Throughout pandemic, Episcopal-led mentors, tutors have continued to serve Georgia…

first_imgThroughout pandemic, Episcopal-led mentors, tutors have continued to serve Georgia students online The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Martinsville, VA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR By Michelle HiskeyPosted Dec 16, 2020 In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Collierville, TN Featured Events Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Bath, NC Path to Shine mentors meet with students in a recent Zoom video call. Screenshot: Charles Absher[Episcopal News Service] In a typical year, Path to Shine mentors gradually build trust to support the educational growth of elementary school students who live in poverty across Georgia. In 2020, as the pandemic abruptly destabilized students’ lives, the mentors and tutors have scrambled to sustain these relationships.“COVID messed everything up,” said Path to Shine volunteer mentor Lindy Newman, a retired second grade teacher and member of Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur.Founded in 2010 by the Rev. Lesley-Ann Drake, a deacon, and based at St. Benedict’s in Smyrna, Path to Shine volunteer mentors and tutors have logged more than 50,000 hours working one on one with students in its after-school programs, which have spread to 17 locations across the northern half of the state, from Pulaski County in central Georgia to Cherokee County, a suburb of Atlanta.Early on in the pandemic when Georgia suspended in-school learning, Path to Shine shifted online. Even as public schools across the state have reopened, mentoring and tutoring have continued online since volunteers tend to be older and at a higher risk for COVID-19.The initial shift created a challenge for Drake, just days after she was honored by state legislators with a servant leadership award. She had founded Path to Shine without a background in education, and the pandemic required additional faith and resources.“What I truly believe is that if I can do this, anyone can do anything if you are willing to shut up and listen and ask for help,” she said. “God provides resources you don’t have.”Children’s support at stakeIn Georgia, 1 in 5 children live in poverty, putting them at an educational disadvantage and limiting their access to health and social services. Path to Shine volunteers typically work one on one with students in weekly 2.5-hour after-school sessions that include tutoring, games and field trips.Bridging differences one on one “makes the kingdom of God alive and vibrant,” said Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright during a 10th anniversary online celebration of Path to Shine, which also is a Jubilee ministry – The Episcopal Church’s network of poverty-focused ministries.Early in the pandemic, Drake and other community-based ministry leaders met with Wright, who encouraged them to “lean into” the pandemic and its isolating challenges. No matter how much their spheres of influence may have shrunk, they needed to strive to always “be the church,” Drake recalled him saying.For Path to Shine mentors, “leaning in” has meant modeling the trust and commitment they teach and making an effort to maintain contact with the students.“The most important thing we can do is maintain relationships,” Drake told mentors. “A lot of the students and families don’t have [landline] phones, so you send a card or letter and enclose a stamped envelope so the child can send a letter back to you.”Second, recognizing that students in poverty often go hungry, the mentors delivered grocery cards. “Students rely on school for food,” Drake said. The next delivery was a bag of puzzles, games and bingo — everything that a student would need as Zoom mentoring began.Troubleshooting at a distancePath to Shine’s board set aside $32,000 specifically to address pandemic-related needs. Drake worked with other nonprofits to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, computers and earphones for students in need.Not every relationship was saved, though. Newman lost touch with a student she had worked with for five years.“He wasn’t responding to calls, so I knocked on his door and I could hear their dogs yipping and yapping, but no one answered,” she said. “We want to keep the mentoring open all the way through his schooling — if we can get back together.”At first, Path to Shine volunteers found online meetings with children ages 5 to 11 to be a challenge, and Newman, who before the pandemic taught at an online charter school, offered them advice on how to engage students on screen.Her husband Charles Absher, also a longtime volunteer, took easily to distance mentoring.“It’s a little less stressful online,” said Absher, a musician who composes a new song for his students each week. One reason he volunteers, he said, is that he believes turning away someone in need is like turning away Christ.Mentoring mattersAs COVID-19 continued to spread in Georgia in October, the organization celebrated its 10th anniversary, during which Path to Shine’s first graduate told his story. Eloy Meza, 18, earned scholarships to attend nearby Kennesaw State University and plans to transfer to Georgia Tech for his degree in software engineering.As an elementary student, though, he was as lost as “a confused puppy,” he said. He was matched with a Path to Shine mentor who helped him envision the future, set goals and answer questions about attending college as a first-generation student.“I really just needed guidance,” Meza said at the online event. Mentoring “helped me find that guidance and established that confidence in me.”– Michelle Hiskey is a freelance writer based in Decatur, Georgia, and a member of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Rector Smithfield, NC Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Tampa, FL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Press Release Service Submit an Event Listing Rector Washington, DC Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Albany, NY New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Curate Diocese of Nebraska Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Director of Music Morristown, NJ Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Knoxville, TN TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Tags Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Submit a Press Release COVID-19, Youth & Young Adults This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Submit a Job Listing Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Shreveport, LA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Belleville, IL Rector Hopkinsville, KY Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Poverty & Hunger, last_img read more

Norwood appoints Ross Freedman as its first YN Patronage Chair

first_imgNorwood has appointed Ross Freedman as its first YN Patronage Chair as part of a drive to attract a fresh wave of donors. The role mirrors the main Chair of Patronage position, which is held by Norwood Trustee Ronnie Harris, and has been established in order to secure the next generation of Patrons and Friends, and create new and exciting networking and social opportunities for Norwood’s young patrons.Ross, 31, the Managing Director of Marylebone-based commercial property agency LONIC, has been aware of Norwood and its ground-breaking work his whole life. However, he first became closely involved with the Charity when he ran the London Marathon on its behalf in 2001. He was later asked to be the first Chair of the YN Property Committee, which raises around £35,000 for Norwood each year through its annual reception.Following his appointment as YN Patronage Chair, he said: “I am delighted to accept the position. Raising money in this tough economic environment will be a great challenge, but the potential is there, and if we can attract people now we can build for the future. Advertisement  50 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Tagged with: Recruitment / people Howard Lake | 21 September 2009 | News Norwood appoints Ross Freedman as its first YN Patronage Chaircenter_img “Everyone has a responsibility to give back to the community, and as tough as it is at the moment, the people that we raise money for are a lot worse off. I’m looking forward to the role.”Adele Breslauer, Norwood’s Head of Fundraising, said: “YN is one of the most important areas in our fundraising programme, and through the YN patronage campaign and our other activities we are safeguarding the future of Norwood.“Ross’s enthusiasm and commitment as Chair of the YN Property Committee means he is the perfect person to become Norwood’s first YN Patronage Chair.”YN also offers social networking events to young people aged between 18 and 33. YN has many committees that fundraise on behalf of Norwood: YN Finance; YN Lawyers, YN Today; YN Property; YN Social and YN Media.For more information on YN Patronage, YN Events or joining a committee, contact Alisa Fleishman, YN Fundraiser, on 020 8420 6804, or [email protected] to Editors• For more information and photos please contact Daniel Lyons, Public Relations Officer, on 020 8420 6942 or [email protected]• Norwood supports people with learning disabilities and children and families in need. We work with individuals to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals.• Our services are provided to the Jewish community and also to people in the wider community.• We believe people should live the life they choose.• Every year Norwood provides thousands of people with vital, specialised support to meet their individual needs to give them the opportunity to reach their potential and live life to the full.• We have more than 120 support services for approximately 7,000 children, families and adults in the UK.• Services include supported housing for people with a learning disability; education for children with special educational needs and adoption services to find secure and loving homes for many children.• To find out more about our services, please go to www.norwood.org.uk AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Giving Northern Ireland provides philanthropy bursaries

first_img Howard Lake | 14 May 2015 | News Two postgraduate students have each been granted £4,000 by Giving Northern Ireland to produce original academic work on philanthropy.The two people awarded the academic research bursaries were Barry Sheppard, who is completing a Masters in Modern History at Queen’s University, and Alicia Clarke, who is doing a Masters in Journalism at Ulster University in Coleraine.Both students are conducting research designed to contribute to a better understanding of philanthropy and what drives people and organisations to give time, skills and financial resources to others.Sandara Kelso-Robb, Strategic Advisor to Giving Northern Ireland said the bursaries aimed to promote awareness of philanthropy and to encourage a more strategic approach to giving.She added:“These bursaries are encouraging people with fresh and innovative ideas to look at philanthropy through new eyes. I am very excited by the areas that Barry and Alicia have chosen to study. Their research can play a valuable role in promoting the benefits of philanthropy in Northern Ireland.”Barry Sheppard is using the bursary as research for his Masters on the rural land movements of the 1930’s Great Depression period that took thousands of people away from the industrial cities and retrained them in small subsistence farming.He said: Advertisement Tagged with: Giving/Philanthropy Northern Ireland Research / statistics AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis  25 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThiscenter_img “I am interested in how people coped with losing their jobs and their identity and how these groups created a new life and identity for people. There are going to be parallels with modern day and that is what Giving Northern Ireland is interested in.”Alicia Clarke’s research will be into philanthro-journalism (also known as not-for-profit journalism). About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Giving Northern Ireland provides philanthropy bursarieslast_img read more

Eyewitness Harvey: Toxic chemicals, biased coverage and prisons

first_imgAn oil refinery flare, right, continues to burn through wind and rain as Hurricane Harvey moves into Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.Houston, Aug. 28 — I grew up in Oklahoma’s “tornado alley.” I’ve lived on the Texas Gulf Coast for almost 50 years. I survived Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, which caused what was then called “unprecedented historic flooding.” Lost my house to Hurricane Ike in 2008, and still see blue FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] tarps on roofs in the Fifth Ward’s African-American community.But nothing has prepared me for Harvey. I hear the facts on TV: 9 trillion gallons of water dumped on Houston; 56,000 911 calls in 15 hours; 12 people dead from drowning.But I think, does this mean anything to the family stuck on top of their apartment complex trying to be rescued with their three kids and two dogs?  What about the pregnant young woman whose due date just passed but whose car flooded out? What about the 9,000 prisoners in downtown Houston, locked up in one of the largest county jail complexes in the country?Texas accounts for about a quarter of the country’s oil refining capacity, with 27 refineries. Texas also leads the country in the number of high-risk chemical plants that store and use highly hazardous chemicals with the potential to injure or kill thousands of workers and community residents.One of the country’s largest conglomeration of oil, gas and chemical refineries is on the east side of Houston. The toxic air has intensified during the storm.Juan Parras, an environmental campaigner in east Houston with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, said he was worried that severe flooding or a storm surge could cause leaks or dislodge chemical tanks. This happened today. There’s an emergency siren going off in La Porte now. A shelter-in-place order was issued after a pipe leak occurred at a chemical plant in the city.The Aug. 28 Houston Chronicle writes, “La Porte firefighters and a Harris County hazmat team have contained a chemical spill Monday after a pipeline ruptured on the northeast side of La Porte in the petrochemical district about 20 miles east of downtown Houston.” But no mention of the cancer-causing chemicals being released on the mainly Latinx neighbors of these plants.Bryan Parras, an organizer of the “Beyond Dirty Fuels” campaign with the Sierra Club in Houston, spoke on “Democracy Now” this morning about the dangers of refineries near Houston.“My concern is where I live on the east side, because of the many, many petrochemical facilities, storage tanks, and other hazardous sites that line that same bayou for 30 or 40 miles. In normal rain events, these facilities, which are decades old, have situations where they have to shut down to prevent and avoid these catastrophic explosions and events. …“So Friday, … at Texas Petrochemical, I believe, there was a flare event. And later that night, there were for hours really, really strong chemical odors from East Houston all the way to even the downtown area. This was discussed and talked about on social media, and not talked about, not discussed on the news here in Houston.“We did hear later that all of the refineries went into voluntary shutdown mode. When that happens, they often have to go through the process of burning off these excess chemicals. But it is a dirty burn … that adds thousands of pounds of cancer-causing chemicals to the air.”Media don’t cover Black and Brown neighborhoods, prisonsThe media coverage is extensive and intense on Harvey. Yet my African-American friends on Facebook are wondering why their neighborhoods are not being looked at. Cyntha said, “Anyone seen any media coverage of 3rd Ward, 5th Ward, Sunnyside, Settegast, Acres Homes or any other areas media doesn’t seem to be concerned with? OR MAYBE I’M BEING EMOTIONAL AND EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT IN THOSE AREAS?! MAYBE?”Perri replied: “No, everything is not alright. CNN went to Dickinson, saw the lake in front of the elders’ medical center, but no pictures of 288 and 59, where the homeless were under the viaduct.”We all see the tragedy on TV of this hurricane. But I haven’t heard one word about the incredible mental anguish, the emotional toll, fear, anxiety, stress that even on a good day plague people of color, the poor, the workers barely able to eke out money for rent and food, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, the prisoners, the undocumented.So now with flooding terrorizing Houston and its 6.5 million people, these mental conditions are exacerbated. Not only will people need help rebuilding homes or finding places they can afford to rent, fixing cars, getting clothes to replace what they’ve lost, buying personal hygiene items, they will need treatment for their mental health issues from all this water. I wonder if this will happen. Will FEMA provide this?If the Texas prison population were a city, it would be the 20th largest in our state, according to the Dallas Morning News. Texas locks up a lot of people. Near Houston, both north and south, there are dozens of prisons. And there is flooding.On Friday, activists spoke with friends at prisons just 45 minutes south of Houston and found out water was beginning to enter the prisons. We made a few phone calls and realized that officials were lying when they told us there was no flooding there. We got a phone campaign going, and the next day the prisons began evacuation.A prisoner friend on Saturday told me he had a minute to call and to thank everyone who had demanded evacuations for prisoners. I could hear the guard yelling at him to get off the phone. He said they were chaining prisoners up and putting them on buses at that moment. Guards wouldn’t tell them where they were going, but they were finally getting out. My friend said the bottom tier at the Ramsey Unit had water on the floor.There’s 9,000 people in our Harris County Jail. Not one word on TV. Not one word in the press. Where are they? Did they get evacuated?According to the National Institute of Corrections, there are almost 164,000 state prisoners in Texas and another 66,000 in county jails. The vast majority are in the area that’s flooding right now. Yet no evacuation plans are being made public, families are not being notified, and the media aren’t asking about or reporting on these prisoners.I got word and photos showing that it is flooding in Livingston, 70 miles north of Houston where the Polunsky Unit and its death row are located. I spoke to staff there and was told there are no plans to evacuate, and they, in fact, have taken prisoners evacuated from two units south of Houston. Emotions are high; people are depressed, scared and worried about themselves, family and friends. It’s exhausting watching the 24-hour news about the horror.One thing that stands out from all the continual news coverage is that the people in Houston are a generous bunch.It’s amazing how many have taken their own boats to rescue people. How folks have helped people they don’t know find shelter, diapers, wheelchairs.Houston’s African-American mayor was asked at a press conference today about the undocumented people being fearful of asking for help. He vehemently said anyone who needs help should ask. If any people are taken in for their immigration status, that should NOT happen. “I will personally represent them in court!”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

San Francisco’s Bay Area transit tests earthquake alert system

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — Commuters in the Bay Area should expect a delay this morning between 11 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. PT as San Francisco-area trains will slow to 27 miles per hour for a system-wide test of an earthquake early-warning alert from the ShakeAlert program.With at least seven significant earthquake faults lying beneath northern California’s Bay Area, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was one of the first organization to test ShakeAlert 1.0 — and Monday’s demonstration mark the official release of an updated version, ShakeAlert 2.0, according to a BART press release.BART officials say the ShakeAlert system was developed to offer up to tens of seconds of warning before the ground begins shaking — giving people enough time to “drop, cover and hold on or take other protective action.”Here’s how it works:There are computers connected to the ShakeAlert system at the University of California at Berkeley, which receives signals from all over California. The system picks up” P-wave” or “primary wave” signals, which begin to shake before an earthquake hits. Once the system is triggered, the trains will automatically slow down without human aid, Alicia Trost, BART Communications Department Manager, told ABC News.After the slowdown is initiated, ShakeAlert will send a warning to train control. BART staff will then follow earthquake emergency procedures, in which trains will be held for five minutes to ensure that there are no aftershocks, or another earthquake.ShakeAlert system is now being offered to all Bay Area businesses, utilities and application developers, according to the press release.The U.S. Geological Survey, a federal, scientific agency that studies the nation’s geological landscapes, is inviting other potential municipal partners to create projects that exhibit ShakeAlert notification alerts which can bring “real-time earthquake warnings to the general public.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Biggest Santa Ana wind event of the year is expected to make California fires even worse

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — More arctic air pouring into the heartland of the country will push gusty, dry offshore winds into California starting Tuesday in the north and Wednesday for the south. This could be the biggest Santa Ana wind event for southern California so far this year.The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, northern California, is now 74,000 acres and is 15% contained. The Getty fire in Los Angeles County, in southern Cali, is now 600 acres and is 5% contained. Lighter winds overnight, however, helped firefighters across the state to battle the ongoing fires, but this will not last long. On Tuesday, winds will increase in northern California and will gust to over 50 mph. Because of this, numerous Fire and Wind alerts have been issued for California already. A High Wind Watch has already been issued for southern California for Tuesday night into Thursday.The Biggest Santa Ana wind event of the year is expected on Wednesday and Thursday in southern California. Some wind gusts in the mountains could reach near 80 mph Wednesday morning.Ten states Tuesday morning are currently under winter weather alerts for the bitter cold and snow moving in. Already more than a half a foot of snow fell in parts of the northern Rockies and now this storm is moving south and east into Denver and then into the Plains and the Great Lakes.Locally 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected in Denver Tuesday and then this storm will move into the Plains and the Great Lakes bringing as much as 5” of snow. Chicago could see its first snow of the season.Behind the snowstorm, there is bitter cold for Halloween morning and some areas could have the coldest Halloween morning ever recorded. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Letters

first_img Next Article This month’s lettersAnnualised hours an all-round solutionI read, with interest, the article “Time to take stress at workseriously” in which consultant Cynthia Atwell asks “Could the workingday be modified to allow employees with family and other commitments to work attheir convenience?” (Occupational Health, December). The introduction of an annualised hours system can provide a more flexibleworking culture for employees. This is what MD Foods has done, providing a more accurate way of allocatingstaff to meet business demands, while reducing the long hours culture andunnecessary overtime. This method of working requires employees to work a number of hours over anannual total with a fixed salary. Longer hours are rostered for busy periods with more time off during quietertimes. Smart PeopleTime software is used to measure and plan the annualised hourscontract. As a result, MD Foods is benefiting from significant cost savings, staff areonly working when business demands require it of them, and overtime iseliminated. Employees, meanwhile, are benefiting from greater stability in earningsacross the year, longer periods of leisure time and are much more productive. If managed successfully this method of working may contribute to reducingstress and sickness in the workplace. Janice GibsonPublic relations officer, Smart PeopleTime E-mail: [email protected] seen to be driving standards up I am the occupational health specialist at Lotus Cars in Norwich and I aminterested in facilitating a national group of occupational healthprofessionals within the motor industry. I believe that this group could helpwith quality benchmarking, sharing ideas and good practice and the setting ofquality standards for occupational health within the motor industry.Please contact me on 01953 608270 if you are interested in this project,or if you know of a similar scheme that exists already.Ken Ferguson, occupational health adviser, Group Lotus E-mail: [email protected] LettersOn 1 Jan 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Firms told to prepare for staff being called to fight

first_imgFirms told to prepare for staff being called to fightOn 23 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Companies should be prepared to manage without skilled employees if the waragainst terrorism continues to escalate, the Engineering Employers Federationhas advised. The warning came as military reservists specialising in photo-reconnaissanceand languages were called up by the MoD to help in the attack on Afghanistan. Gordon Scott, director of the EEF Sheffield Association, urged companies tolook closely at their call-up commitments if they have members of staff who areTerritorial Army members or ex-military personnel on the reserve list. He said, “Businesses which are aware that they may stand to lose someof their employees, especially in areas such as communications and computers,may well have contingency plans in force. “If not, they should draw up such plans, as the international tensionshows no signs of easing in the short to medium term. “In some cases, companies may be totally unaware of their obligations –not because the employee was trying to play down his or her military links, butbecause they had simply never thought of telling their employer.” The call-out order just issued by the MoD, under the Reserve Forces Act of1996, entitles volunteers to payments helping to bridge the gap between servicepay and their normal salaries. It also entitles employers to payments helping them to find temporaryreplacements for those called up and re-training when they return. Members of the TA’s military intelligence battalion are among the first tobe called up and include barristers, solicitors and academics. Scott added, “This could be a longer and ultimately bigger campaignthan the one in the Balkans, so companies should look closely at their call-upor reserve commitments of key personnel.” EEF members will be able to talk with representatives of the armed forces atspecial meetings over the next few weeks. By Ben Willmott Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Employers struggle with over-complex legislation

first_img Previous Article Next Article Employers struggle to comply with employment legislation because it is fartoo difficult to understand and implement, research finds. A survey of more than 6,000 employers by law firm Peninsula finds that 87per cent report that employment legislation is too difficult to follow, whileonly 27 per cent of those believe they fully comply with all HR laws in place. More than 80 per cent of employers feel the chances of them being taken toan employment tribunal are high. Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula, said employers cannot follow thelaws because they are too difficult and should be simplified. He cites the new right for parents to request flexible working – introducedas part of the Employment Act on 6 April – as an example of the increasingcommitments employers face as a result of new employment law. Other regulation on the horizon includes legislation later this yearoutlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion andbelief and new rules for employers on consulting and informing with staff in2005. “Employers simply cannot follow employment legislation because it is socomplex, there is far too much of it and a balance needs to be sought ofextending the rights of workers and helping employers tackle new employmentlegislation,” he said. The survey also reveals that more than 90 per cent of employers believe theGovernment has imposed too much red tape. And eight out of 10 respondents are not aware of their responsibilitiesunder forthcoming new legislation. Done welcomed Patricia Hewitt’s recent announcement that new legislationwill be announced at the beginning of every year and introduced on only twodates in April and October. “If the Government sticks to what it promised by announcing legislationto be introduced at the beginning of the year, this would help,” he said. By Ben Willmottwww.peninsula-uk.com Employers struggle with over-complex legislationOn 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

For New York landlords, PACE just isn’t moving fast enough

first_imgNew York City landlords are racing the clock. In three years, most buildings must start meeting stringent emission caps to comply with a city law designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. And if they don’t, landlords could be on the hook for millions of dollars in fines annually.The real estate industry has a potential lifeline to cover at least some of these costs: an obscure financing tool known as commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE), which finances energy efficiency upgrades at a cheaper rate than a traditional loan.For C-PACE providers, New York City presents a perfect storm: aging buildings in need of massive energy upgrades, a law which requires these improvements and the real estate industry’s perpetual hunt for cheaper financing.But there’s one caveat: The C-PACE program has yet to be implemented. Although it was signed into law in 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have yet to finalize its rules, leaving C-PACE providers, attorneys and developers champing at the bit to break into the country’s largest real estate market. Proponents of the financing tool believe that once the program is active in New York, developers across the country will follow suit. “The floodgates for the industry will be wide open,” said Mansoor Ghori, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Petros PACE, a firm that provides PACE financing. Setting the PACE Since the invention of the skyscraper, New York City real estate developers have sought out creative ways to finance their construction costs. In the early 2000s, Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS), or pools of mortgages bundled together, became all the rage. In the mid-2010s, developers turned to the cash-for-green card program EB-5 to fill gaps in their funding — it became so prevalent that some took to calling it the “crack cocaine of real estate financing.” C-PACE is quite different from these other forms of financing. It provides the upfront costs to a developer or landlord for making energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements such as adding LED lights, improving insulation or putting solar panels on a new or existing building. And while C-PACE may sound like a loan, it’s not. The financing is paid back over time in the form of a special property-tax assessment. Since it’s recorded as a tax assessment, it requires legislation to be enacted by state and local governments. So far, 37 states including New York, as well as Washington, D.C., have passed legislation enabling C-PACE.As of the end of 2020, total C-PACE investment surpassed $2 billion in the U.S., according to the industry trade group  PACE Nation. About half of this investment financed energy efficiency projects, while about a fifth funded renewable energy projects and the remainder went to projects involving both as well as resiliency projects.Thus far, California has seen the bulk of the investment with $625 million in C-PACE financing, followed by Ohio with $376 million. In one of the most notable transactions thus far, The Prime Group secured $21.3 million in C-PACE financing from PACE provider CounterPointe Energy Partners to finance part of a conversion of a historic downtown Chicago building into a luxury hotel.“It’s innovative, it’s low cost and we think it reduces risk for everyone in a capital stack,” said Jeff Breaden, who oversees capital markets for The Prime Group.Mezz dispenser For developers, C-PACE has important advantages. Not only can it be used to fund needed energy efficiency projects, but it can be an alternative to costlier types of financing. With interest rates around 5 percent, it is significantly cheaper than mezzanine financing, which runs around 10 percent. It is also offered at a fixed rate at terms of up to 30 years.In addition, C-PACE can finance 100 percent of a project’s energy improvements. And perhaps most useful to New York developers, as long as the C-PACE-financed improvements are made, the cash can be used to pay down a project’s existing debt.“You can think of PACE financing as a substitute for mezzanine financing,” said Thomas O’Connor, an attorney at Manhattan-based law firm Duval & Stachenfeld.Another benefit of C-PACE is that payments do not accelerate upon default — and instead of dealing with a lender that is comfortable owning the property upon foreclosure, it’s the local tax collector. “Most tax-collection regimes tend to be very forgiving compared to some of the mezz lenders out there,” said Eric Alini, CEO of Counterpointe. “You default on a loan to a big bad mezz lender you’re in a fight.” There are some complications, however. Since C-PACE payments are enforced through a tax lien, the financing has priority over the senior lender. This means that the senior lender often has to give their blessing before a property owner can use C-PACE.Senior lenders were initially wary of allowing C-PACE. But banks are increasingly buying into the program, according to industry participants.“There is definitely a FOMO going on,” Alini said. “We don’t view lender consent as the stumbling block it was two or three years ago.”RIP R-PACEFor the past few years, PACE was a four-letter word. The residential side of the program has been beset with fraud allegations and has drawn scrutiny from regulators. In many cases, unsuspecting homeowners were often duped into “no-money down” financing for energy improvements or solar installation only to be hit with massive property tax bills down the road. Lawsuits mounted and Los Angeles County eventually outlawed the residential program, claiming that R-PACE lacked consumer protections. It is only currently available in three states, California, Missouri and Florida. Advocates of R-PACE argued that homeowners with PACE financing were no more likely to default than others in their local housing market, and that problem cases were overblown. C-PACE providers are trying to distance themselves from the controversy in the residential space. They claim that the biggest difference is that C-PACE providers require a senior lender to consent to the loan — which was not required with R-PACE — and it’s something that adds another layer of scrutiny. With C-PACE, providers are dealing with landlords and developers, who are more likely to understand the risks they are taking on than are individual homeowners, industry proponents add.“It’s a whole different product,” Ghori at Petros PACE said. “We don’t have those issues because no one can say we don’t know what this is about.”City limitsIn New York, the real catalyst for C-PACE’s success will be Local Law 97 — the key piece of a broader set of laws passed in 2019 known as the Climate Mobilization Act aiming to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The new laws require landlords of most buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to reduce carbon emissions dramatically.Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget would allow building owners to buy renewable energy credits from outside the city to offset emissions, but the measure is facing pushback from lawmakers.Overall, building owners in the city will have to spend up to $24 billion to meet the carbon targets, according to the Urban Green Council, an environmental advocacy group. But before landlords can tap C-PACE funding to pay those costs, the city has to hammer out the rules to administer the program, which it has yet to do.Cliff Kellogg, executive director of the C-PACE Alliance, said though he’s glad the city authorized the program, he’s disappointed by the lack of progress in getting it up and running.  For more than a year, the city has been telling his group that the finalization of the guidelines was imminent — but the program remains in limbo.“There is substantial work that needs to be done,” Kellogg said, “that rests with the bureaucrats and the city.” Bill de BlasioClimate ChangeLocal Law 97 Share via Shortlink Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more