Pennsylvania Announces Stakeholder Group to Enhance Workforce

Pennsylvania Announces Stakeholder Group to Enhance Workforce

by / June 19, 2002
Kicking off the state's first-ever Workforce Development Week, Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker announced that he is creating a stakeholder group to work with the Administration to recommend changes in federal programs to provide greater flexibility in the use of federal funds for workforce development.

"Economic recovery and prosperity will be led by states that can provide a quality workforce," Gov. Schweiker said. "That means training, retraining and education -- helping workers get the skills they need quicker than ever before.

"We are committed to using our resources to create a workforce-development system that links businesses with academia and job training to give employees the critical skills they need -- and to give employers a competitive edge."

Gov. Schweiker said the new stakeholder group will recommend changes to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs to provide greater flexibility in the use of funds.

"These programs need to be focused on our customers -- employers needing trained workers and individuals requiring training and services -- not bureaucratic requirements that result in missed economic-development opportunities," Gov. Schweiker said.

The Ridge-Schweiker Administration created a Team Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board to coordinate 36 individual job-training programs spread across five state agencies. Less than a week after taking office, Gov. Schweiker appointed a single point of contact in his office to identify and coordinate activities to enhance Pennsylvania's workforce-development efforts.

The Team Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has leadership from the private sector representing Pennsylvania's diverse industries. Its membership also includes the cabinet secretaries of the governor's rapid-response team agencies -- Aging, Community and Economic Development, Education, Labor and Industry, and Public Welfare. Other partners include elected officials, educational institutions and community-based organizations.

"We have formed strategic partnerships to leverage internal and external resources for ongoing workforce-development initiatives," Gov. Schweiker said.
Blake Harris Editor
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