Davis bill would enhance career, tech learning through school-business partnerships

HARRISBURG, March 13 –  State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today that he will introduce legislation that would authorize $15 million in funding to modernize the state’s education system by allowing students to learn high-skill careers in real-world settings.

“Now more than ever, our state’s economic health depends on a well-educated and highly skilled workforce,” Davis said. “We need to modernize our education system to deliver the kind of specialized training our young workers need to compete in a 21st-century job market.”

Davis said his bill would allow colleges and universities to partner with employers and labor organizations to form training programs for today’s high-skill jobs. The programs would enable students to gain real-world experience by earning college credits and industrial credentials through work-based learning in high-demand, high-growth occupations.

“Devoting resources to strengthening career and tech-ed training pays off on so many levels,” Davis said. “It readies a new generation of workers to compete and succeed, and it helps rebuild our middle class by opening new doors in terms of wage growth and career advancement. Beyond that, it helps all of Pennsylvania by allowing workers to stay here, raise families and invest back into the local economy. The bottom line is, it just makes economic sense.” 

Davis’ bill would also authorize $8 million in funding for college and career counseling in middle schools and high schools to develop pathways for students to pursue high-skill careers.

Davis has said that he supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposals calling for continued investments in education and career training to ensure that the state’s workforce is prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century.