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Shapiro Administration Meets with Workforce Development Leaders to Chart Pennsylvania’s Labor Future

March 08, 2024 | Online Article

Harrisburg, PA – Over a span of three days this week, Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker met with workforce development community leaders from across the Commonwealth to discuss the Shapiro Administration’s efforts to create real economic opportunity for hardworking people and ensure Pennsylvania employers in all industries have access to the skilled workers they need to succeed. First Lady Lori Shapiro even joined Secretary Walker on the road in Newtown for a stop focused on innovative employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities.

During a two-day event at Montgomery County Community College, Secretary Walker and her team of workforce development professionals shared the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to skills-based hiring, where every career path is treated with respect, regardless of whether or not it requires a college degree. That’s why Governor Josh Shapiro signed an Executive Order on his first day in office announcing 92% of state government jobs no longer require a four-year college degree – and it’s why his Administration has made historic investments in workforce development.

“The workforce challenges we face today are significant, but they are not insurmountable. With collaboration across the Commonwealth and the talents of so many workforce development professionals embedded in Pennsylvania communities, I am optimistic about the future for Pennsylvania workers and the employers who depend on us,” Secretary Walker said. “The time to invest in that future is now.”

Governor Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget continues to invest in career and technical and vo-tech education, apprenticeship programs, and on-the-job training. Governor Shapiro is proposing to:

  • Build on last year’s investment in Career and Technical Education with a $2.4 million increase and continuation of $7 million in support of dual enrollment;
  • Increase the Commonwealth’s investment in Industry Partnerships by $2.2 million to support the workforce development and workforce needs of Pennsylvania’s workers and businesses;
  • Invest $2 million to build a digital one-stop-shop for career pathways serving all Pennsylvanians, regardless of their age or educational level;
  • Invest $2 million to help businesses transition to skills-based hiring practices. Skills-based hiring practices will ensure that more Pennsylvanians who have the skills and experience but not a college degree – or the “right” degree – can find quality jobs that pay family-sustaining wages;
  • Protect workers and law-abiding employers by adding 12 investigators to L&I’s Bureau of Labor Law Compliance; and
  • Expand and improve the Military Occupational Crosswalk resource for military families with a $500,000 investment to develop a user-friendly web portal.

Montgomery County Community College provided tours of the campus, including the Health Science, Advanced Technology and Hospitality centers – which house numerous and varied workforce development programs that can serve as models for similar initiatives across Pennsylvania.

The L&I team also shared updates on the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program (CWTP) — a first-in-the-nation workforce training program leveraging $400 million in federal funding for on-the-job training to create thousands of new jobs. The Shapiro Administration is currently finalizing plans for the CWTP, which will provide organizations doing important infrastructure projects with up to $40,000 for each new worker they train to help accelerate critical investments from repairing roads and bridges, to modernizing Pennsylvania’s energy, water, and sewer infrastructure.

The Shapiro Administration is especially committed to creating workforce development opportunities for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. On Monday Secretary Walker and First Lady Shapiro visited Community Options’ Daily Plan It in Newtown to learn about how the nonprofit organization is developing innovative employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities.

Community Options is a national nonprofit that develops housing and employment for people with disabilities. The organization supports over 5,000 people and families nationally, including over 550 families in Pennsylvania. The Daily Plan It is a unique entrepreneurial business that provides job training and competitive integrated employment to people with disabilities. The Daily Plan It offers fully furnished office space rental and virtual tenancy to the local business community.

“Community Options’ dedication to supporting individuals with disabilities is inspiring,” Secretary Walker said. “It was a pleasure to join First Lady Shapiro at the Daily Plan It to learn more about the good work being done to provide job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

Shapiro Administration Meets with Workforce Development Leaders to Chart Pennsylvania’s Labor Future -
Shapiro Administration Meets with Workforce Development Leaders to Chart Pennsylvania’s Labor Future –