Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Around The District
  • Transportation Hearing Held In Johnstown
  • Internship Opportunities Available
  • Growing Greener Watershed Grant Program Opens Friday
  • How to Apply for a Veterans ID Card
  • Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy for At-Risk Youth Accepting Applications
  • Check Out a State Park Near You
  • Recognizing the Vital Role of Volunteers

Around The District:

Yesterday, I joined PA State Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar at the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues breakfast. It was a pleasure to speak with chamber members about what’s happening in Harrisburg and hear their concerns about what the future of our workforce looks like.

Thank you to the chamber for coordinating this event, I look forward to it each year.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission unveiled some newly installed student artwork at the North Midway Turnpike Service Plaza. The ceramic mosaic depicting various points in history and iconic landmarks in Bedford County was created by students from Everett Area School District – PA. Great job!

This project is part of #artsparks, an effort by the PA Turnpike and the PA Council on the Arts to bring student-created artwork to all 17 service plazas along the Turnpike’s 564 miles of roadway. You can learn more about the program here.

Congratulations to Flawless and Company who held their ribbon cutting with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and celebrated their grand opening last week! Visit them at 6 Oliver Road, Suite 107 in Uniontown.

Each year, the Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc. hosts an event called “Empty Bowls” to raise awareness of hunger in our community and support the organization’s food bank in Fayette County. With a ticket purchase, each patron received a handmade ceramic bowl (artfully crafted by local students) and a quart of soup donated by multiple local restaurants. Now in its eighth year, this event has become a community staple. 🥣

Transportation Hearing Held In Johnstown

The Senate Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Thursday, April 20 at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport. We heard testimony on Pennsylvania’s aviation system that covered issues with funding, workforce, economic impact, land use, air freight and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

You can watch the hearing here.

Internship Opportunities Available

My office is on the hunt for summer interns!

College students or recent graduates looking to gain experience in state government are encouraged to apply. We offer spring, summer, and fall semester opportunities. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to Sue Quinn at

Not in town or looking to head elsewhere for the summer? Pennsylvania has plenty of options available, including the Office of Open Records.

If you’re applying for an internship with any state department, I recommend contacting your senator for a letter of recommendation. For those in the 32nd District, please submit your resume, application information (including job description), and the contact information for whom the letter of recommendation should address to and we will be in touch.

Growing Greener Watershed Grant Program Opens Friday

Beginning Friday, April 21, organizations involved in water resource restoration and protection can apply for the next round of Growing Greener grants through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Plus Grants Program

Growing Greener grants are designed to improve or protect this Commonwealth’s waters from nonpoint source pollution associated with agricultural activities, acid mine drainage, stormwater runoff, energy resource extraction and streambank and shoreline degradation.

Counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, councils of governments, educational institutions and other organizations dedicated to water clean-up and preservation can apply. The application deadline is June 23.

How to Apply for a Veterans ID Card

Many former service members are unsure how to prove they are a veteran to take advantage of discounts offered by businesses. These include restaurants, hotels, stores, recreational activities, home improvement and more.

The easiest way is to apply for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans ID Card (VIC), which is a digital photo ID you can use to get those discounts. Since September 2022, all new Veterans ID cards have been digital. A veteran with a physical ID card can continue using it to get discounts. The VIC is separate from the VA health care ID, which a veteran receives when enrolling in VA health care.

Find out how to apply for a card here. If you have any questions or need help, email VA’s VIC program at

Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy for At-Risk Youth Accepting Applications

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) is accepting applications for its third class of cadets, which begins in July. KSCA is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education, as well as learning leadership, self-discipline and responsibility.

The program is open to 16- to 18-year-old male and female Pennsylvania residents who are failing to progress in high school or may not be on a clear path to graduating. Applicants must be willing to be drug free, free of felony convictions and voluntarily commit to the program. The program lasts for 17 months, with the first five months consisting of residential training at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, followed by a year of mentorship back in the community.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and begin the application process here. Anyone who prefers to have an application mailed or would like to talk with someone about the program may contact the academy by emailing or calling 717-861-7767 or 717-861-8831.

Check Out a State Park Near You

Now that spring has arrived, the nicer weather will allow Pennsylvanians more opportunities to explore our state’s 124 beautiful state parks, operated by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania’s state parks system manages more than 300,000 acres for popular recreation activities, such as hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, hunting and boating.

Pennsylvania state parks do not charge an entrance fee; however, fees do apply for some activities.

If you like to enjoy the outdoors with your dog, 56 of our state parks offer dog-friendly campgrounds. Learn more or find a park nearby here. Make reservations online here to secure campsites, cabins, picnic pavilions, whitewater boating launch time permits and more.

Recognizing the Vital Role of Volunteers

The strength of America is found not in the relationship between citizens and government, but between citizens themselves: Neighbors helping neighbors through the act of volunteering.  

An estimated 23.2% of Americans or more than 60.7 million people formally volunteered with organizations between September 2020 and 2021. For everyone who steps up and gives time, effort and more, you have my deep appreciation.


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