HARRISBURG – The state Senate today unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) calling for an investigation into the effectiveness of workforce development programs in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania state government annually spends hundreds of millions of dollars on workforce development programs, but many unemployed workers lack the skills necessary to obtain good-paying jobs and employers struggle to find qualified applicants to fill open positions.
“Pennsylvania workforce development programs need to produce positive results for taxpayers, employers and unemployed workers,” Coleman said. “We’ve seen many instances in recent years where good-paying and family sustaining jobs are there, but workers often lack the skills and training necessary to fill them. That suggests there could be some misalignment or inefficiency in Pennsylvania’s workforce development programs.”
Pennsylvania operates several workforce development programs under the Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Education, Department of Human Services, and Department of Community and Economic Development.
“There are a variety of programs offered by different departments, but it’s unclear if that has led to a lack of alignment, cohesion and effectiveness in the provision of services,” Coleman said.
Coleman’s Senate Resolution 169 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to study state workforce development programs and make suggestions to improve delivery of services to better help workers and employers.
LBFC is a bipartisan legislative agency serving the state House and Senate, and is composed of 12 members of the General Assembly. Coleman serves as one of LBFC’s members.
The committee, established in 1959, conducts studies and makes recommendations aimed at eliminating unnecessary state expenditures, promoting efficiency in state government, and assuring state funds are spent in accordance with legislative intent and law.
Coleman’s resolution gives LBFC up to one year to produce its report.
Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at www.SenatorColeman.com, follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenatorJarrettColeman and sign up for email newsletters at www.SenatorColeman.com/eNewsletters.
CONTACT: Leo Knepper