The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO hosted our 57th Annual Community Services Institute in Pittsburgh this past week, where President Rick Bloomingdale welcomed everyone to the opening session. In his speech he underlined the importance of individuals attending annual community services institute. Later on, the President of the Allegheny County CLC, Jack Shea, spoke. His speech mainly focused on explaining how important it is for people to understand that there are some individuals who want to cut benefits such as social security and health care, which will cause the elimination of the middle class.
This Community Services Institute offered a different curriculum. There were eight different rotating workshops in the two day schedule, which allowed each individual to attend all workshops. The first day focused on topics such as, making the pitch for understanding common issues & working together for solutions, using volunteerism to engage union members and the community, using social media and labor council’s public relations to engage the community on common issues, and using Community Services committee as a tool to engage the community toward a common agenda. The second day emphasized the topics related to initiatives for union volunteers. The key subjects were education, income, workforce development, and charitable fundraising.
“Terrible”, “Declining”, “Poor”, these are some of the words that could be used to describe today’s economy. But how did we get here? The failing economy didn’t just happen. The failing economy was created. Common Sense Economics focuses on some of the key issues such as criminal justice reform, globalization, immigration, women, and young workers. Everyone no matter their situation in life has the power to affect change.
The President and CEO of United Way Capital Region, Tim Fatzinger spoke of the importance of organized labor’s engagement with the United Way of the Capital Region. The United Ways are moving towards a “Collective Impact” model for their new future. President Bloomingdale and the labor representatives have joined with the community business, nonprofits, citizens, and human service providers to develop recommendations for the UWCR Board Members’ consideration.
The Secretary-Treasurer of Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Frank Snyder gave the final speech about emphasizing one more time all the key points that were mentioned during the whole Community Services Institute. He thanked all the individuals for attending the annual Community Services Institute and spoke about the importance of staying active within the community and within your local union. He also emphasized the advantages of recruiting new members, which would allow new generations to carry all the good work that union members serve every day.