Gordner Bill To Update Technology Internships and Family Savings Accounts Heading to Governor After Passage

(HARRISBURG) – Legislation to help fight the “brain drain” and to assist working families build savings accounts has passed the Senate of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, according to the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27).

Senate Bill 511 amends two programs previously passed into law by Senator Gordner when he was a member of the House of Representatives:  the Technology Work Experience Internship Program and the Family Savings Account Program.

The Technology Work Experience Internship Program will provide for expanded opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to undertake internships with companies involved in scientific research or high technology product development.

“The companies will provide half the funding for the internships while the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency will provide the remaining costs,” said Sen. Gordner.  “This program will be utilized in Keystone Innovation Zones, such as the zone established at Bloomsburg, Susquehanna and Bucknell Universities and at Geisinger Medical Center.”

“This is a key component of efforts to halt the ‘brain drain’ and provide students with new technology job opportunities right here in Pennsylvania,” added the Senator.

Senate Bill 511 also addressed the Family Savings Account Program, established in 1997 and operated by the Department of Community and Economic Development to assist working families within poverty guidelines.  The program helps working poor families establish savings accounts and set savings goals.

Under the Job Enhancement Act, working poor families receive up to $500 per year for two years in return for saving at least that amount of their own money.  Senator Gordner’s legislation increased the program to three years and allows for unused matching dollars to be made available to more working poor families, defined as having an income of 200% of the federal poverty level.

“The amendments to these two successful programs will provide greater opportunities for our future workforce and will continue to help working families gain financial independence,” said Senator Gordner.

The changes to the programs will go into effect when the Governor signs Senate Bill 511 into law.

CONTACT: Todd B. Roup (717) 787-8928