'We need to get more skilled people': Pennsylvania lawmakers confront workforce issues

'We need to get more skilled people': Pennsylvania lawmakers confront workforce issues

Pennsylvania lawmakers have been hearing the same refrain for most of the year. The National Federation of Independent Businesses said it in mid-August – the commonwealth needs more skilled workers, especially truck drivers, nurses and health care workers.

Members of the House Majority Policy Committee toured several businesses in south-central Pennsylvania recently, and the common theme they heard was, “If we had more people, we would be doing more business right now,” said Rep. Barb Gleim, R-Cumberland, a member of the committee.

“So, it’s not the money. It’s not so much all of these other things that we can improve on," Gleim told The Center Square in a phone interview. “We are hearing loud and clear we just need to get more skilled people into the pipeline.”

The need is not for minimum wage jobs, but for good-paying jobs that pay $16 an hour and up, she said. But there are few who apply for those jobs.

The group did not focus on the barriers that businesses are facing but on solutions, including offering incentives to students and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Another potential pool of applicants is probationers and parolees who have access to job training programs.

“There’s a 3.8 percent unemployment rate, where are those 3.8 percent?” Gleim asked. “What compelling case are we making to bring these people into the workforce?”

[Full Article]

Submitted By:

Nate C.

Nate C.

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