authority’s (SVA) “28th Anniversary” Reception was held Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 6-9 PM at the Grandview Golf Club in North Braddock, PA 15104.  Governor Tom Corbett sent along a congratulatory proclamation. Highlighting the gala event were a number of prestigious speakers:

    • City of Pittsburgh Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin for Mayor Bill Peduto
    • Congressman Mike Doyle
    • Suzanne Smethers, President of Inteprod (a former client of SEWN)

Organized by the SVA Program Committee, the Reception drew 75 participants.  Having been awarded the State of Pennsylvania's Layoff Aversion Contract for over $1.150 million annually for the 2014-2015 Program Year (and a two year renewal potential), the SVA is celebrating many new successes.


Corbett Administration Awards $1.15 Million Grant to Protect Manufacturing Jobs in Pennsylvania

Steel Valley Authority awarded $1.15 Million to provide layoff aversion services

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Julia Hearthway announced today that the Steel Valley Authority (SVA) was awarded a $1.15 million grant to provide layoff aversion services in the commonwealth.The grant supports Governor Tom Corbett's commitment to building a stronger Pennsylvania by helping companies stay in business.

"Proactively working to avoid layoffs reduces the exponentially higher costs of unemployment and job creation programs associated with 'lost' jobs," Hearthway said. "This grant will allow the Steel Valley Authority and its partners to retain jobs, and not only save, but grow businesses."

The grant will support L&I workforce development efforts by providing layoff aversion services to stabilize, restructure, turn-around or attract buyers for at-risk businesses.


SEWN Program Featured in Senator Wayne Fontana's "News & Views" Newsletter

February 25, 2014 - Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN) Program gets featured in Senator Fontana's "News and Views"

SEWN Program Helping to Save Jobs

One of my budget priorities year after year has always been to fund programs that would create more jobs in the Commonwealth.  At the same time, I think it’s important to stress that we must also advocate for programs that help retain jobs in the state. To that end, I want to highlight a very successful program offered in Pennsylvania called the Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN).  Essentially, what this program does is provide business expertise to help stabilize a small company by averting layoffs and manufacturing plant closings.


SEWN Conducts Radio Intertiew In the Lehigh Valley Area

Our SEWN Marketing Support Specialist, Mary Beth Enggren, gives interview on local radio station in the Lehigh Valley area.  Arranged by Tina Smith, Executive Director of the Nazareth/Bath Chamber of Commerce, the interview was part of her weekly “Chamber Chat” program which is aired live on Prolifick Radio every Tuesday afternoon.  Mary Beth discusses the SEWN program and the serviices SEWN provides to all counties in the Commonwealth of PA.

The list of shows defaults to the oldest, scroll to the top of the list to find Mary Beth Enggren's.

Wendell August Forge Officially Opens New Factory & Flagship Store

Wendell August Forge enlisted SEWN's help in the spring of 2009 with its financial restructuring services.  Read SEWN's success story on Wendell August Forge.


Wendell August Forge Officially Opens New Factory & Flagship Store
October 29, 2013 2:27 PM

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Three and a half years after a devastating fire, Wendell August Forge has been re-born.

A crowd turned out Tuesday morning to witness a grand reopening just down the road from the Grove City Outlets.

When the fire struck on March 6, 2010, it appeared that America’s oldest and largest forge, still crafting metal by hand, was doomed. That would not be the case.

“We’re celebrating a company that clearly has risen, literally, from the ashes,” Gov. Tom Corbett said at an on-site news conference.


SEWN Article on Managing Margins in Bucks County EDC Newsletter

Strategic Early Warning System (SEWN)

Managing Margins 
December, 2013

In the world of small business, the ability to implement a price increase or even maintain existing margins on repeat business has never been more difficult. Thanks to digital technology, buyers are able to manipulate the quoting process and get potential suppliers to bid against each other within a matter of seconds. While this is nothing new, it continues to be an ever expanding problem for small businesses. Quite simply, This implied price ceiling means there is even less cash or available employee time to keep up with customer requirements.


Industrial Laundry Facility Could be First Almono Tenant

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.r

Published:  Friday, August 16, 2013

An attempt to bring an industrial laundry facility back to Allegheny County got a boost Friday when the county Redevelopment Authority approved a $100,000 grant to a group sponsoring the Clean'n Green Co-Op Laundry.

The money will help the Steel Valley Group continue its drive to set up a board to oversee the establishment of the employee-owned facility in Hazelwood, which could be the first development in the 178-acre Almono LP complex, site of the former LTV Coke Works. Another Hazelwood site also is being considered.