Gergely: Investment in career and technical education vital to Pennsylvania’s future

HARRISBURG, May 11 – Citing the need to give students technical skills required for many of today’s jobs, Rep. Marc Gergely, D-Allegheny, today introduced H.B. 1145, which would provide $15 million to support employers, higher education institutions and labor organizations in establishing public-private training partnerships.

“Pennsylvanian companies are looking to hire the next batch of highly-skilled employees to fill positions across the state,” said Gergely, Democratic chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee. “”We owe it to our citizens to ensure that they have the proper education and training to fill those positions and begin the path to sustainable, successful careers.”

Gergely said H.B. 1145 will give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience by earning college credit and industrial credentials through work-based learning in high-demand, high-growth occupations. It would also provide an additional $5 million in grant funding for equipment purchases with priority for applicants that show contributions from other partners, he noted.

“Other states across the country are learning that investing in career and technical education can boost a state’s economy and help propel more citizens into the middle class,” Gergely said. “Oregon recently invested $7.5 million in career and technical education programs, and a study of Indiana’s return on investment in career and technical education showed that between 2008 and 2013, there was a direct correlation between a higher number of training credits earned and increased graduation rates and income levels.

“To truly push Pennsylvania into the 21st century, we need to invest in what I believe is one of our strongest assets: our workforce.”