Mar. 25, 2019

#GoodJobs4PA bills are now in Senate

HARRISBURG- Promoting good-paying, family-sustaining jobs is a key priority for the House Republican members and with that in mind, a package of workforce development bills is on its way to the state Senate. House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) joined his fellow Republican members to highlight the legislation and what it means for Pennsylvanians in the job market, and young people making plans for their future.

“These bills show the commitment we have to creating pathways for Pennsylvanians to move beyond minimum wage jobs and into family-sustaining careers,” Cutler said. “If we can get these bills across the governor’s desk, companies looking for qualified candidates will find them here in Pennsylvania. This legislation would increase access to high-quality training for Pennsylvanians from all corners of the Commonwealth who wish to do more to support and grow their families.”

“We want every Pennsylvanian to have access to educational opportunities that promote family-sustaining careers. We urge the Senate to promptly consider this important package of bills,” said Speaker of the House Mike Turzai.

Workforce development was a key focus of Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address, and a recent survey of employers by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry found “finding qualified candidates” to be the No. 1 concern for companies in Pennsylvania. The bills in this package are phase one of House Republican plans to address those concerns.

The bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and now head to the Senate for consideration.

HB 324 (Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-York): Provides a new revitalization tool for addressing unemployment and small business opportunities by allowing municipalities to develop a microenterprise loan program to help start small businesses in blighted downtown communities.

HB 265 (Rep. Craig Staats, R-Bucks):  Expands an established database that allows students and potential students to plan where courses, programs, certificates, and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education. 

HB 334 (Rep. Seth Grove, R-York): Requires the Pennsylvania Department of Education to create guidelines for when a student who successfully completes a STEM course, program or activity for credit can also apply the credit toward a course through a vocational-technical school, technical institution or vocational school. 

HB 394 (Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne): Requires PDE and the Department of Labor and Industry to conduct a complete inventory of existing workforce development programs at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.

HB 522 (Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill/Dauphin): Establishes the Career and Technical Education Investment Incentive Program, which would provide tax credits, applicable to any state tax, to businesses that contribute to career and technical partnership organizations.

HB 64 (Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny): Amends the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Act, allowing professionals to carry over accrued continuing education credits for biennial terms. 

HB 297 (Rep. Zachary Mako, R-Northampton/Lehigh): Requires PDE to develop materials outlining workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential to ensure students are aware of opportunities from a wide variety of organizations and career paths. Also allows for community colleges and other technical and/or trade schools to attend career/college fairs. 

HB 393 (Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie):  Requires PDE and the departments of Labor and Industry and Agriculture to develop and maintain a comprehensive online career resource center for students, parents, educators and school officials to provide information on the value and impact of career and technical education (CTE), career pathways, data and statistics on employment opportunities and compensation, postsecondary options, and statewide and regional articulation agreements. 

HB 395 (Rep. James Roebuck Jr., D-Philadelphia): Allows CTE programs or a cluster of programs to establish occupational advisory committees at the Intermediate Unit (IU) level to serve multiple school districts or Career and Technical Centers (CTCs). The committees would meet twice a year to ensure programs are working effectively and are meeting industry standards and needs so students are best prepared to enter the workforce. 

HB 396 (Rep. James Roebuck Jr., D-Philadelphia): Requires each local Workforce Development Board (WDB) to include in its membership at least one administrator of a Career and Technical Center whose attendance area is covered by the service area of the WDB. 

HB 425 (Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Lehigh/Berks): Creates CareerBound, a program to strengthen the connection between Pennsylvania’s students and the next generation of high-priority careers. CareerBound would provide students with career exploration opportunities while also allowing business partners the opportunity to develop collaborative relationships with schools to best prepare students for what to expect in the workforce.

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives