2 days ago
Excerpt of a newsletter from Representative Liz Hanbidge of the 61st Legislative District (North Wales, Lower Gwynedd, Upper Gywnedd Towamencin, and Whitpain):
My meeting with the Commerce and Labor & Industry Committees
Through my weekly communications with you, I hope to share more insights into the actual workings of Harrisburg. One way I believe I can help change the perception of Harrisburg is by giving insight into what happens on a daily basis.
On Tuesday, I joined my colleagues at a joint session with the Commerce and Labor and Industry committees to meet with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale to discuss his audit of Pennsylvania’s workforce development system and the ways in we can improve upon job-creation initiatives and job-readiness programs in our Commonwealth, which is a core issue of the state and a major budget initiative this year.
The Auditor General launched the audit in September 2017 to examine current and future needs of employers, services in place to assist older and displaced workers, and the coordination of educational institutions and employment service programs in order to meet the needs of employers.
The Auditor General’s Office reached two major conclusions:
1. We need better interagency coordination between the groups poised to improve workers’ job readiness skills.
2. Pennsylvania’s workforce development system is not meeting the needs of employers and is showing mediocre performance compared with other states.
The audit also underscored Pennsylvania’s lagging job growth compared to other states. From July 2014 to June 2018, Pennsylvania’s job growth was 1.34 percent, while the national average was 6.4 percent. To address these findings, our joint committee session discussed ways in which we can improve our workforce development system, including improving the soft skills taught to workers, making skilled trades more marketable to young people, and to provide additional services to retrain older workers.
We noted the importance of providing work-readiness skills – such as recommended work habits, problem-solving skills, and communications skills – to workers in job training programs. We recognized the need to change the conversation surrounding workforce development by expanding the general understanding of higher education to include vocational-technical schools. Pennsylvania students graduate with the highest level of student debt of any state in the country and their skill sets don’t necessarily meet the demands of our industries, which is a gap we need to address on multiple fronts. We also identified the importance of retraining older workers who have been displaced due to automation and outsourcing.
I’m encouraged to see the Pennsylvania House take on the issue of expanding and improving workforce development in our Commonwealth and doing it in a fiscally responsible manner. We need to focus on creating jobs that pay strong wages and benefits. Governor Wolf’s 2019 budget includes $30 million for PAsmart initiative to help workers young and old obtain quality jobs and foster economic growth. ... See MoreSee Less
The Montgomery County LGBT Business Council updated their profile picture.
4 days ago
Happy Spring to our members, partners, and followers! ... See MoreSee Less