Local employers and educators highlight successes and challenges
– As deputy chair of the House Majority Policy Committee, Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) today hosted a committee hearing at Dickinson School of Law to listen to testimony from local entrepreneurs, educators and business representatives on the readiness of Pennsylvania’s graduates to fill in-demand and available job openings.
Testifiers included representatives from the PA Workforce Development Association, Greater Carlisle Chamber of Commerce, Carlisle High School’s Center for Careers and Technology, Allen Distribution, Geisinger Health System (Holy Spirit Hospital) and CampusDoor.
Representatives from Carlisle High School’s Center for Careers and Technology testified about what their program does to ensure students are properly trained and better prepared to fill the good-paying jobs that currently exist in our local economies.
“We heard from both a teacher’s perspective and a student’s perspective today about how this program is effective in preparing students to join our evolving workforce,” Bloom said. “It is good to see our schools addressing this need because it’s not only an advantage for our businesses but also for the young people who will be graduating high school and having an eye on family-sustaining employment. I am hopeful other technical programs will emulate Carlisle’s successful model.”
Bloom said three general themes emerged from the testimony. First and foremost, government policies can help or hinder job creation. Second, many quality positions are available in our communities, but finding willing employees who have the skills necessary to fill those positions is a growing challenge for many reasons. Finally, Pennsylvania must examine ways for educational institutions and employers to work together so graduates can find jobs in the Commonwealth.
“One role of government is to provide a policy structure that allows businesses to thrive and grow, and our citizens to be successful. I want to be sure if government is blocking the way, that we get out of the way and do everything we can to maximize our potential as a community and as a Commonwealth,” said Bloom.
Employers also pointed out the need for more flexible funding for workforce development programs, public-private partnerships for bridging job skills gaps and lack of fundamental jobs skills, such interviewing, reliability and resume building.
The House Majority Policy Committee is tasked with conducting hearings and holding public discussions across the state about important issues to gather testimony and information from key stakeholders. Bloom will help lead these hearings and work with his colleagues to develop policies to address those issues.
Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam