Workforce Development Takes Center Stage as Sonney, Committee Members Unveil Career and Technical Education Package
HARRISBURG - Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie), chairman of the House Education Committee, today led a press conference in Harrisburg to unveil a bipartisan package of eight bills designed to improve career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania. Joining Sonney for the press conference were members of the House Education Committee.

“Workforce development is one of the cornerstones of the Legislature’s plan to improve Pennsylvania’s economy and create better opportunities for those entering and currently in the workforce,” said Sonney. “At the end of the day we all want jobs we can be proud of and that can support our families. The opportunities for those types of careers are available all across Pennsylvania. We just need to make sure individuals have the training and skills needed to fill those jobs. That’s what this package of legislation aims to help accomplish.”

Sonney said the bills are the result of a report issued by the former Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness.

Bills in the package include:

House Bill 265, which would expand the online database that allows students and potential students to check where courses, programs, certificates and diplomas are able to be transferred among public schools and institutions of higher education. The bill is authored by Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks).
House Bill 297, which would help improve career information and recruitment. The bill is authored by Rep. Zach Mako (R-Lehigh/Northampton).
House Bill 334, which would deal with the Commission for Agriculture Education Excellence, the use of course credits, and the classification of program codes. The bill is authored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York).
House Bill 522, which would create a CTE investment incentive program, including tax credits for businesses that contribute CTE programs and enrollment expansion programs. The bill is authored by Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin).
House Bill 393, which would create an online career resource center. The bill is authored by Rep. Patrick Harkins (D-Erie).
House Bill 394, which would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create an inventory of workforce development programs offered at secondary and post-secondary institutions. The bill is authored by Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne).
House Bill 395, which would require CTE programs to establish occupational advisory committees. The bill is authored by Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia), minority chairman of the House Education Committee.
House Bill 396, which would add at least one administrator from a career and technical center to each Workforce Development Board. The bill is also authored by Roebuck.

“These bills aim to increase awareness of job training opportunities and potential careers for students, elicit support from existing businesses and workforce development boards, and make is easier for students to plan for their future and earn credits toward desired programs of study,” said Sonney.

“As the new chairman of the House Education Committee, I am hopeful that with the bipartisan support we have on this issue, we can act quickly on these bills and get them to the full House for consideration in the near future,” concluded Sonney. “Education is one of the most important elements in advancing workforce development in the Commonwealth, and I am happy to be a part of the progress we are making on this issue.”

Each of the bills in the package will go before the House Education Committee for consideration.

Representative Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman