Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a plan for the future of Pennsylvania’s workforce, a future he hopes to secure if he becomes the next governor.
The plan aims to ease labor shortages caused by the pandemic, reduce taxes and invest in professional jobs.
According to a statement from Shapiro’s office, over the past two years, 54% of manufacturing companies reportedly struggled to find skilled workers. Many businesses across the Commonwealth are still struggling to fill vacancies, the statement added.
“We must give workers in Pennsylvania the opportunity to succeed, which means giving every Pennsylvanian access to apprenticeships and vocational and technical training, cutting red tape for workers and businesses, and removing unnecessary barriers. so that more skilled workers can be hired,” said AG Shapiro.
Shapiro’s plan proposes changes to the state’s educational structure: eliminating four-year degree requirements for thousands of state government jobs; granting all students access to technical career centres; prioritize vocational and vocational training programs, such as apprenticeships and vocational and technical training.
The plan also seeks to invest more in these changes. The plan would triple state funding for apprenticeships and reinvest in vocational and technical education so that more Pennsylvanians can learn advanced skills and find jobs in technical or high-skilled industries like manufacturing, construction and trades. Health care.
A breakdown of Shapiro’s plan is detailed below.
Triple the amount of funding available for apprenticeship programs
Apprentices earn around $300,000 (including benefits) more over their lifetime than similar workers who have not completed their apprenticeships, and every dollar invested in apprenticeship brings in around $27 in income for the Commonwealth .
Increase in career and technical training
Over the past two decades, Pennsylvania has cut its investment in vocational and technical training in half, the statement said. Today, Pennsylvania spends about $90 million on vocational and technical education total; Twenty years ago, the Commonwealth was spending over $200 million.
This investment would begin with curriculum changes through the State Board of Education, according to the release.
Expand Pennsylvania Industrial Partnership Grants
This plan will expand grant opportunities for Pennsylvania businesses working in their industry to hire and train workers. Improvements include streamlining recruitment and workforce development; and connecting businesses and industries at job fairs, conferences and student internships.
Elimination of four-year degree requirements for state government jobs
This element of the plan would include state agency reviews of all jobs in an effort to eliminate prerequisites and educational requirements that might be seen as unnecessary barriers. Last month, Maryland became the first state to eliminate degree requirements, opening thousands of jobs to additional applicants.
Elimination of professional license fees and guarantee that applicants receive a response within 14 days
Apps that require licenses or credentials will not be subject to charges under the plan. Currently, there are over 250 licenses and credentials overseen by 29 independent licensing boards and commissions across the Commonwealth, some of which cost hundreds of dollars each time an individual needs to renew their license.
The plan aims to reduce delays in the job application process. Any application that does not require a criminal background check must be completed within 14 days, if the plan is implemented.