Harkins: $141,900 grant will help working families with transportation needs

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – Working families needing transportation assistance to maintain employment will benefit from a $141,900 grant to a northwest Pennsylvania employment and training program, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today.

The funding to the Northwest Workforce Investment Act for transportation barrier remediation will help St. Benedict Education Center Employment, Advancement and Retention Network participants by removing transportation-related problems that can make it difficult for them to retain jobs.

“Our region’s hardworking families are doing everything they can to provide for themselves and their kids,” Harkins said. “But sometimes, the lack of reliable transportation is a huge obstacle to maintaining a job. The funding announced today will help EARN participants with the costs associated with license reinstatement, car repairs or other transportation-related expenses. By breaking down transportation-related barriers, we can help make sure these families have every opportunity to succeed.”

Under the program, participants become eligible for transportation assistance once they obtain a minimum 20-hour-a-week job.

The grant is part of a package of more than $1 million the Department of Human Services is dispersing to provide greater support to people using locally run Employment, Advancement, and Retention Network or EARN programs.

The funding comes from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. TANF is a federally funded program that assists families with children when parents or other responsible relatives struggle to make ends meet and provide for basic needs.