Bipartisan efforts further career readiness in Pa.


Good public policy brings people together, creates opportunity, improves quality of life and strengthens our economy. We were pleased to see just that happen during the last week of September, when the Pennsylvania House and Senate sent House Bill 265, now Act 76 of 2019, to Gov. Tom Wolf.

Act 76 is a measure that addresses workforce development challenges by accelerating career-readiness for students as they prepare to enter the workforce of the future, which ultimately benefits all residents and businesses in Pennsylvania.

By coming together in a bipartisan way, and with extensive input from the business, philanthropic, and education communities, the state’s Legislature created a more flexible and modern career and technical education system that will better connect people to skills they need for jobs and opportunities throughout our state.

Legislators also opened up the door for stronger partnerships between education and business. It is a call that the business community stands ready to accept.

It is critical for us to keep Pennsylvania nationally and globally competitive. Finding a skilled workforce has been a top concern for employers across Pennsylvania. By strengthening partnerships with our career and technical schools and our education systems, we will be able to better prepare our future workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

The provisions included in Act 76 will help modernize and revitalize our postsecondary training and education systems and will drive vitality in Pennsylvania by enabling us to create stronger economic opportunity.

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, we applaud the bipartisan efforts of our elected officials in Harrisburg to directly address a serious workforce issue. Act 76 is good for all students, residents and businesses of Pennsylvania, and we look forward to continuing to work with state leaders on issues that affect each and every one of us in Pennsylvania.

This op-ed was co-written by Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and Matt Smith, president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.