Students participating in the Career Works program at the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation pose with Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania president and chief executive officer (fourth from right) and Emily Donato, career development coordinator (sixth from right). (Tube City Almanac photo)
Lisa Abel-Palmieri, president and chief executive officer, told Tube City Almanac the Pittsburgh-based non-profit wants to serve a growing demand for services for young people in the Mon Valley and eastern boroughs of Pittsburgh.
"We're excited to continue to grow our footprint in the Mon Valley," she said.
The new facility would include a "maker space" for STEM education, community center, gymnasium space and classrooms, Abel-Palmieri said. Although the facility is still in the planning stage, the organization hopes to possibly break ground in "two to three years" and will need to raise funds to it possible, she said.
School superintendents who attended a press conference in McKeesport on Thursday said most urban school districts in the Mon-Yough area --- and across the country --- face similar challenges created by poverty.
In the Wilkinsburg School District, about 99 percent of approximately 1,000 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, said Linda J. Iverson, superintendent.
Some of them are coming from generations of poverty and "fragmented" home environments, she said.
“It's not just that they're coming in from trauma-informed instances," she said. "They may not have had food or sleep the night before, or they may not have clothes.”
Charter schools are causing “financial instability” to urban school systems, said McKeesport Area School District Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. and officials from other area districts, who participated in a state-wide rally Thursday to ask Pennsylvania legislators for charter school reform.
The news conference held in McKeesport was part of an effort among nearly 20 other districts and timed to coincide with the 64th anniversary of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycotts sparked by Rosa Parks.
State Sen. Jim Brewster joined Holtzman and school district superintendents Sue Moyer of Duquesne City, Nancy Hines of Penn Hills and Linda J. Iverson of Wilkinsburg to discuss the impact of charter school funding in Mon Valley school districts.
For the first time in anyone’s memory, holiday lights are decorating the windows of the People’s Bank Building, Downtown. Building owner Jonathan Stark and volunteers decorated the building in time for McKeesport’s Light-Up Night on Wednesday. (Tube City Almanac photo)
Scaffolding will be going up soon on part of the People’s Bank Building as workers replace a tile that fell into Lysle Boulevard on Nov. 27, and make other repairs to the facade.
Owner Jonathan Stark said an engineer visited the site on Monday and determined that each of the tiles was supposed to be secured with four metal anchors. On the tile that fell, two of the anchors were missing or never installed in the first place, Stark said.
The tile fell from the facade on the “annex” of the building that overlooks the corner of Lysle Boulevard and Walnut Street. The annex was reportedly built in the 1940s, after Lysle was widened.
Members of LaRosa Boys & Girls Club joined McKeesport city officials Downtown on Wednesday night for a Light-Up Night celebration.
For the first time, the city's holiday tree is located not in Kennedy Park, but in the nearby lobby of the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation, the former Daily News Building.
Participants in the Boys & Girls Club’s Career Works Teen Workforce Development Program, which meets in the Tube City Center on weeknights, served hot chocolate and refreshments to guests, while Paul Anselmo of New Century Careers, which is offering machinist training in the building, provided tours of his group’s classroom space.
McKeesport, Duquesne, South Allegheny and other local school districts will participate in a statewide rally on Thursday demanding more oversight of Pennsylvania’s charter schools.
A group called Pennsylvania League of Urban Schools, or PLUS, is planning simultaneous press conferences at 12 noon at nearly 20 different school districts, calling on Gov. Tom Wolf and the state General Assembly to address what its leaders call “unfair and inequitable” funding.
“We are coming together in solidarity to stand up for fair funding,” said Stephen Rodriguez, president of PLUS and superintendent of the Pottstown Area School District, located about an hour northwest of Philadelphia in eastern Pennsylvania.
Other local districts planning to participate in Thursday's rally include Clairton, Penn Hills, Steel Valley, Wilkinsburg and Woodland Hills.